French champagne, caviar, fresh rolled sushi; sure all of these things help make a fabulous party, but they’re also overpriced and completely unnecessary. If you love hosting parties as much as I do, then it’s all the more important to host them on a budget. That is, unless you want to go broke and later host parties in your cardboard box.
Not to worry: Here are 5 great tips to host that fab party without maxing your credit card:
1. Create a Theme. Choosing a theme not only helps you plan your party, but it makes it that much more interesting. On top of that, it even helps you save money. How? Sticking to only theme oriented party goods makes you a lot less likely to buy a little of this and some of that to please a crowd. For example, choose Italy as your theme. Now you only have to plan Italian food instead of a spread worthy of Thanksgiving. With Italy as your theme, some bruschetta, olives, cheese and crackers will be all you need. As for drinks, serve Italian beer or wine. Save even more cash by asking guests to bring something Italian-themed. Make the party extra memorable by taking the theme up as many notches as you want!
2. Say What? You may think conversation starters are only for people who are socially inept. Think again. Even the most social people love a new conversation that steers clear of weather, shopping and work. Before your party begins, type out a bunch of fun questions from the likes of would you rather or any ice-breaker book. Cut out the questions individually and place one of each in your glassware. Before you fill your guests’ drinks, they must take out their question. Upon getting their filled glass, send them to mingle about and ask away from their assigned question. After a drink or two the game just gets that much more entertaining. Your guests will go home feeling revived by the new information and change of pace your party provided. What’s the weather? Who knows? No one talked about it chez vous.
3. Go for the Cava. As mentioned above, of course champagne makes for an extra special night. But you’ll be broke faster than you can polish off a bottle if you supply all of your parties with the real stuff. So with big apologies to my good friends who live in the heart of Champagne, France – I’m telling you all to buy Cava, a.k.a. Spanish sparkling wine. It tastes great, it looks glamorous, it costs ten bucks. Done.
4. Get Moving. You know how every party ends up huddled around the kitchen table or island. Avoid having that at your party by spreading all of the food and drinks around. If you’re worried about messes then choose your finger foods wisely and move rugs or items that you worry about pre-party. Point is, you don’t want your guests feeling squished at the food table, you want them mingling about – so lure them in to new places with food and drink carts.
5. Creativity Counts. Always ask yourself before hosting a party: how can I make this more interesting? There are countless ways, all of them on the cheap. How about a scavenger hunt? What if you pretend you’re producing a cooking show and your record your friends working through a recipe? What if everything has a 1920s vibe, from the music to the drinks to what you ask your friends to wear? Breaking out of the mold for a memorable night can mean more fun and less cash so put your brain to work.
What are your favorite party hosting tips?
This is a guest post from Courtney Lochner. Courtney writes for Glamour Magazine, Société Perrier, Europe From a Backpack Travel Guides, The Budget Fashionista and much more. Based out of Chicago she is is also frequently found in Paris, Krakow or Rio and almost always, with a glass of wine in hand. Follow her @courtneylochner.