With the holidays just around the corner, I’ve been diligently working to get my party plans in order. I love hostessing a good party, however I don’t always enjoy the expense of it all. Between food, drinks, music, and decor, it’s a lot to think about and costs add up quickly. I wanted to come up with some ways to still throw a sensational party, but on a budget and I think I have! Here are five of my secrets to throwing a great party without breaking the bank!
1. Get Your Guests Involved
How many times has one of your guests said, “let me know if I can bring anything,” and you’ve turned them down? We think that we need to be in charge of all aspects of our party, but guess what? Hostessing doesn’t have to be a solo endeavor. Your guests are usually more than willing to help and if they’re asking if they can bring something, let them. It’s a nice gesture on their part and at the end of the day, it saves you time and money. The next time someone offers to help, accept and give them a few suggestions on what they can bring. My favorites are a nice salad, some dessert, or even a few bottles of vino!
2. Smaller Dishes Are Better
I know you think you need to put out all the stops and make a show-stopping dinner, but the truth is– no one wants the show to stop! While big, decadent dishes are nice, most people enjoy moving around the room and conversing all night rather than pausing for a sit down dinner. This is where Tapas, Small Plates, and Charcuterie boards are you and your wallets friend! Create an entire charcuterie table full of meats, cheeses, olives, jams and crackers. You can find great, inexpensive options for cheese and meat at Aldi, their blueberry goat cheese is to die for. As far as small plates, go with 3-5 of your favorite finger food appetizers. Some of my personal favorites are mini spanakopitas, bruschetta crostini, and shrimp cocktail. Remember to create a menu of food that is easy to make in bulk and is within your budget!
3. Create a Signature Drink
A parties biggest expenses are the food and alcohol. To help cut back on alcohol costs, create a fun signature drink that fits the theme of your party! Signature drinks are great because you can make them in advance and in bulk and all the ingredients are cheaper than having a full stocked bar. You can still have a couple of beer and wine choices for your guests, just don’t go crazy if your budget doesn’t allow. A few big batch cocktail ideas are Sangria, a Margarita Bar, refreshing Mojitos, or a flavorful and fruity rum punch. Just mix one or two of your favorite signature drink into a big dispensable Mason Jar or multiple pitchers, come up with an on theme name for your cocktails, and you’re all set.
4. Lighting is Everything
Behind food and drinks, ambiance is the most important element of a party. The mood your lighting gives off sets the mood of your get together. Although we all love a fairy light/bistro motif, less is always more. All you really need are some candles mixed with dim lighting to create the perfect party vibe. I suggest getting a variety of candles in different sizes from Walmart, Amazon, or Michaels, they are usually pretty inexpensive especially in bulk. Use any glass jars, candle holders, or serving trays you have lying around the house to make your candles look aesthetically pleasing and space them around the room in the places that make the most sense, usually where you want guests to interact. Candles are an easy way to make your party seem welcoming, yet intimate and are budget friendly.
5. Amazon Party & DIY Decor
It’s very easy to get carried away with the decorations when throwing a party. Although some guests are impressed by an overly detailed space, most are more interested in the conversation and food at the party than anything else. I recommend picking out one corner of the room as a statement corner where you can put the party decorations of your dreams. This corner should be intentional, highlighting a dessert table or photo backdrop. Amazon has great packages with a variety of themes for under $25 including DIY balloon arches. For the rest of your decor try to keep it simple. Tie in your theme with smaller nodes like straws, napkins, or DIY menus to add a nice festive touch. A reminder, guests will always remember the memories they made at a party more than the decorations that were there!
Chicas, I hope these secrets find you well and your next party is fabulous and budget friendly! Comment down below some of your favorite party tips and tag us with your party pics on Instagram at @Reinventing50s.
Annette – Is a successful Travel and Lifestyle Blogger and the founding editor for ReInventing50s, a midlife place to start the second half of life doing the things that interest you. When she is in town, she is living in Los Angeles with her family and her 140 pound tortoise, Miguel. Check her out @Reinventing50s on Instagram.