Events To Remember's 10 Quick Tips for Planning a Holiday Party on a Budget!
1. Lists: I can not stress enough how important your lists are, so be sure to follow this step, as it’s guaranteed to save you money! Start with your To-Do List, create a list with everything you need to do to make this event a reality, i.e., create guest list, clean up the house, write up the dinner menu, etc. Next, create your Shopping List; this is a big money saver because if you go into the Supermarket without one, you surly will spend on things you really don’t need; be sure to use those circulars to price compare.
2. Invitations: I must admit, I’m big on invitations, I think they set the tone for your event, but if you’re planning something informal with friends, then a quick phone call, Facebook® Invite or Evite® will do the trick.
3. Menu Selection: A nice way to cut your budget is to change up your typical “Full Dinner” Menu to something lighter like an Hors d’Oeuvres + Menu. You’ll need two stationary platters for guests, i.e., Vegetable Crudités, Antipasto, Cheese & Fruit, etc. A signature salad, some rolls and something filling like a pasta dish, sliced ham or turkey, and then Hors d’Oeuvres (at least 5 different choices). Dessert can be simple, like an inexpensive ($30) chocolate fountain with as assortment of fruit, pretzels and pound cake/brownie bites. Your guests will bring plenty of sweet treats, so put those out with your dessert – more savings!
4. Alcohol: The costs of alcohol can add up really quickly, especially when you are trying to provide different types of alcohol & mixers for every drink that was ever created. Here’s what I recommend to save you lots of money: only serve beer (one brand, just be sure to have regular & light), wine (moderately priced red & white wine), and one “Holiday” specialty drink like a Peppermint Patty (e-mail me for the recipe: EventsCJH@EventsRemember.com).
5. Rentals: One of the biggest misconceptions is that you save money by buying paper & plastic - NOT TRUE! Chances are, you are spending more on paper then you would by simply renting, i.e., plates ($1 PP), glasses ($1 PP) and flatware (.80¢ PP). Yes, rentals are a little bit more work at the end of the night, but, a)they save you money, b) they give your event a nicer look & c) they are better for the environment!
6. Décor: Oohh, my favorite… and you don’t have to spend a lot of money to make your décor look fabulous. Let’s start with your table linen, yes, cover that table with something glittery - rent one or hit the fabric store, purchase a couple of yards and make one. Next, your centerpiece (it’s nice to work with three colors), let’s use what we already have, grab a tray and fill it with a size-assortment of non-scented pillar candles. Add some fruit (apples, cranberries & oranges), walnuts and pine cones in between the candles. Finish off the look with some white pine & fir garland pieces, and add a couple of ornaments on top of the garland to finish off the look. Ready for the best part - your home is already decorated for the holiday, so your done!
7. Music: For you IPod lovers, create a Party Play list, and let the music play on or put that monthly cable bill to use, all of the cable companies offer music channels from Jazz to Christmas Music, so turn on the tube!
8. Help: You’ve saved hundreds by making all of the food instead of hiring a caterer, so treat yourself to some wait staff help for the evening, let them serve and clean up. It’s a small investment for you to really get to enjoy your party, and a great treat to yourself after having cooked all that food.
9. Thank You Gifts: Dig in your cabinets, and find a large glass jar, fill it with colorful candy. It will serve as your dessert table centerpiece, and once the party is over, pull out your holiday themed goody bags with a scoop, and have your guest help themselves by filling up their goody bags with the candy.
10. Enjoy: Make sure that at the end of the evening, you’ve had a great time and really enjoyed yourself. You’ve spent a lot of time planning and preparing, so truly enjoy yourself and think about all the money you saved! If you still need help or just don’t want to be botherd, just give us a call (914) 396-7664!
Chereese Jervis-Hill, President, Events To Remember, EventsCJH@EventsRemember.com, www.EventsRemember.com.