Who knew a Kentucky-Derby-themed wedding shower could be so inexpensive?

Dreaming of hosting a spectacular wedding shower this year? We’ve got you covered. If you don’t know her by now, Ivy Odom is our Southern Living test kitchen pro and the star of Hey Y’all, and she’s here to give you all the best tips and tricks for throwing a gorgeous wedding shower (without spending a fortune).

First things first: pick the theme. It’s important to choose the theme of the shower first, as it will be the foundation for all other matters. Whether the bride wants a rustic picnic or a nautical pool party, it’s essential to have a solid starting point. What theme did we go with, you may ask? Ivy’s best friend and the bride-to-be, Rebecca, adores horses. So, choosing a theme was easy:  Kentucky Derby.

Of course, no wedding shower is complete without a surplus of snacks for the bride and her crew. Let the theme lead you. If you’re going with a rustic picnic, barbecue would be fitting. Fresh fruit popsicles would perfectly complement a pool-side wedding shower. To help with the budget, be sure to select recipes that are easy to make and certainly feed a crowd. Curious about the menu at Ivy’s Derby-themed shower? Check out the links below:

Kentucky Benedictine Sandwiches

Bourbon Chocolate Truffles

Kentucky Oaks Lily Drink

Mini Hot Browns

Kentucky Derby Cheese Hat

And Southerners never forget the décor! This is where the expenses can quickly rise, so call on your friends for help. Have everyone bring a few pieces of their favorite china for serving. It’s a fun way to get your friends involved, and you won’t have to worry about owning a complete set. Lastly, be sure to browse your local thrift stores for inexpensive decorations before purchasing pricy, new items. Follow these tips and tricks, and you’ll be well on your way to hosting a fabulous (and inexpensive) wedding shower this year.