Establish the theme for the party by including fake money (use Monopoly money) with the bridal shower invites. In addition to the invite, include a separate card in the envelope, which lets the guests know the theme of the party, and instructs them to bring the money along at the party so they can participate in shopping games. Include instructions on how the guests can earn more money at the party – e.g. by bringing along a dessert, by being on time, or by wearing a particular colour.
Now, buy the items that the guests at the bridal shower will “shop” for. Do not purchase expensive things that will cut into your budget – e.g. stay away from shoes, and handbags. Instead, get small girly items like nail polish kits, earrings, bracelets, lotions, and scarves, etc. These should be things that most women generally use.
Once you have all the items, you can proceed to set up the decorations for the shopping-theme bridal party. Use small bookshelves to create a “shopping area”, and line up the items on these, along with small tags that indicate their “price”. Make sure the items are priced low enough to ensure that everyone gets at least two items, but high enough to keep one person from purchasing the lot.
When the guests arrive, you can begin handing out more money, and distribute awards to people who happened to meet the challenges listed on the invites. Then, once the refreshments (drinks and finger foods) have been handed out, you can begin playing games for prizes. These can be based on the shopping theme – e.g. you might organise Price-It-Right games. Whenever someone wins, they can have an opportunity to shop from the “store”. However, make sure that everyone gets a chance to “shop”, even if they don’t happen to win any of the games.
Finally, consider other fun ways to incorporate the shopping theme into the party. E.g. to make it seem more like a mall, you can set the refreshments up in the style of a food court, hand out favours in miniature shopping bags, and set up a little “check-out counter” where the guests can exchange money for prizes.