It’s easy to plan a get together, it’s even easier to do it all wrong. A few weeks back, we got the 411 from Evite’s in-house Party Stylist, Jessica Bailey, on how to party plan the most efficient way.  (That includes telling guests it’s time to go, without telling them, “it’s time to go.”)

How can you create a holiday themed party without going overboard? Ie. July 4th, Halloween, Valentines, etc?

  1. Keep it simple by using 2-3 colors for all of your decor. For example, for Halloween try using black, white and a metallic like gold for your color palette.  That will help you select serving trays for food, themed decor like spiders, etc. that can be inexpensive, look cohesive, and have a big impact.
  2. Embrace spray paint!  For more upscale events like fundraisers and weddings with minimal budgets I purchase vases, frames, and other decor items at the 99-cent store and spray paint everything with metallic gold spray paint to give everything a cohesive and elevated look.
  3. A simple way to set a festive tone for your party is with twinkly lights and a great playlist.  You can either stream a playlist from Spotify or Pandora, or make a custom playlist with all your favorite holiday music.

What ideas do you have for throwing a party on a budget?

  1. Go digital and send invitations via email.  Send your guests a free electronic invitation, like an Evite invitation, and save money on paper invitations and postage.
  2. To keep costs low, choose to host a party in between meal times.  Or consider making your party a potluck so you don’t have to pay to serve guests a full meal.
  3. Stocking a full bar can get pricey.  Instead, offer one signature drink. That way you only have to purchase 1-2 alcohol items to make your drink.
  4. Over budget? Whittle the guest list down, or recruit a friend (or group of friends) to co-host with you and split the cost. Another reason I love Evite — adding a co-host to your event is super simple and helps cuts your to-do list in half.
  5. Host your party at home.  Bars and restaurants usually have an event fee and a food and drink minimum.

What’s the best way to invite people?
Evite invitations are easy, free, and eco-friendly.

If you’re attending a potluck what is your go-to dish, or item to bring? What items should the newbie potlucker bring?

  1. A seven layer dip and chips is a great appetizer to bring to a party.  Added bonus? No cooking required.
  2. Brownies, cookies, or any type of dessert (it’s usually always a favorite).

What are the most hospitable ways for letting your guests know it’s time to leave?

  1. Thank everyone for coming
  2. Turn off the music
  3. Turn up the lights
  4. Start cleaning up