Whether you’re promoting a new brand, hosting a gala, or throwing a dinner party, you want your event to leave a lasting positive impression. Contrary to popular belief, it is possible to do this on a limited budget! Setting a budget at the start of your planning process will help maintain costs and won’t empty the bank account by the finale. Here are some helpful ways to cut costs while throwing an event your guests are sure to love. 

The thing that, in our opinion, truly gets people in the doors? FOOD AND DRINK. In any scenario, the refreshments lie at the core of a positive guest experience, so you want to make sure needs are met both in quality and quantity. Food and beverages can become expensive, so it’s crucial to weigh your options!  

Buffets are typically the financially sound options for large events, and by not hiring wait staff, you can save loads of money. Plus, it’s always more appealing when you can customize your own plate, and it adds to the experience! Consider choosing an inexpensive buffet menu, such as a taco bar. 

You can also schedule your event between mealtimes so guests don’t expect a full-course meal. If you do this, consider placing less expensive hors d’oeuvres on a buffet table while the more costly options are passed around. A mix of buffet and tray service will help balance the quantity of the appetizers while saving money.  

Open bars are ideal but can be cash guzzlers. If you can provide this, negotiate a “pay by consumption” option rather than per person. You may also want to consider an open beer/wine bar with the option for guests to pay for cocktails if they’d like. Looking to cut the open bar idea altogether? Don’t stress. Providing drinks, even if guests must pay, will keep them happy, and more times than not, guests will just appreciate that there are alcoholic beverages available. 

In terms of decorations, sometimes less is more. Keeping the tones monochromatic can help create a polished atmosphere. Using string lights or imitation flickering candles are great, budget-friendly choices for events. These details add elegance and class to the ambiance. Likewise, the use of fake flowers can elevate any event. They appear very lifelike and are much more affordable than real flowers. 

For music, hiring a DJ is your best bet. This allows you to set a specific playlist and provides you with someone to play the music and MC. You can easily control the vibes of the music, and it leaves more space for the event, unlike if you hired a band. You can also rent speakers and other sound system equipment at an affordable price if a DJ isn’t for you! 

Don’t be afraid to negotiate. There’s no harm in asking for a better price, and you may be surprised at the amount of times venues and vendors comply. Learn about current market averages in your area and talk your way to a better deal! 

The best thing you can do for your event, especially on a budget, is to PLAN EARLY. Staying under budget requires thought and logistical planning. Waiting too long can cause you to revamp your budget too close to the event, which can cause its downfall. Ensure your event is successful by thinking ahead and following these tips!