Party planning has always been one of my favorite things! As a mama of an infant on a budget, that task has become a bit more of a challenge. Before children when time is endless and money is much more disposable, party planning is a lot more doable. Now as a parent, I’ve had to plan quite a bit differently! I have a 6 month old, but I already have my wheels turning figuring out what to do for his first birthday. These days, it’s pretty standard to pay someone to make a really great cake, have the most adorable party favors, order everything custom from Etsy, or decorate like you invented the world of Pinterest. And those things are all well and good, but let’s be real here…I’m a busy mama, staying at home and we don’t have the disposable income we used to. So that’s not happening! Whether you’re planning a gender reveal, a birthday, a bachelorette or a retirement, here are some really great tips for how to have the best party on a budget!
Rally the Troops
Just as we say, “It takes a village to raise a child” I would say, “Party planning shouldn’t be a one man show”. It is ALWAYS good to have people helping you when you’re putting together an important and/or large event. It might just be a friend who checks in on you every once in a while and says, “Hey, can I help you with anything for the party? Pick something up? Babysit while you shop?” Sometimes it’s friends or family who are willing to pitch in even more than that. Maybe your mom is great at baking cakes or your best friend enjoys crafting. Ask them to contribute something! It’s one thing to plan a party alone, it’s another thing to do it on a budget. You have to get creative and having people rally around you will help make that happen!
Do It Yourself (DIY)
There are so many things that can be ordered or paid for that most mamas can do themselves. Figure out what you’re most closely bent toward – whether it’s baking the cake, making invitations or DIYing the decor (or some of it). For me, I have watched my mama bake our birthday cakes since I can remember and I’ve always wanted to follow in her footsteps in that! Recently, I pitched in for my friend and baked the cake for her daughter’s first birthday! It was such great practice, my mom showed me all her tricks and now I’m even more prepared to bake my son’s cake on his birthday. Find something you can learn to do, or use the talents and skills you already possess.
Give Yourself TIME
Start thinking AHEAD. My best advice is to give yourself 2-3 months to get everything together (give or take depending on the size and type of event you’re hosting). My son’s birthday is in June, so I’m planning to really get things moving starting in late March. This gives me ample time to pick a date, come up with a great theme, send out invites, gathers supplies/decor, etc.
Use a Planner
The word “planning” in the phrase party planning is of UTMOST importance. Find a system that works best for you and start making your lists. Figure out all the little details. Write down who and how many guests you’ll be inviting, decide on a menu, if there will be activities, party favors, and more. Try to think through each part of the event so that you’re not stressing at the last minute!
Keep It Simple
Maybe you’re not the party planning extraordinaire or the hostess with the mostess. That is OKAY! First, let me say, it doesn’t have to be perfect. No matter the event, I’m fairly confident that your guests will enjoy themselves just because of the occasion that is being celebrated. But, if you’re one to stress and get overwhelmed, just stick to the basics! Let everyone know it’s happening, have something for you guests to eat, and have fun! That’s what parties are for anyway, right?!
What are your favorite party planning tips? Let us know in comments below!