6 Cheap Gender Reveal Ideas for Those on a Tight Budget

By Ashley Kilroy · February 15, 2024 · 10 minute read

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6 Cheap Gender Reveal Ideas for Those on a Tight Budget

Congratulations! If you’re reading this, it probably means you or someone you care about is starting a family (or adding to one). One popular way to celebrate is with a gender reveal party: It’s a fun way to get all the expectant parents’ loved ones involved before the new addition arrives.

But gender reveal parties, like any kind of get-together, can quickly get expensive. Renting a space, ordering flowers and decorations, and wrangling the menu can add up. Which can be an issue, especially if the couple that is expecting or the person hosting is trying to also save for, say, the baby’s nursery or a baby shower.

So read on for six gender reveal party ideas that will be a fun way to share the news without breaking the bank.

Cheap Gender Reveal Ideas

When ​​saving for a baby, it’s vital to protect your finances, even during celebrations. Sure, you want to share the excitement in a stylish way, but there are cribs, strollers, and lots of diapers to be bought! To help you pull off a gender reveal on a budget, read on.

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1. Keep It Small

You can save money by downsizing your event. Instead of inviting anyone and everyone, try including just friends and family. Not only will a smaller party keep costs low, but it will make the event more personal and a whole lot less frantic. An intimate gathering with those closest to you can be a lovely way to celebrate learning a baby’s gender. Plus, it allows the host or guest of honor to get more quality time with each invitee.

However, you may want to run this by the expectant mother if you are organizing the party on her behalf. She should have the last say about the invite list so that no one significant gets missed.

2. Choose a Cheap or Free Venue

You can hold a gender reveal party anywhere. When you think about it, it’s a very accommodating event without a lot of rules about the dress code, timing, or the activities involved. So, you can likely make any location work, whether it’s at home, a local restaurant, or elsewhere.

•   Be creative with the location. Instead of a full (pricey) restaurant meal, could you host a party at a local coffee bar (some host events)? Or could you do an afternoon tea at a favorite eatery, before they open for dinner? These kinds of options can help you save a considerable amount of money.

•   When picking where to have the party, you may need to factor in the size of your guest list and the type of gender reveal you want. For example, if you plan to use a gender-reveal powder cannon, you probably need a venue outdoors.

•   Rented venues can be expensive, so for a gender reveal on a budget, consider hosting at home.

•   Look at other cheap locations like a nearby green space. Many gender reveal parties are happily hosted in a local park. You bring cushions, a picnic blanket, and all the trimmings, and you’re set, without the cost of renting.

3. Send Digital Invites

Invitations are where many people let their creativity shine. But physically mailing them out may not be the most cost-effective option; you’ll have to buy the cards and spend money on postage, too. If you are looking for a way to send fun invites but for a fraction of the price and time, consider digital versions.

•   There are apps and websites that offer digital invite services. You can find a wide range of gender-reveal invitation templates on them. Spend a few minutes scrolling; you may find some totally free options, or you might spend anywhere from $10 to $20 on them. You can also find fun graphics and animations to make them unique.

•   These resources make planning a party more straightforward for the host. That’s because they usually come with a function that lets guests RSVP digitally, so you can keep track of who is coming. You can also usually automate updates and reminders.

•   Where to start? Try exploring Punchbowl, Evite, and Paperless Post for some great evite options.

4. Make Your Own Decorations

Similar to birthday parties, a gender reveal party isn’t complete without a few decorations. Here are some ways to keep costs down:

•   Easy DIY décor can include banners, streamers, candles, and table centerpieces. Often, you only need cardstock, ribbon, and paper to get creative. You might also be able to find printable images online. Sayings like “Whether pink or blue, we love you” and the like can be a fun way to underscore the reason everyone has gathered.

•   Use what you already have — outside. Anyone with a green thumb can take advantage of their garden to liven up their party. You can set the whole event up outdoors if the weather is nice or use flowers to decorate your home. For example, fresh flowers in mason jars or dollar-store vases are a simple but effective centerpiece.

•   A quick reminder: Even if the parents know the gender already, decorations shouldn’t give it away. Instead, aim for a gender-neutral look or a mix of pinks and blues so that nothing spoils the surprise.

5. Do a Potluck

Hosting a gender reveal party that includes a meal can get very pricey, very fast. No matter the size of your guest’s appetite, you have to purchase food per head. Some recommend around a half-pound of meat and half a bottle of wine for each person at an event. That alone could rack up a bill equal to a few months’ worth of baby supplies.

Instead, consider a potluck.

•   A potluck can save you significant costs in the food department.

•   It’s a great way to bond as a community or family. Everyone plays a role. You may find that having a number of people contributing makes the endeavor more creative.

•   Hosting a potluck does take a bit of organization to make sure, say, that not everyone brings a dessert, but the savings and sense of teamwork may be well worth it.

6. Opt for These Ways to Do the Reveal

The most important part of a gender reveal party is the reveal itself. But, you don’t have to pay for expensive fireworks, a band, or an entire room of balloons to make a statement. Some budget-friendly ideas include:

•   Gender reveal confetti or powder cannons

•   A giant balloon filled with colored confetti; pop it to reveal the gender

•   Cupcakes or cake with the gender color inside

•   A pinata filled with either pink or blue ribbons and glitter

You can also set the stage with color-themed food and drink. Some hosts like to have pitchers of fun fruit drinks, one tinted pink and the other blue with berries.

Recommended: A Guide to Using Savings Clubs

Setting Your Gender Reveal Party Budget

Your budget will obviously vary with the type of party you are planning. If you have a backyard potluck for 10 close friends it will, of course, be much more affordable than a meal for a few dozen guests at a rented space.

For example, let’s say you choose a large venue; that alone may cost you upwards of $200 to rent. In addition, decorating the location may be expensive, anywhere from $50 to $100 and up. That’s because there is more space to cover than your garden or living room. Plus you’ll need to factor in the food as well. Ka-ching! And double ka-ching if you live in a major city; your costs are likely to be higher.

That said, only you and your loved ones know what will be the right way to celebrate the upcoming birth. Just like putting together a budget for a baby, be methodical.

Budget Beforehand

Sit down early in the planning process and create a budget for your party. If there is more than one host, pool your resources and determine the total you can spend. It’s essential to do this before you start party planning.

•   Go line by line, item by item. Write down what you need and estimate the cost. That way, you know exactly what you need to buy and how much it will cost. Otherwise, there’s every chance that you’ll discover your cheap gender reveal party wound up being a high-cost celebration.

•   Understand where the funds are coming from. Is the expectant couple or individual footing the bill? If you are organizing, who else might contribute? Sometimes family members of the parents-to-be are also willing to help. They may contribute some cash or offer to bring items to the event.

Stick to Your Budget

It sounds self-explanatory: Stick to the budget you make. However, any party planner knows that it’s easier said than done, whether you have a baby shower, birthday, or anniversary on your hands.

•   Hold yourself and the team that’s organizing the event accountable. It’s very easy to dip a little further into your funds for extra decorations, more flowers, or a beautifully decorated dessert. While those gestures are nice, they come at a financial cost. You may need to separate your “party fund” from your savings account. Or, if you have a co-host, report your spending to each other. You’ll be less inclined to go overboard that way.

•   Play around with your distribution of funds. For instance, maybe you have a baker in the family who can bake a fab gender reveal cake. In that case, you can put more money toward a venue. Or, perhaps you are hosting a potluck version of a gender reveal party. That frees up some cash for decorations or how you handle the big reveal.

It’s a balancing act, for sure, but with a little planning and a strong commitment to your budget, you can host a gender reveal party that won’t leave you with debt to pay off.

Recommended: Budgeting for Beginners

The Takeaway

Hosting a gender reveal on a budget may take a bit of extra planning. But spending less won’t make the event any less memorable. Instead, think of it as an opportunity to test your creative muscles and come together as loved ones. Play around with your budget to find the best party plan. Maybe you host it at a restaurant but it’s a tea party instead of a full meal. Or perhaps you gather in someone’s yard or a local park and then have enough to splurge on an amazing cake. It’s all about balance.

Whether you’re expecting a baby or simply planning a party for one of your besties, life is expensive. That’s why finding a banking partner that offers competitive interest rates and low (or no fees) can be important.

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What is a good budget for a gender reveal party?

Budgets will vary depending on the host’s means and goals and the expectant parents’ desires. However, you can stretch a fund further with a more relaxed event. For example, a small barbecue in your backyard with a few friends won’t cost as much as a luxe rented location but may make up for that with the warm, intimate vibe.

Who usually throws a gender reveal party?

There is no norm; anyone can throw a gender reveal party, from a close family member to the parents to a best friend. It’s all good! In some cases, there are even multiple hosts. This allows everyone to take on a smaller financial burden than a singular host. The only rule is to keep the gender a secret during planning.

How much should a gender reveal cake cost?

The cost of gender reveal cake can vary in price depending on where you buy it, how big it is, and how ornate it is. Prices often land in the range of $25 to $50. However, features like surprise candy inside will likely run you more money. And if you purchase a cake from a highly rated patisserie in a big city it will probably be considerably more expensive than one at a local bakery in the suburbs.

Photo credit: iStock/Ievgeniia Shugaliia

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