Do's & Don'ts for Hosting Events on a Budget

Whether you are looking to host a 50th birthday celebration, graduation party, or wedding, many hosts are trying to do so without breaking the bank, and we don't blame them!

So, how do you host an event without blowing your budget out of the water? Here are some of our tips!

Here are the do's...

Do prioritize the details for your event.

Determine early on in the planning process what is most important to you for the event. What are your "must haves?" An open bar? All fresh floral decor? An awesome band? Choose the top two or three things that are most important to you and categorize them as non-negotiable in your budget. By naming the items you are not willing to sacrifice for your event, you can go ahead and allocate the funds in your budget to those things, and understand that the other items that make up the event are able to be compromised or removed altogether.

Do look at alternative days and times to hold the event.

Weekend evenings, particularly Saturdays, are always going to be peak pricing. They are the "bread and butter" for the events industry, so pricing is going to be highest during that time. Look at your event and see if an alternative time could also fit. Brunch events, particularly weddings, are super on-trend for this year and typically offer a much lower price tag than the traditional Saturday night affair for things like venues and possible other vendors. Also look at hosting your event during the week. Nights like Thursdays are still close to the weekend, but are not traditionally as busy from a vendor perspective, so you may find lower prices that will help with your overall budget.

Do opt for cocktail style.

In lieu of a full dinner for the event, look at the option of passed appetizers that can be served cocktail-style at the event. Not only will you end up saving a ton of your budget on the catering side of things, but by limiting the number of seats at the event and going for a more "mix-and-mingle" feel that a cocktail party has, you'll save money on decorations and centerpieces. It's a win-win!

And now for the don'ts...

Don't assume the budget will work itself out.

When you begin to plan any event, be upfront and honest about what you have to work with. Determine if anyone else will help contribute to the budget for the event, and if so, how much they will be contributing, and when they will have the funds to you. Once you know exactly what your budget is, you can begin allocating it out to areas of the event.

Don't splurge on favors.

While Pinterest may show tons of cute ideas for personalized favors for a party, it's not normally something that has functionality at an event. Sure, a detail shot of your monogrammed coasters will look great in your facebook album, but sometimes those personalized favors can be costly, and very few of your guests care to have coasters (or wine glasses, candles, etc.) with your event information on it to display in their home. Don't splurge on something that could easily end up being left behind, or worse, in the garbage. Instead, splurge on something like a photo booth that gives your guests an activity to do at the event and a favor to take home, or something edible to enjoy at the end of the party.

Don't be afraid to adjust your guest list.

The number one piece of advice we give clients when they are evaluating their budget is if you want to have all of the traditional items at your event (full dinner, ability to pay for at least some drinks, photo booth, etc.) generally speaking, a small budget equals a small guest list. The easiest way to make room in your budget to have all of the items you want is to reduce the number of people you invite to the event.

All-in-all, the most important item when it comes to budgeting for an event is to be honest with yourself about what the budget is and sticking to it. In the long run, you will have less stress and be able to enjoy your event more!


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