How To Throw a Fancy Party on a Small Budget
The New Roaring Twenties are upon us. “These challenging times” are finally beginning to fade into the rearview mirror, and we’re all gearing up for the celebration. This means coming out of our shells, re-embracing friends we’ve fallen out of touch with, and always looking for the slightest pretense to enjoy one another’s company again.
Of course, the original Roaring Twenties were not quite what they seemed. The opulent prosperity that made it to the history books wasn’t always indicative of everyday people’s experiences, and the 2020s haven’t left all of us cash-flush, either. Just as the 1920s were the time of rent parties, when Harlem’s best and brightest charged admission to legendary all-night soirees to raise the month’s rent checks, the present is an era of digital crowdfunding. The challenge in the New Roaring Twenties, as it was a century ago, is to reconcile our thirst for a vibrant social life with slightly limited means.
Fortunately, throwing a party doesn’t have to break the bank. We’ll give you some tips on how to throw a fancy party on a small budget so that you can have the fun you’ve earned at the price points you deserve. Here’s how you can start inaugurating your personal New Roaring Twenties—hot jazz and flapper apparel optional but strongly recommended.
There’s certainly something to be said for elegant stationery. A tangible party invitation arriving through the mail on that nice and textured card stock can confer a certain formality to the occasion. On the other hand, a guest list long enough to justify the stationery can also run up some wholly unnecessary bills at the card shop and post office.
As thrilling as it can be to send and receive these little cards, it is, after all, 2021. If we can read Les Misérables on our phones without feeling that it compromises the gravity of the prose, we can receive a digital invitation to an amazing party without feeling bereft of an envelope to tear open. Save on postage, save a tree, and save the offscreen invitation cards for another time.
86 the Catering. Do the Cooking Yourself
Have you ever thought much about the extent to which we cater our own everyday lives? Delivery has come a long way since digging a dog-eared menu out of the junk drawer, struggling to place an order with someone who dreads phone calls just as much as you do, and pondering the phrase “30 minutes or your pizza’s free.”
Having the world at our fingertips includes having all our hometown restaurants available to drop dinner at our doorsteps with no awkward interactions or limited options. Sure, there’s the matter of a tip each time, and of course, there are some convenience surcharges, but what’s wrong with paying for convenience? Well, over time, it can add up to quite a bit—how much money did we spend on takeout in 2020, anyway?
When you order in every idle Tuesday night, the real novelty is in enjoying a sophisticated but home-cooked dinner that doesn’t, for once, arrive in paper bags and foil pans. Take the time to cook the meal, and you’ll save big bucks while impressing your guests.
Don’t Decline Guests’ Contributions
What’s better than saving money by doing the cooking yourself? How about subtly and passively outsourcing some of the harder dishes? You don’t have to promote your party as a potluck to get some extra help around the edges. Many of your friends will surely be good guests by volunteering to bring something to the event. You don’t need to play the old refuse-three-times-before-finally-relenting game that the passive-aggressive among us feel they need to engage in.
If someone wants to bring dessert, snacks, or a bottle of wine, don’t say no! Not only does accepting these contributions defray a few costs of the party, but it pays off in terms of peace of mind, too. Making the party more of a communal occasion rather than trying to bear the entire burden yourself will make the event more fun for everyone—as will the bottles of wine.
The Great Outdoors
With summer finally around the corner, who wants to spend an evening indoors when fresh air beckons? While the thought of renting one of those white vinyl tents for a night would seem to run counter to hosting a party on a budget, you don’t need a fancy tent for an outdoor event. Weather permitting, bring the party outside to save on the mood-setting decorations you’d have to put up indoors—not to mention not having to blast the air conditioning with so many people in the house.
Simply string up some of your favorite lights and lanterns to provide aesthetic accents. Holding your party under the sky doesn’t just cut costs on decorations; it’s also good sense. Guests who are still apprehensive about indoor dining, even if that indoor dining is your home, will be much more at ease if the proceedings are outdoors.
Stylish Single-Use Dinnerware
If this is your first big dinner party and you don’t have the tableware you need to impress your guests, what do you do? You could make an excursion to your nearest home-goods superstore and pick out a set of beautiful, fragile, and stealthily expensive plates. Then you can pick out a cabinet to store and display them in, lest they chip or shatter from regular use in your standard cabinets.
Better yet, you can explore collections of elegant disposable tableware from Smarty Had a Party. Opting for single-use dishes and utensils will allow you to throw a fancy party on a small budget by cutting down on upfront dinnerware costs. It’ll save you the time and energy you’d have spent in carefully handwashing all your brand-new dishes. Best of all, if you get yourself in the habit of hosting dinner parties throughout the New Roaring Twenties, every event will feel different with a new dinnerware design each time. Keep visiting Smarty Had a Party for disposable dinnerware in new colors, patterns, and accents for every event.