Wanna know how to save money and still pull off a super cute party?
Before I begin, I have two things to say:
1) I am not an expert party planner. That title goes to Lindsey. Frankly, I learned all these tricks from going to enough of her parties. I’m just passing it along. Doing my part, you know.
2) STEP AWAY FROM THE PARTY AISLE. Put down the crepe streamers. Don’t even *look* at the latex balloons. And if you even so much as glance at the matching plate/cup/napkin sets, I will reach through this computer screen right. now. Don’t think I won’t turn this car around…
First, keep in mind what holiday/season it is. Trying to throw a lavender party in the middle of December can prove to be a challenge. Valentine’s Day was only 2 weeks before the shower, so I decided on pink/red/white…but NO hearts. I wanted to take advantage of all the pink/red decor in stores (and on clearance on February 15th!), but I didn’t want to confuse the shower for a Valentine’s Day party.
Another money saver is to use fresh flowers wherever you can. It adds lots of color, and it’s always festive and nicer looking than those weird honeycomb centerpieces you buy at party stores. I always go to Costco for my flowers. You get a ton for cheap.
Scour your house for things you can re-use. I already owned this runner and I have a few boxes of mason jars for stuff like this. Some grosgrain ribbon and a big pink button hot glued on adds some detail.
Don’t spend a ton of money on paper napkins. Buy solid napkins in a coordinating color and then stamp them. Michael’s sells a bunch of stamps for $1 and it only takes a minute. Ideally, I will one day bite the bullet and just buy a big bunch of white cloth napkins. Keep in mind that the fewer paper products you have, the nicer your party will look AND the cheaper it will be.
Remember how I said to scour your house?…notice the red pitcher? Perfect. Also, make it a point to incorporate your party colors into your food and drink. It just adds one more level of detail to your decor. Without succumbing to balloons and streamers.
Invest in plain white serving dishes. White is key. That way, you can use them for any party and any color scheme. And when I say invest, what I actually mean is buy random white pieces whenever you come across them on clearance. I have good luck at Kohl’s. The “runner” you see there? Just four rolls of ribbon strung across a white tablecloth and some extra buttons sprinkled along. Speaking of tablecloths…do me a favor and promise yourself to never buy those icky plastic ones please. “Invest” in 3 or 4 white tablecloths. Use them over and over.
Um, I pretty much hate streamers. Unless you can come up with a fun and funky way to use them, don’t do it. I usually make Martha Stewart’s Tissue Pom Poms, but I feel like I’ve used those the last few parties I’ve done and I was tired of it. So, this time I cut a bunch of pink/white/red circles, taped them to thread, and then hung them from the ceiling.
Throw parties as a team if you can. You know all those people who call and ask if they can help? And you know how you always say “oh no, I’m fine!” Knock it off. Accept the help. You get no brownie points in heaven for throwing showers solo.
Feel free to raid your friends’ houses too. Well, that is, if your friends have good taste. If they don’t, please refrain.
I paid Joy to look this happy. That, or she’s packing a flask of something…and I don’t think it’s Sunny D. ;)
I only include this because it makes me laugh. Poor Jill looks like she’s a bit afraid of being dropped.
I plead the fifth.
Thanks to: Kate, Ruth, Dori, Debbi, Joy, Lindsey I., & Laurie for all your help!