With summer weather finally within our reach, it’s time to get excited at all of the backyard party prospects at your fingertips! As a host, you’re responsibilities go far beyond the guest list! Here are our tips at throwing a low-cost event, so you can afford to have as many as you want to this summer!
Set a Budget
The key to hosting a backyard event on a budget, is first setting the maximum amount of money you’re willing to spend on said event. Once you have a budget in place, stick to it! Taking out the money you’re willing to spend in cash and keeping it in a jar is a great way to see the amount of money you have and what you have left as you start to spend. Once that jar is empty, that’s it.
Determine Needs VS Wants
Sure, you might want to have a chocolate fountain, or a crepe station, or photobooth at your event…but if you aren’t hosting a backyard wedding, are those things really necessary? Make a list of things that you absolutely have to have at the event, and things that you’d like to have, but could probably do without if it came down to it.
Instead of providing alcohol for guests, consider making it a ‘BYOB’. If you’re not into the idea of BYOB, try having a cash bar to keep your costs down. The only risk about a cash bar, however, is if you over-purchase and there’s alcohol left over that you have to cover the cost of.
If your event is relatively informal and open to people beyond a traditional guest list, consider having an admission fee for guests. $5 or $10 per person goes a long way and can help you cover some of your costs while making your party seem exclusive and higher end than the typical house party.
Whether you’re having the event catered or putting your BBQ skills to the test, consider asking people to pitch in money towards food if they’re planning on eating at the event. If everyone is pitching in, that gives you a lot more money to work with so you can potentially get even more food or drinks than you initially intended. Leftover are never a bad thing!
If you’re not crazy about the BBQ or catering idea, considering having a pot luck! This way everyone is contributing food for the event so you’re only spending money on whatever dish you’re preparing.
Where possible, ask guests to carpool or use public transportation if you don’t have a free parking lot available. Parking permits can get expensive, and you don’t want people drinking and driving anyways, because you’re liable if they get in an accident.