Planning The Perfect Party (On A Budget)

Party planning is one of my favourite things to do in the holidays. I am the type of person who loves to be busy, so even in my down time I look for things to keep me occupied! Party planning is not difficult, you just have to find the easiest way to do it that allows you to enjoy the party as well!


Step 1: Set a budget

This will inform the planning for the rest of the party, so it’s the most important step!


Step 2: Set the time and date, and send out the invites

Be careful of inviting too many people, you don’t want to feel like your splitting yourself into too many pieces on the night of the party, trying to entertain six different friend circles! You can design your own invite online, there are plenty of free online tools to use!


Step 3: The Menu

There are ways to make the menu much cheaper by doing things yourself, but make sure you have enough prep time so that you don’t spend the evening cooking! A great idea to save yourself from cooking all day is to order platters from a local catering business (they will appreciate the business too!). If you would prefer to prepare the food yourself, then you can make tons of stuff with the frozen puff pastry you can buy at the shops, and Pinterest is your BFF for this! Choose a dessert you can make the night before and refrigerate (see my Israeli cheesecake recipe from a few posts ago). You don’t have to do a main meal if the vibe of your party is drinks and finger foods, but if you do want to have a main meal, there are a few things that will save you time and money. If you do cold salads, you can make them the night before. You can even do gammon like you would for Christmas day, because that can also be served cold. The other option is to do a roast – the prep time takes a while, but once it’s in the oven you don’t have to do too much. Then you can ask one of the male guests to do the honours of carving it up at the table and it makes for great giggles and chatter around the table! You can save time by buying pre-cut vegetables instead of chopping and peeling all morning. And finally, you can absolutely ask the guests to bring their own drinks. Drinks are expensive, and we all have different preferences, so trying to cater for everyone is costly and pointless!


Step 4: The décor

You don’t have to go and buy new stuff, look at what you have lying around the house and see how you could re-purpose it! Fabric that’s been sitting in your cupboard can make the perfect table runner, or centrepiece décor. You can print a picture and laminate it to make placemats instead of buying fancy ones. You can fold paper serviettes into beautiful shapes to make the table look beautiful. It’s much easier to pick a colour scheme than a theme, because then you have more options, and you don’t even have to stick to one shade of blue or pink, you can mix and match and it will still look beautiful! If you have NOTHING at home to decorate with, ask some friends if they have stuff you could borrow first. Your last resort is to hire or go shopping somewhere like China Mall, where the prices are reasonable! Lay out the table, put glasses either at each place or have a drinks station. Make sure to buy some ice for those people who enjoy an ice block in their drinks!


Step 5: Your outfit

If you want to buy new, go ahead, but otherwise, the people who love you don’t really care if you’ve worn that dress before. Pick something in advance, and lay out your whole outfit the night before, accessories included, so that right before guests are about to arrive you can freshen up and look amazing with zero stress! I know it’s not part of the outfit, but make sure your camera/ phone is charged for photos! Get your nails done a few days before. Plan your hairstyle, and make sure you set aside a good two hours for hair, make-up and dollying up!


Step 6: Enjoy!

Congratulations, you’ve just executed the perfect décor, menu and outfit. All that’s left is for you to enjoy the company and have fun!



Cassie Rae

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