Day three: 5 things to include in your party planning budget

Do you typically create a budget when hosting a party? If not, you should. For me, a budget helps to keep me on track, and prevents me from getting distracted by all the holiday things I could potentially make and buy for my party. So it makes me stop and think "Do I really need to buy a gold and silver serving platter, or can I just use the white one I already have?".

For day three of the 12 Days of Christmas - Hosting Tips, be sure to include these five line items when creating your own holiday party budget:

1. Food and drinks. After the groceries and booze, also include any catering or bartending services, if applicable. When hosting a dinner party, it can take a lot of pressure off you to have the main course catered, then you just have to worry about the apps, salad, and dessert, which can typically all be made in advance. As well, if you really want to enjoy your own party, hire a bartender who can greet and take care of the guests needs, along with keeping the bar area tidy. They can also pass hors d'oeuvres, while you enjoy yourself, which will really make you feel like a guest at your own party.

2. A new outfit, top, or jewelry. New things can make you feel great and you want to feel confident for your own party! If clothes aren’t your thing, maybe it's going to the salon for an up-do, or the spa for a facial.

3. Decorations - Maybe you have all the decorations or maybe you don’t. Even if you are stocked with great pieces, it’s always nice to purchase fresh flowers, and/or order a centerpiece from your local florist.

4. Tables, glassware, dinnerware, and flatware purchases or rentals. Whether you need an extra table for serving from, or you don’t want disposables at your party, rentals are an inexpensive way for you to increase the supplies that you’ll inevitably need. This is especially true if you don’t have the space to store anything new afterwards, if you were to buy what you needed. For as little as $0.50 a glass, you can have matching, clean glassware that you don’t have to worry about washing afterwards. Prices are great for other pieces too, such as champagne flutes, cloth napkins, plates, cutlery, tables, linens etc.

5. Extras like games, or mini gifts for your guests. Knowing the party vibe that you are looking to create, decide if a game or two would be a good fit. If anything, a DIY photo booth is always a hit with some props from Amazon or a party store. As for gifts, this will depend on how many guests you’ll have and if you want to. Unless you've set a precedent, your guests certainly won’t expect it. If you do decide to give something, ensure that they are wrapped and near the door so you don’t forget to give them out to anyone who leaves early.

Tomorrow's blog will include, 5 things to do before a party, to prep your home.

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