Depending on the type of event you are throwing and your financial situation, your party budget might be anywhere from $100 up to $100,000 or more. Regardless of how much you plan on spending, you should always create a budget to keep you on track and to help you prioritize all the elements that go into throwing an unforgettable event.
Create a list with the following categories: "party site," "food and beverages," "party decor," party rentals," entertainment," "stationary" and "other."
Write down everything that you need or want at your party under the appropriate categories. The "party site" category should include any costs associated with your venue. If you are having the party at home, write "$0" here. The "food and beverages" section should include not only food and beverages, but also any drink garnishes, napkins, serving pieces and disposable cups, plates and cutlery that you plan on buying. The "party decor" category should include decorations, flowers and linens. The "party rentals" category should include anything you need to rent, such as tables, chairs or a tent. "The entertainment" category should include your DJ, performers, staging, lighting and backdrops. The "stationary" category should include save-the-dates, invitations, place cards, programs, postage and calligraphy. Finally, the "other" category should include anything that is not included in the other categories. For example, a photographer, security, prizes, favors and wardrobe.
Research the cost of the most important elements, such as the venue and entertainment. This way you will have an idea of how much to allocate for each.
Write down how much you think each item on your list will cost, or how much you realistically want to spend on each item.
Add your total up.
Determine the discrepancies between the number you came up with and how much you have to spend. You will need to shave this amount off your budget.
Examine your list in closer detail. Your priorities will start shining through here as you reconsider what you truly need or want for your party and what you are willing to let go of. Eliminate certain items or reduce the amount of money you can spend on certain items.
Add up your total again. If you came on or under your actual budget, you are done. If you are still over, you need to cut more items from your list.
Revise your budget as you begin spending money on the party. If one item cost $50 more than you had allocated, you need to find $50 to cut elsewhere.
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