Planning to host an engagement party for friends and family? Like many soon-to-be-married couples, you may be oscillating between holding a gala event and keeping it a simple low-key affair.
In fact, with some smart planning, you can have the best of both worlds—that is throw the party your loved ones with remember for a long time to come, without blowing your hard-earned savings on extravagant indulgences.
Here are four tips for planning an exciting engagement party on a budget.
Prune your guest list at least thrice
If you’re on a tight budget, you want to keep your guest list short. To get there, first make a list with everyone you want to invite, then, after a few days of creating the first list, tick out the people you can invite to your wedding (think second cousins, old school buddies, friends from the club). Sit on this list for a few more days.
Prune the second list even further by striking out names of guests you’re inviting out of obligation (think some of your colleagues, your parents’ friends, etc.). In a nutshell, aim for an intimate and meaningful gathering at your special day by inviting a close group of friends and family. You can send elegant email invites instead of traditional stationery invites to save on costs.
Commit your engagement money to something meaningful
Instead of spending lavishly on the party itself, use your savings to surprise your to-be spouse with a short exotic vacation (if they love travelling) or a unique engagement ring (if they love jewellery). It would be money well spent, and, if you make the purchase well in advance, it will leave you with fewer savings to spend on the event itself.
Moreover, you can afford to exceed your engagement-ring budget when it’s one of your first few expenses before the party. If your partner has simple yet sophisticated taste, halo engagement rings in gold or silver would be a perfect choice.
Keep the party menu simple yet interesting
Keep the menu options simple at your engagement party—you can always go a little overboard and treat your guests to a multi-course meal at your wedding. A good choice that won’t blow your budget would be to have two or three homemade appetizers followed by a single-option main course (or two appetizers with two main dishes preferably cooked at home).
Yet another smart way to save money on food is to hold the party during the early evening hours, when your guests would have had lunch and won’t arrive at the venue famished.
Lastly, pack in as much DIY as possible
Inarguably, the simplest way to throw a party within your budget is to make the effort to do as much DIY as possible. For instance, do simple and elegant decorations and table settings yourself instead of hiring a decorator. Skip the salon and do your own makeup. Host the party in your backyard itself.
If it all gets too much to manage, get close friends and family to help so you won’t feel overwhelmed with all the work.