By Denile Doyle
Hosting an event can involve a variety of different expenses. Of course, you want your event to be the ish, but you probably don’t want your spending to get out of control once you realize there are a dozen different add-ons you just have to have. These creative ideas will help you save money, without compromising style.
1. Electronic invitations
Email invites are the new go-to for hosts and party planners. Many websites offer free or inexpensive packages to deliver invites to your guests. You can design your invitations, send to your guests and keep track of your RSVPs. The entire process is a breeze, and you’ll save on paper invitations, envelopes, postage, and time. Check out websites like Evite, Paperless Post, Punchbowl for hundreds of options.
2. Floral ice cubes
Do you want to add a creative element to your décor? Frozen flowers ought to do the trick. Pick up some small edible flowers at your local farmers’ market, or you can order online from sites like melissas.com. Floral ice cubes are a creative way to brighten your drinks with a pop of color, and when the cubes melt, the flowers will spruce up your drink with floral flavors.
3. Handmade Labels
DIY labels and placeholders are easy to make and ridiculously cheap to create. You’ll find hundreds of templates and ideas online, and you can get most of your materials at a craft store or from Amazon. Your signage can be as fancy as you like. If you have neat handwriting, that’s enough to create fancy lettering with a personalized touch. If you’re more artistic, you can show off your skills and make your labels even more creative. Use labels for your food and drinks, party favors, and to spruce up your placeholders.
4. Appetizers Only
The menu is one of the more expensive components of any good party. We’re not saying you should be cheap, but you can definitely go the less expensive route and still serve food that hits the mark with your guests. You can serve appetizers only, which limits the amount of food you need to buy and makes your food go further. Select appetizers at different price points, and only choose as many as you think you’ll need.
5. Make your own or Bring your own
Another way to save money on your menu is by preparing a self-service food bar or hosting a potluck. You can go with a make-your-own taco bar with meat, tortillas, veggies, and the usual trimmings. Guests can make their own tacos, and you don’t have to worry about serving platters, china, or washing a lot of dishes afterward. A potluck is another option to make your event more creative. You can tell guests to bring a signature dish or dessert, and you’ll have an assortment of food — enough that your guests can surely find something they like or try something new.
6. Small Desserts
Get creative with your desserts by going small. Just like appetizers make your food go further, small desserts will go further than one or two big desserts. The best part — tiny things are oh so cute, so your tiny desserts will deliver on cuteness and deliciousness. Yummy ideas include cake pops or mini cupcakes, mini cheesecakes, mini donuts, tartlets, chocolates or cookies.
7. Make Drinks in Batches
Save time and money by making batches of drinks, so your guests can serve themselves and you can save the time spent making individual drinks for everyone. A spiked fruit punch or a margarita, sangria or mojito pitcher are some options for your guests’ differing tastes.
You can save on some serious cash by DIYing all your decorations. Unless you need to decorate extravagantly, you can make fun and interesting decorations with things you already have, or you can buy basic supplies that are so cheap, even the thriftiest decorator would approve. Make string light features with plastic cups or repurpose old wine bottles or mason jars for more statement lighting that you can set on your table, or on the ground if your event is outdoors. You can repurpose empty wine bottles in a dozen different ways and incorporate them into your event décor. Upgrade your bottles by adding a finish such as fabric, yarn, glitter, metallic paint, or colorful paint, and highlight your work of art as your centerpiece. Need some inspiration? Check out Pinterest for endless creative ideas.
Let your inner DIYer out with personalized party favors for your guests. You can make boxes and fill them with chocolates or treats, so guests can indulge in more dessert treats when they get home. You can also use small paper bags for these. Make your own labels and attach to your favors, with a thank-you message, for a favor that says “I’m so glad you came.”