How to plan the perfect soirée on a budget

I LOVE entertaining and decorating! That’s one of the main reasons I started my own event/wedding planning business Before the Cake Events! One of the things I specialize in is, planning on a budget! Yes, you can still have a beautiful, entertaining, and fun event without spending your kid’s college fund!

1. Start planning early! This is so important. Planning early gives you more opportunities to save money. Decide what your theme is (if you have one…you MUST have one 😃) and start scoping out supplies from places like Target (the dollar section) and Dollar Tree! A lot of the items you need to fill in space can be bought here at very low prices! You can also use items bought at these stores and add a pop of color, a bit of bling, and a touch of personalization!

2. Figure out your budget and stick to it! If you don’t set a budget you have no way of tracking how much you’ve spent, what you’ve spent it on, and it helps you to not over spend. If your budget is $400 dollars you need to break that up in sections (ex. $150 on food $50 on decorations $100 on entertainment etc etc). Make the decision of what’s most important based on the guests you’ll be entertaining. If you know that the majority of your guests will be new Moms that are still nursing, there’s no need to spend much on alcohol. Instead put more money towards food!

3. Internet shopping! Party supply stores and their prices will make you reconsider hosting a party! Some of their prices are insane and they can get away with it because the demand for party decor (balloons, invitations etc)are high in demand. If you start planning early, internet stores such as Amazon and Oriental Trading are FANtastic and will save you tons of money AND the items are delivered straight to your doorstep! There are so many more selections to chose from on these sites than you’ll find at your chain party store!

4. DIY…or find a friend who can! If you want to include really cute and colorful floral arrangements and use those as your centerpieces, look up how to create the exact look that’s perfect for your party. If you simply don’t have the knack for design, I’ll bet you have a friend or 2 who have the time and would love to practice up on their skills. Let them help! This also gives them the chance to display their gift of design and gives your party the perfect touch of personalization that you want.

5. Timing!!! When deciding on the time you want to host your party, go back and revisit your budget. If your budget isn’t that much for food, pick a time frame like 2:00-4:00 where your guests have already eaten lunch and will leave before it’s dinner time! That way you can just provide party snacks, drinks, and dessert!

6. Embrace anything that’s no cost! Create your own playlist instead of hiring a DJay, have a funny or talented friend, let them provide entertainment! Throw up a white sheet in the backyard and show a movie via projector! It’s always okay to use what you’ve got. Dust whatever it is off a bit and give it new life!

7. Take people up on their offers! If your guests would like to bring a delicious dish, by all means let them. Especially if you know the crowd will go wild for whatever treat they bring.

8. Have fun, enjoy your guest, make sure you eat, and save the cleaning for the morning after 😘

To see pictures from some of my events or if you’re in the market for an event or wedding planner, check out my FB page for Before the Cake Events or you can find us on WeddingWire.

Happy Planning!

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