Doesn't mean you have to have a cheap and tacky event. I have gone to a few events, that have made me question, the persons taste. I usually give people the benefit of the doubt and say that there event turned out that way cause they had a low budget, not because they have bad taste. The point is you can still have an elegant event on a low budget. I have been to plenty of events that were on a low budget but you would never be able to tell.
Here are a few Budget Saving Tips that will make any Event Better.
-Know Your Audience.
Are you throwing a Wedding or a Childs Birthday Party? This helps in knowing how cheap you can go in the decorations. Obviously for a kids party, you can go to any local party store buy all the cliche party decorations and no one will complain. HOWEVER if you are throwing a Wedding, Engagement Party or Baby Shower, you want to skip the traditional party store decorations as much as possible.
-Know What You Can and Cannot Cut Out
Do You Need A Cater? NO, have someone cook the meals themselves or have a potluck.
Do You Need Flowers? Maybe, Fresh Flowers always look better then fake, but if you want flowers and can't afford real one go with the fake ones.
Do You Need Decorations? If your party has a theme or high importance to it then YES. Also, make sure they are COHESIVE. Nothing is more tacky then random out of place decorations.
Do You Need Tables and Linens? YES, most places will give you Tables, Linens, Chairs and Plates in a package. However if you have enough tables, you can just use those and if your event isn't a wedding, no one will complain, using paper and plastic plates and utensils. So all you need is, Linens and Chairs. If you don't have tables, rent bigger tables, that way you can have less tables and linens as well as centerpieces, which cut your costs.
Do You Need Favors? Honestly, NO. They are nice, but most people end up forgetting them and they cost you more money then they are really worth.
Do You Need Invites? Well Yes, word of mouth or online invite doesn't really cut it for the nicer events. Do you have to spend a lot of money on them? No. You can definitely make nice DIY's. Or some places sell
pre-made blank invites and then you can print them out on your computer yourself.
-Cut Your Guest List
Only invite the people you absolutely WANT and NEED to have there. Meaning the co-worker who you have talked to a few times at the water cooler... CUT, The second cousin who you only see at the family re-union every 5 years..CUT, your parents friends who come over for drinks every once in awhile..CUT. Remember you don't have to invite every person who you once, met or worked with and if you want to get a little scrooge-y then No Kids under 10 and No Plus Ones. This May Ruffle a few feathers, but if you explain you are on a budget, most people will understand.. and if they don't... then CUT. ha Just Kidding.. well Kind of, you are on a budget after all. ; )
-Location, Location, Location
Depending on the event your location can be a huge deal, but you don't want to go broke. Unique Locations, like parks,zoos,vineyards and aquariums are usually cheaper and will save you on decor since they provide a lot of it's own ambiance. If you have enough room, hosting the event at someones home is always nice, but make sure you have enough room, nothing ruins a party like a loud, stuffy, crowded room. Peoples backyards work too, especially for Birthdays,baby showers and even engagement parties. However, for the most part I would stay away from backyard weddings. Unless, the backyard is big and really beautiful. Another money saver is off peak months and days. Summer is a peak time for events so generally prices are higher this time. As well having events on Fridays and Saturdays.
These are all things that can make an event on a budget, seem pristine and elegant, but I have to stress one more thing... Decorations are a huge part of an event. One thing that can make an event bomb is horrible decorations, especially when they do not mesh well together.