Whether we like it or not, we will all at one point have to wear the event planning cap. Why is that? Because we are human, and along with our humanity come life celebrations: baby showers, weddings, graduations, anniversaries, retirements, funerals, and the list goes on and on. I'm sure that I don't need to convince you that these events, though amazing opportunities to bond with family and friends, can make a major dent in your savings, or even worse, increase the number that's already red.
However, life is for living and important occasions need to be celebrated, financial burden aside. Thankfully, there are some tricks you can use to keep your events affordable and tasteful without appearing to be stingy, especially under the categories of venue, food, and entertainment.
1. Save on your venue
Whether you have the chance to host at your home or you prefer to keep the crowd of your tiny apartment, you'll find that you have plenty of options for your venue. If you like hosting and you have enough room for the number of guests invited, your own home can prove to be the best option. You have full control over the décor, the atmosphere, and the service at your event. If you are uncomfortable with this option, look for restaurants at your price point who don't charge you for room or restaurant reservation. In the case that this doesn't suit you either, research local halls and venues that can be an affordable option for your big event!
2. Figure out food
Food is going to be a major expense at your event. However there are some tricks to help you navigate around spending a fortune. One idea is to avoid having a sit-down meal. That's right, skip dinner altogether. Either have a casual brunch get together where you can set out fruit salad, muffins, pastries and coffee, or alternately have a late evening cheese and crackers spread with interesting appetizers. This isn't really an option for every celebration, so if you find yourself needing a meal without slaving in the kitchen yourself (which is great if you can cook), reach out to a company that provides full-service custom catering for a wide variety of corporate-related events. That's right. Even though some companies might market themselves to be only for weddings or only for corporate events, take a shot and inquire about them servicing your event. You'll find that many of them are very flexible with the menu and prices, so don't be afraid to set up a meeting and voice all your budget and other concerns.
3. Budget entertainment
So some time has gone by. The food has been served and the small talk is getting…tiny. It's time for some entertainment. No one is expecting you to invite the Rolling Stones or have your backyard transformed to accommodate for Cirque de Soleil. However, it is your responsibility as host to provide some sort of activity or entertainment for your guests. Depending on the nature of the event, some affordable options include hiring musicians from a local music school, finding a young, talented DJ, or an amateur magician. Some might even consider dropping their usual rates if the crowd and the exposure are big enough to warrant it. If you are looking to have something for even less money, consider setting up a photo booth and asking a friend or family member to play photographer. Another idea is to organize a group game that all with be able to engage in and laugh about together, whether they were directly involved or not.
Celebrations are an important part of life, and planning events are a great way to share them with friends. When you use money saving techniques while planning it, you will be smiling twice as big at the party!
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