dreams of throwing the ultimate bash, that one amazing function that
has your guests talking about it for days, even weeks later. But in
today’s budget conscious economy, how is it possible to take
your guests’ breath away, without taking yourself to the poor
house? The answer just might be simpler than you think — all
it takes is a little creativity, a theme and some work. After all,
what’s a little time and hard work when it comes to creating
By dreaming up a theme for your occasion, you give yourself a jumping off
point. Themes can range from the simple to the elaborate, depending on
your goal. The theme will guide you in your selections about decor, food
and beverages, even what you might wear.
Before you start buying things however, set a budget for your event and
stick to it. Out of this budget, plan on about 75 percent of the budget
going toward food and beverages and 25 percent going toward decor. Even
with doing everything yourself, you are still looking at a minimum of about
$10 per person and up. This figure will help you decide how many people
you can invite while still staying within your established budget. You
can always invite fewer guests and do a more elaborate function as well.
Some themes you might consider: An Asian Experience, Blues and BBQ, High
Rollers (A Casino Theme), Shaken Not Stirred (A Martini Affair), or even
a Meteor Shower — the reasons to celebrate are endless. Design your
invites or evites around the theme — shaped like a martini glass,
for instance. In today’s online society, I prefer the evite. If you
aren’t familiar with evite.com, I highly recommend it. You can customize
and send out your “evitations” — then as each person
RSVPs they can also add messages for the rest of the attendees. It also
makes it easy to track who has responded and to follow up with those who
Plan your menu and beverage selections accordingly and be creative. If
you choose an unusual theme, like a meteor shower, consider taking cocktails
and assigning them names such as a “Saturn Slush” or a “Rocket
Shooter.” Do the same with the menu items. How about offering some
star fruit for this astronomical affair? Encourage guests to come dressed
in theme attire to really get them into the spirit of things.
With the holidays upon us it’s practically impossible to miss an
opportunity to snag a theme that’s already a long-held tradition.
Christmas, Hannukah, New Year’s and the Winter Solstice are also
perfect reasons to celebrate and easy to decorate for: Menorahs, dreidles,
Christmas trees (real ones are great but the revolving silver trees with
a changing color wheel are the bomb), spray snow, mistletoe, retro holiday
cocktail music, some apples and cinammon on the stove and a log in the
fireplace can make your place a hoppin’ party pad for the holiday
Even the humblest of us secretly dream that our next event will be so remarkable,
so awe-inspiring, that it will set the standard for all future affairs.
We dream of it, but for most the reality of the price tag is a nightmare.
With proper planning and some budget conscious creativity, your party legacy
will last a lifetime.
Kristi A Larson is BellaOnline’s
party planning editor.