Having an event is fun, and exciting. It can also get expensive if you have not planned ahead with your budget. Event expenses consists of the venue, food & beverage, decorations, and entertainment. Here are some tips on how to budget for your event save on some cost.
Budget per guest - It is easy to take these expenses and look at them as a total cost, however you may get a better idea of the value you are getting if you view your cost per guest. Let's say your 5 hour event for 100 guests comes to $3,000, your per guest cost is $30. Consider that a Quarter Pounder w/cheese meal at McDonalds would cost about $12, without quality time with friends and family or a DJ.
Savings on your sides - food costs with a caterer can be pretty expensive, particularly if you want to a some menu options for your guests. You can save more than a few dollars by preparing your own side dishes. Side dishes traditionally are less expensive for you to purchase yourself in large quantities, and generally are not that labor intensive to prepare. Making your own pasta salad, potato salad, rice, or green beans, while having a caterer prepare you proteins (chicken or pork) can lower you food costs considerably.
A DJ can Save You Money - We all like a chance to get up a dance, its in our nature and a large part of our culture. Having a DJ is a great way to ensure that the music is just right to set the mood. A good DJ will cost you anywhere between $400 and $700 for a five hour party. The reality is that most events will not have five hours of dancing. This can be a way for you to save a few hundred dollars. There are a couple of options for you to use. First, instead of paying the DJ to come to you event, pay them to provide you with a playlist of a pre-mixed set. This works great for the DJ because they can still work another event, while getting paid by you for the playlist. The second option is book the DJ for the last two hours of your event when the dancing really becomes the focus.
Rent a Decorated Venue - The Spotlight is a great example of this tip. For years affordable venue options are generic locations that require you to spend additional dollars to "dress the place up" We do not have anything against decorators, we work with several of them, however renting a venue that is already nicely decorated can save you money. Most decoration are disposed of after the event, so a quick trip to the dollar store or Walmart for some accent pieces may be all you need to complete your desired look.