19 Tips for Throwing Great Parties on a Budget

If you wanna throw a
great party on a budget, then this episode is for you. (exciting music) Well, we all love a good party, don’t we? And we all would love to be
able to host a great party, whether it’s a wedding
shower, a baby shower, maybe a birthday party for
your kids or your spouse, or even your own wedding.
Unless you’re like Monica, and you refuse to call
your wedding a party. Remember when she was like, “Chandler, if you call my
wedding a party one more time, you may not be invited!” “Friends,” anyone? “Friends?”
(inhaling) Anyways, when you are throwing a party, there are two filters to
be thinking about, OK. So there’s the money filter
and the motivational filter. So depending on where you are financially, that’s going to affect what kind of party you’re going to throw. Listen, there’s a lot of
life events to celebrate. It’s so fun. We love confetti, we love balloons, but you have to be responsible
when it comes to your money, and also you wanna make
sure that your motivation is in the right spot. Now if you’re paying off debt or you’re saving up for
your emergency funds, then your party is probably
gonna look a little different than those of you who have no debt, a fully funded emergency fund, and you’re like rockin’ and rollin’, OK. But neither party is right or wrong, it’s all dependent upon
where you are financially. It reminded me of the story of Jay-Z when he was like in the
news a few months ago, because he took a bunch of people out and threw this big party
and spent 100 grand at this one restaurant, and people were like losin’ their minds. I was like, well, “I
wonder how rich Jay-Z is?” I mean, he’s married to Queen B so I mean like he’s gotta be doin’ pretty good, right? I mean, like, he’s a smart guy. And so I looked. Jay-Z, himself, he made $42 million last year. 42 million dollars! Like a million dollars, but
42 times in just a year. I mean like a lot of
money. It’s a lot of money. So he spent $100,000 in one night. OK, so what if you
just took some zeros off? That would be like someone
who makes $420,000 a year spending $1,000 on a party. Or if you’re making $42,000 a year, spending $100 on a party. $100, that’s what you spend
when you walk into Target. Yes, I know, I know you, yes. So, I mean, 100 bucks. I mean I’m looking and I’m like, yeah, Jay-Z you go spend 100
grand, I think you’re OK. And you could probably spend
it every night for the next two weeks and you’re still
gonna be fine, right? So, again, it’s ratio. So if you can pay for a great party, then go and have it. But if you can’t, then
your party’s gonna be more on a budget, which is still OK. Remember, people are coming to your party because they love you and not
all the stuff you’re doing to throw the party,
OK? So remember that. So when you’re looking at a party to throw and you’re like, “How much can I spend?” Remember our filters,
right, the money filter and the motivation filter. So if you have the money, but your motivation is
just because you wanna post on Instagram and get a lot of likes, not great motivation, so check yourself. Or if you have the money and
your motivation really is that I wanna throw a great
party for my friends, or I wanna throw a cute
one-year-old birthday party for my one-year-old and
I love to create things, good! Good motivation, good money. Good to go. Great! Or if you don’t have the money, then I don’t care what your motivation is your party’s gonna be on a budget. And, again, that is OK. So I have learned for
myself that I have fallen into both traps when it
comes to party planning. And I remember the first party
I threw when Winston and I moved to Nashville in our house,
it was kind of a disaster. (jazz piano music) So Winston and I had moved to Nashville. We had been in our house
for maybe like four months. We got part of a small group at church and there’s all these new people and it was right around Christmas time, and everyone was like, “Oh you know, we should do a small
group Christmas party.” I was like, “We can host, we can host!” I’m like 22 years old, right. Like we just got out of
college, just starting jobs, like just we don’t even have
furniture in our house, people. This is like where we’re at in life. But I was like, “No, we
can throw a great party; this is great.” So then I leave the small
group after we’ve decided we’re gonna throw the party, and I just kind of go in this spiral. I remember thinking, “Oh my gosh, everyone’s gonna come to our house, and what are they gonna expect? It has to be really nice and really great.” So I went to Pottery Barn and
I spent who knows how much on placemats and cloth napkins
and even the napkin rings, like all this stuff. You guys, we did not have the money for me to go to Pottery Barn and
spend on like placemats, OK? It was not a wise decision. But I was doing it
because I really was like, “Oh my gosh, these people have to think that I’m great, really.” Then I ask my sweet
mother of a great recipe because I wanted to cook a homemade meal. Why? I don’t know, bad motivation. Remember, bad motivation. And my mom was like, “Oh this is the
easiest chicken recipe ever.” It was some chicken recipe, but you’ve gotta fry it on the stove, then you put it and bake it, then you do all this other
stuff while it’s baking, and it’s supposed to be the most easiest, best chicken recipe ever. Well, it was like five minutes
before people were coming. I had like watery
spinach in the crock pot, some crock pot recipe I tried to make. My chicken was like, it looked disgusting. So I made Winston taste
it and he was like, “Babe, I don’t even think
it’s done,” and it wasn’t. It was like still raw in the middle. Within five minutes, it was
people were coming at 6:30, it was like 6:23 and I was breaking down. I was like, oh my gosh, this is so bad. So Winston had to go
to Publix, true story, and buy rotisserie chickens, and that’s all we ate was just chicken. We didn’t even have sides, we had nothing. It was a disaster. It really was. And I look back and I was
like, that was so silly of me. But that was, I mean, I was in this cycle of wanting to impress
everyone; I really was. Then I contrast that
with just two weeks ago, I had eight girlfriends over. We made pasta and a
salad, sat and drank wine. There were, I don’t even know if there were placemats. Actually, I think there were placemats that I had gotten from the
first party I ever threw. But there were paper napkins and we all just sat around
and talked, and it was so fun. I mean there was nothing. There was no flowers. There was nothing exciting about it, but I just wanted to
throw a girls’ night out, and we had such a good time. It’s just that reminder, you guys, that you can have a great
experience inviting people over, hosting, whether it’s a shower or it’s just a girls’ night out, whatever it is, and the
people that are coming are there for you, and
that’s their expectation. So do not feel like you have to spend a crazy amount of money, because even if you did,
and everything went right, and the chicken like actually was made correctly in the first party, I still, the night still
would have gone through and I would have been like,
“Eh, I guess it was OK” because my motivation was so off. So, have the right motivation
and don’t feel like you have to spend a ton of money. That’s one reason I am
so excited that Courtney from Pizzazzerie is
coming on the show next to show us how we can throw
a great party on a budget. (exciting music) Hey guys, I am here with
Courtney from Pizzazzerie, and we’re gonna talk all about
how to throw a great party. So thanks for being here.

“Excited to be here!” This is so fun.

“Yep.” So we’re gonna walk
through how to throw a great tailgating party, a baby
shower, and a birthday party. And thanks to my friends Home Chef for making this segment possible. So this first party is a tailgate party. “Football.”

I’m so ready for football. “So excited!”

So great. OK, so you have some great tips of how to host a great tailgating party. Stay on budget. So first thing is don’t feel obligated or, you know, like you have to go to your favorite burger
joint or barbecue place to get food for the crowd, because it’ll get expensive and fast. So make like large dish
recipes for a crowd like pasta salad, a lot of
burgers, a lot of hot dogs. Kind of make a few things
and just make a lot of them that are easy, crowd-pleasing favorites. Instead of small things, big. You’ll save money that way.

Big batch, absolutely. Love it, OK, tip number two? Number two, instead of
going to the party store where the prices are raised a little bit, head to the dollar store for
your team’s colors in plates, napkins, cups, and things.

Yes, I love that! That’s actually, like, that’s so great because this plate would be
orange if it was up to me, go Vols, but instead of it
feeling you have to buy like the logo T or all of that,

Yes and me too. you just get more,

Just stay in your color scheme.
– And it’s more simple. Yes. and it’s more simple and I kinda like that too.

Yes. Keep it classy, people.

Yeah. And cheap, it’s wonderful.

Absolutely! And last tip for a tailgating party? At the grocery store, don’t
feel like you have to buy the brand name everything.

That’s good. Buy store brand because
you’ll save a few dollars here and there and it really adds up when you’re throwing, like,
a big tailgating party. Yes, I mean mustard is mustard.

Yes. It’s all the same.

It’s all the same. So just get the store
brand and it’ll be awesome. So great. Oh, OK, before we head inside we’re probably gonna eat all this food,

Absolutely! because it smells so good. All right, next up we have baby showers which is like my season of life. Absolutely, I love to throw
baby showers, it’s so fun and one of my favorite types
of parties to throw. It’s so great, OK, so number one tip is? Clear glass or white
cake stands and trays. Oh I love that, yes. Because you can get them one time like from Home Goods, Target, and then you can use
them for any occasion, any color scheme, they’ll always works. Reuse and I think it
makes it look beautiful. I just feel like it makes
it look clean and classy. Goes with everything,

Yes, perfect. So great, all right, tip number two? Food. Don’t feel like you
have to serve a whole meal at a baby shower.

Oh that’s so good. Three to four appetizers, cupcakes or a cake, and you’re done.

Yes. It doesn’t have to be a
lot, the people are there– Which is so inexpensive, by the way. Finger foods, praise Jesus, hallelujah. Yes, and you’ll end up with leftover food, like it always happens because they’re there to see that mom-to-be.

Yes! So they don’t eat much! Yes, they’re busy kind of
watching her open the gifts, so that’s kind of what the focus is. So what foods? Do you like
doing more like of a brunch or an afternoon? Yes, I like brunch because I think it’s fun. People have normally had breakfast, they’re not looking for a
like a second breakfast. So just a few little
pick up things, fruit, and then you’re good to go.

So great. And it’s kind of a fun time of
day to come celebrate mom-to-be. Love it, finger foods on the
clear and whites, beautiful. OK, so last tip is? Flowers, don’t feel like you have to spend a ton of money at a florist. This one does stress
me out a little bit. It can rack up fast, but
you can do it yourself. Just visit a couple of grocery stores and then use

Grocery stores. smaller vases to kind of spread out flowers across your table and add greenery. I’ve even picked some
stems from my own yard to kind of add greenery and fluff up a few little arrangements. I love that.

And it’s easy. Yes,

So in things like Costco even, I have seen Costco when
I’ve walked by I’m like their flowers actually are beautiful and it’s great.

Yes! and it’s much more affordable, and, one thing I love to
do, is let the mom-to-be take home the flowers so she can use them to kind of brighten up
her home while she waits for baby’s arrival. Yes, OK, so good! Well I love these tips, they
feel so doable and affordable. Great, OK, so coming up next we have? Tips for birthday parties. Birthday parties … constant!

Yes, so fun. Yes, love it. All right, this is adorable. Thanks, I love birthday parties.

This is so cute. They’re my favorite.

Yes! So tip number one? Tip number one is party printables. You can make your own
and you don’t have to be super artsy craftsy.

That’s so good. You just need a printer
and some card stock. They even have some really
fun calligraphy fonts online for free that you can kind of
add and decorate, and they can still be really simple, and it kind of adds that
polished look to the party. So cute, and actually, I’m really excited because our team who
created these printables, you guys, for you. So this banner, these name
cards, and some other stuff, they’re adorable and free! So you should click the link
below to check those out. All right, tip number two? Number two, plan the time
of your party carefully. So if you don’t wanna have
to serve a whole meal, just like the baby shower,
do it in like the afternoon. Cake, a few snacks, and you’re good. You don’t have to serve a full
dinner to the neighborhood for a birthday party. So good, OK, I can’t
remember which kid it was. (laughing) Was it the first birthday
of Caroline maybe? But we did pizza, because I
love pizza, and I ordered a ton, and it was like, kind of expensive. When I got the total in
the app I was like, “Ew, God!” It adds up. I know, like Pirate’s Booty,
Chex Mix, just call it a day. Yes and cake, they’re all
there for the cake anyway, so you don’t have to kind of serve a full-on meal.

So good. So plan the time of your
party like 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. And then you kinda get out
of the full meal thing. I love it, love it. OK, last but not least? Cake, so one of my very
favorite tips for birthday parties is kind of decorate your own cake instead of going to like
an expensive bakery, head to the grocery store bakery and ask for a white buttercream cake. It’ll be the cheapest thing because they didn’t add
a lot of decorations Brilliant!

and add your own. So whether it’s just inexpensive candies, or a few extra floral blooms, or a fun little printable
sign, decorate it yourself. That’s so cute, I mean
like that cake? Adorable! And then it can match your theme, and you’re not like trying to
match colors with the bakery. Just do it yourself.

So great! OK, so you’re a mom
and you’re party planning and all of this, so what do you do? What’s your number one tip when you have a party, like the week of, that’s keeps you sane; what do you do? Yes, it can be hard, but it can be done. You just have to schedule
everything carefully. That’s good.

So don’t leave things to the last minute. So, coordinating with my husband, like if he has my little one like I’m working like crazy, and when she goes down at
night, working like crazy. You can get it all done, you just have to do it in the time slots that are right for the family schedule. That’s so good. I was throwing a shower for
my friend a few weeks ago, and I feel like my biggest
stress point was dinner because I prep every night. I’m like, “What are we gonna do for dinner?” So Home Chef for me
has literally saved us, especially that week because
I was like, OK good, I know my food’s gonna be here and what’s gonna be for dinner. Yes, you guys, I’m seriously obsessed. Because not only does
it have 18 fresh choices to choose from every single week, but they deliver straight to your home, and the recipes are so easy to follow, and they send you all the ingredients so you don’t ever have to
wonder if you have everything you need for dinner on
top of keeping track of everything you need for your party. So get $30 off your first
order of Home Chef today by clicking the link below
or go to homechef.com/rachel. Courtney, I’m obsessed
with Home Chef so much that I want to give you
a gift for being here. Oh! Thank you, thank you! So here’s a gift card for you. I hope you love them as much as I do. Thank you.

For real, thanks for coming on today and helping us with all party needs.

Thanks, it was a blast. We love you.

Yep, thanks. (exciting music) Wasn’t Courtney great? I loved all of her tips, and she was just so
stinkin’ fun, loved it. So when it comes to
throwing some great parties those were some great tips, but the biggest party you’re
probably ever gonna throw is your wedding day. Yep, the wedding. Listen, people on average in America today are spending $35,000
according to theknot.com. Some of you are probably like, “What?” Others of you are like, “That’s it?” But, yes, that’s it, that’s the average. So when you’re looking at your budget when it comes to your wedding, because you need a
budget, here are just some really high level recommended percentages. Again, recommended percentages. You can change these. Just recommended, when it
comes to this whole industry. Your reception you’re probably gonna spend around 55 percent of your budget. Yep, the dancing, the bands,
the DJ, the food, the venue, all of it. Expensive. More
than half your budget. The ceremony around 12 percent. Photography, 10 percent. A wedding planner, 10 percent. Now the wedding planner is one, if you’re on a super
tight budget, you can cut. But, it’s amazing to have one
because you don’t have to be the bad guy on your wedding day; some other lady is telling
every Uncle Henry to get in line and it’s not you doing it. So it’s great to have if you can. Your dress and tux will be about 8 percent. Have a miscellaneous category because you never know
what’s gonna come up, and make that about 5 percent. So, again, high-level look at your budget. But those of you on a super tight budget, here are some great ways to save money when you’re planning for your wedding. Number one, limit your guest
list, and this is a hard one. I remember even with our
wedding, we were like, yes, let’s invite all these
people, it’s so fun. Then you start looking at
the money and you’re like, “Oh, every person is so expensive.” It got so bad, you guys, to the point that when people declined
to come to our wedding we were like, “Yes, oh thank God!” I mean like it’s kinda bad, but, listen, limit all the stress and
just limit the guest list. Number two, host the ceremony or reception at home or outside. This makes the venues really inexpensive. Unless you’re going to some
really fancy vintage barn now like everyone’s doing a
lot of weddings outside, those venues can get really expensive. So when I mean outside
I mean like a free field or someone’s backyard. Some of our best friends
got married in her backyard, and it was so great. They like strung lights
up, and it was perfect. It was so good, and you don’t
have to pay for a venue. Number three, ask friends and family to exchange skills for presents. Now this is a great one if you
have really creative friends because I understand that
it can get uncomfortable to like ask people to do it, so if you’re uncomfortable
with that, don’t. But you’ll find that a lot
of your friends and family, if they’re good at something, they’re gonna offer and
be like, “Hey, I would love to help you with this.” Maybe they won’t do it
completely for free, but you can for sure get a deep discount. Number four, do-it-yourself
whenever possible. Don’t go over the top
’cause you actually can spend a lot of money doing DIY projects. So be wise with it and look and see, OK, what are small things I can
do on my own inexpensively? Number five, this is one of my favorites, use a dummy wedding cake. Okay, I didn’t know about
this when I got married, and I wish I had. But so many weddings we’re going to now it’s like a beautiful cake, and the top part where
the bride and groom cut or in the middle is real, but that’s it. Then they have sheet cake in the back, they go and serve people. It’s so inexpensive, so you’re not spending a ton on wedding cake. Number six, time your wedding wisely. If it’s over a large meal like over dinner you’re gonna be spending more on food, so think about what time
your wedding is gonna be. Number seven, scout out vendors. So go get prices from like
two or three different people. If you have photographers say, OK, I’m gonna price out three
different photographers and the packages they have. Or I’m gonna look at two
or three wedding venues and look at the prices. So scout around and look. And hey, it’s never a bad
idea to ask for a deal. You can negotiate sometimes, so ask for that deal and make sure you scout out those vendors. So for all you newlyweds out there, or even if you’re not a newlywed, maybe you’ve been married for 30 years, one of the best pieces
of advice I can give you when it comes to your marriage Is to take Financial Peace University. This is the best course
because what you’re gonna do is you’re gonna learn
everything about money. We talk about budgeting,
getting out of debt, getting on the same page with your money. We’re talking about real estate and even things like insurance; you learn it all. But insurance is a really specific one that’s really important, because having term life insurance is something that you
can’t afford not to have. Winston and I, we personally
trust Zander Insurance. They’re great because they shop around. They’ll get you the best rates possible, and they’re not expensive. So, for example, the
average 30-year-old male pays around $24 a month
for $500,000 in coverage. And you ladies, it’s even cheaper for you. So for more information about
Financial Peace University or Zander, make sure to
click the link below. All right you guys, it’s
the part of the show where we get to celebrate you all. Seriously my favorite part, I love this. You guys, comment on Instagram
and Twitter and Facebook with the hashtag #sheworkshardsavingmoney, and we get to celebrate
what you’re saving up for or what you have saved up for; I love it. So perky mama Kate said, “A day of errands and at the
park doesn’t mean eating out. “A little preparation saves a lot. “Bonus that it’s a healthy lunch.” Christina said, “Second
vacation in cash in the books. “See, you can travel debt free
and without a credit card. “Even rented a car.” That’s right, you can rent
a car without a credit card. Love it, Christina. DebtFreeGranny said,
“Our net worth increased “since paying off our
mortgage last August! “The Dave Ramsey plan works! “God is great!” That’s so fun. Amy said, “Last August
we backpacked Europe: “Paris, Eastern Germany,
Venice and Florence. “All paid in cash. “Couldn’t have done it
without your dad’s principles “and your encouragement to
live within (below) our means “and love our own lives and
not keep up with the Joneses.” I love it you guys, so
again make sure to post on Instagram or Twitter or
Facebook with the hashtag #sheworkshardsavingmoney
because we want to celebrate what you’re saving up for,
what you have saved up for, or even the work that you’re doing. Or if you want help, if you’re
trying to get out of debt or get on a budget and you
want to be on the show, make sure to email us below because we’d love to have you on. So when it comes to throwing a party, remember that you make sure
you have the money to do it and your motivations are pure, because you will actually be able to enjoy that party so much more, so good luck to all you
party people out there. Thanks to Courtney from
Pizzazzerie for coming on, and thanks you guys for watching, and remember to take control of your money and create a life you love. (exciting music)

About the author


  1. Thanks! Just the video i need! My daughter's birthday is coming up, so party planning on a budget is exactly where i'm at today!

  2. Iโ€™m planning my second babies birthday party so this was good timing! And I loved the Friends reference ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿป

  3. Awesome content!! I am planning my mother in laws 60th and life has hit us hard this year so money is tight. I need to buy cardstock to print the birthday banner!! I am feeding dinner and cooking it myself! Whew! Great show! I love how you turned your chats into an actual budget show!

  4. For weddings, I will say that if a large percentage of your guest list is from out of town, you should plan to serve a meal at your reception, and trim the guest list if necessary to make this happen.

  5. Love this! We used many of these tips and were able to pay $5000 cash for our wedding! Also took FPU as a part of our pre-marital counseling and we are so good with money now because of it!

  6. I just spent the last 2 days binging on all of this year's episodes. I love the information you bring each time. The party planning tips are GENIUS! I will definitely be utilizing the clear/white cake stands and platters, as well as the simple white cake with a personal touch!!

  7. Mine will be a second wedding with a low budget. I made all the food for all three of my daughters weddings and we bought dresses off of clearance. The girls got beautiful dresses and they were less than $400 each.

  8. We got married for $3500! Used a local venue, that was a historical school house. Had a very small guest list (people we actually talk to and not our 3rd cousins and great great Aunts). Purchased my dress from Dillard's for $200, and served pulled pork sandwiches and cupcakes. It was small, and cozy and everyone had a great time. We got married two days after we purchased our first home. I wanted the money to go into the home, not all in our wedding. It's doable!

  9. I planned our wedding for about $3k and people are still talking about it 5 years later! I didn't intend to have such a budget friendly wedding, it was exactly what I had dreamed of all my life! We got married on a Sunday morning at 10 am. The venue was a popular wedding venue. A historic home with amazing gardens and fountains ect… Sunday was the only day we could make the wedding work with family flights and turned out to be half price rental fees on Sunday! I always wanted a brunch and it was exquisite…..the menu was impressive and it was the biggest part of the budget at $2000 but because the venue is already decorated and full of flowers and arrangements I had no other things to buy. We got married at 10am and it ended by 3pm we didn't do dancing or music so we had our brunch and then a punch garden party surrounded by fountains and classical background music pumping throughout the gardens. Everyone mingled and we got to visit with all of our out of town family and friends. Nothing was stressed or rushed and it was just lovely!! ๐Ÿ˜‰ No one could believe how cheap it was and how few things needed to be bought because of the setting itself. My best advice for a budget is find a place that is naturally beautiful and save on all cost!

  10. for the first 8 minutes, you were just talking. the tips actually started when i was way too bored to hear any more stories from you. Sorry but not sorry.

  11. It motivated me so much to throw a party once she said people come to the party because they love you and not the stuff that's around because nobody ever comes to my parties

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