As there are so many official holidays and events coming up in the next few months, such as August bank holiday, the big Macmillan coffee morning, Halloween, Bonfire night, and of course Christmas; there will be so many people that will be deciding to gather a few friends and family around and have a bit of a party or celebration. Whether that’s a small intimate get together, to celebrate the long bank holiday weekend, or a huge birthday celebration. I want to share with you my tips on how to plan a celebration on a budget.
Back in October I threw a massive party in order to celebrate my 16th birthday, and along with my mum, I planned every single part of it. We didn’t have a massive amount of money to play with and knew that the biggest amounts would have to go on the DJ and the Venue. Therefore all the other components had to be done cheaply, but super effectively. So we went all out and rang and visited loads of venue’s, bought lot’s of decorations, and I referred a lot to my party ideas Pinterest board, in order to create the perfect 16th birthday, on a reasonable budget.
So, I feel in a good position to share with you my best tips and tricks on how to create an amazing celebration, with not such an amazing budget.
1. The Venue
This is the thing that you need to prioritise the most, as it is the single most important thing about your celebration. If you don’t have a venue, then you won’t be able to have a party or celebration. Therefore, when planning a party think about the venue first, and consider whether you want it to take place in your house, garden, at a local place such as at a community centre or club. Then consider whether you know anyone who could help you get a discount or money off, whether that’s a friend who works at the local golf club and can get you a discount, or your family member has an amazing garden and would be prepared to let you use it for your party.
*Tip: Always think logically when deciding on your budget for your venue, it should probably be just under half of your budget, as you don’t want to end up with an amazing venue but not any food, decorations or entertainment to go along with that.
2. The Food
Now you’ve sorted out your venue, it’s time to talk food. First you need to decide if you want food at your celebration, most people usually do, and what type of food are you going to offer. It could be a full blown 3 course meal, a buffet, sharing plates served to each table, or just a small selection of nibbles. Then you need to consider how you will provide the food, such as will the venue be able to make and provide the food for you, at so much per head, will you make it along with help from your family and friends, will you get outside caterers to come in, or will you go to a large wholesale store, such as Costco, and buy items already pre-made to serve.
*Tip: Remember when considering food, make sure that you are able to afford to serve for the amount of people you want to invite to your party, and if not, think of an alternative way of providing food, or cut down the invite list. Just make sure you don’t blow a big amount of your budget on food, unless that is the main feature of the event.
3. The Entertainment
So, you’ve thought about the venue, and you’ve thought about the food; now it’s time for the entertainment. This is a really broad thing, and you can do all most anything. You need to think about what you want to have as you’re entertainment, for example a DJ, a local band to perform, party games, an ipod playing music etc.. After that you need consider whether you just one 1 form of entertainment, or do you want extra’s, such as two bands performing, or a dj and a singer, or a dj and a photo booth.
*Tip: There are always ways to make entertainment cheaper to provide or produce. For example instead of hiring a proper photo booth, have a D.I.Y one that your guests can have fun in, or see if you know anyone who is a dj or who can dj, and can do it at a cheaper deal for you. Also sometimes the venue comes with entertainment people that they regularly use, that are trusted and reliable, always pursue them as you may get a better price.
4. The Decorations
So after considering all the practical elements to your party, it’s now time to consider the visual elements, and what will make your party look visually stunning. You need to consider what types of decoration you want to use, such as banners, balloons, confetti etc… Then think about where you will purchase your decorations from, for example the best places to go for decorations are generally super markets or pound shops. They won’t have the quality, but you will only need them for one night, so that really doesn’t matter. Also make sure that you ask your venue what you’re allowed to do decoration wise, so there is no issues at the end of the night.
*Tip: See whether you can make any decorations yourself, for example I made loads of paper pom pom’s to hang from the beams for my party. Generally this is a cheaper way of doing it, and it makes it super personal. Also see if anyone you know can make you something, such as bunting. This will be individual to you and you can use it again.
5. The Extra’s
Finally it’s time to think about all the little extra parts to your party, for example how you will invite people to your celebration and favours you want to provide them with at the end of the night, as a thank you for them coming. Regarding invites, think about the way you will invite people and if you will traditionally send them or give them a paper invite, or you could email or text them about it. It could also just be word of mouth or you could put posters up around you’re local area, if it’s a community event that is open to the public. Then there’s the favours. For my party I still wanted to give something away, like a party bag, but without being that expensive. Therefore I did sweetie bags that I filled with a mixture of sweets from a big wholesaler, and then wrapped them up myself.
*Tip: I think this is the most enjoyable part of planning your event, as you can actually do a lot of it yourself. Make it super creative and get your hands dirty. Look for inspiration on the internet, and especially on Pinterest. I love it.
I hope that you now feel very inspired and full of tricks and tips in order to help you plan your next party or celebration.
*Make sure to check out my Party Ideas Pinterest board for more inspiration and tips.