It’s easy to want to go all out for your S.O.’s birthday, especially if it’s a milestone age, you slacked off last year and need to make up for it or you’re in a new relationship. Just remember, you don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars for people to have a good time. The number one rule to throwing a party on a budget is planning in advance. It sounds cliché, but throwing something together last minute is stressful and you end up not caring what the price tag says.
Summer’s warm temps are perfect for a b-day bash, allowing you to take advantage of outdoor spaces, pools, beaches you name it. Here’s how to throw an epic budget-friendly summer b-day party for your S.O.:
GET CREATIVE FOR FOOD COSTS
Food is expected at a birthday bash and can be a significant cost compared to other expenses. In fact, 60 percent of American’s polled said food is their biggest expense when throwing a summer party. It may seem old school but going pot-luck style can save you money for you S.O.’s big bash.
If you want to make sure your love has all his or her favorite foods to choose from, create a list of items and ask attendees to choose one thing to bring. If you don’t feel comfortable asking others to bring food, buy things in bulk to cut costs and always keep ingredients simple.
Consider something fun and relatively inexpensive like a taco bar, which you could then carry the theme throughout the party. Also choose the time of your party wisely—an afternoon backyard bash or brunch pool party will likely be less expensive than hosting full-on dinner for 40 of your closest friends.
DON’T RENT AN EXPENSIVE SPACE
While renting out VIP tables at a nightclub or dining at the most exclusive new restaurant is great, they come with a huge price tag for you and your guests. Think about places you can meet a large group of people for free, such as breweries or rooftop bars.
Breweries are popping up all over the map and since most don’t operate a kitchen on site, they team up with food trucks for happy hour or dinner. While you don’t have to provide food for everyone, order a handful of appetizers for your party and let everyone indulge! Just be sure you call ahead to get the food truck schedule so your guests aren’t left hungry.
Rooftop bars are also hot right now—what better way to hang with a group of friends and celebrate your S.O. than on top of a roof with beautiful views of your city? Check out the space before hand and make sure there’s enough space and staff to accommodate a large party.
TELL YOUR FRIEND TO BYOB
Don’t be embarrassed to ask your friends to BYOB to your party. Especially if you’re hosting somewhere like a beach or pool, where people will need their own coolers anyway, it makes sense. If you think it’s tacky, you could make your S.O.’s favorite signature cocktail and serve it up to your guests, but don’t think you have to supply alcohol.
Of course you wouldn’t want anyone to go without so be sure to communicate BYOB to everyone in advance. If you decide to purchase alcohol, pick beverages that make sense for the occasion. For example, for an outdoor pool party, you probably won’t want glass beer bottles or a full-liquor bar.
Pro-tip: consider making your own frosé—it can be inexpensive to make large portions, refreshing on a hot day and it’ll surely impress your guests!