Host A Gathering Without Breaking The Bank

Host a Gathering Without Breaking The Bank

Image Credit: James Vaughan, Creative Commons


As introverted as I am, I have a strong southern love for hosting a gathering with friends. Though my place be small, my money be tight, and my time be little, if I can throw a party….I’m going to! Just last year, I hosted a Christmas pajama party with 13 of my good friends without thinking twice about it. Yes, I’m a southern girl at heart, but I also love hosting gatherings because this bible verse has been engrained on my heart:

“Don’t forget to show hospitality to strangers, for some who have done this have entertained angels without realizing it!” – Hebrews 13:2

But let me be real right now, because I’m sure some of you can relate, hosting a gathering in style can do a number on your bank account! And I’m an event planner, so I know how fast things can add up! That’s why today I want to share with you a few tips on how to host a gathering without breaking the bank. When hosting a gathering there are four things to consider: food, decor, entertainment, & invitations. 

Host a Gathering Without Breaking The Bank

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Food is the biggest issue when you think about cost, especially when you’re hosting a larger crowd. When hosting a gathering of family & friends, I suggest doing a potluck of some sort; having your guests bring a dish or two that will feed 3-5 people depending on your guest count. To make things a little easier, ask that your guest bring a side dish while you provide a main dish (mainly meat) & drinks. This will cut down on cost & take the stress off of you from having to make a 4 course meal for a large dinner party!

Host a Gathering Without Breaking The Bank

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I’m always getting the cutest ideas on hosting themed gatherings from Pinterest, but imagine the cost if I hosted a swell shindig like the ones styled in those shoots. My wallet shivers with fear! But you’d be surprised what you can create with what you have around the house. I’m a huge DIY-er & when looking to throw a turn of the century bash, I love to DIY my way to the party of the year. All you have to do is use your imagination, creativity, & peruse the ideas on Pinterest. But if you’re not the DIY type, I suggest little by little stocking up on decor items you might find on sale. If it’s a good price and you have the space in your house to store, stock up & get excited when you finally have the perfect gathering to bust those items out. 

If you’re just hosting a casual get together, no theme involved, I’d like to add that lighting is everything! Dimmed lights, bright lights, natural lights…whatever fits the mood of your party. I love a good natural light, but unfortunately all my gatherings usually happen in the evening, so I purchased a few “natural light” light bulbs to brighten my place to make it feel like we’re just having an afternoon brunch. 

Host a Gathering Without Breaking The Bank

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If anything, always have some soft music playing in the atmosphere. It sets the stage for the mood of the party, and also plays as a nice buffer during those unpleasant awkward silences. I love my Apple TV because I can play my iTunes music straight from my television. 

I also love a good game in the middle of a fun gathering! But board games can be a bit pricey, let alone may take a while getting those who don’t know how to play the game up to speed, so I like to play more ice breaker games than anything. There are tons of pen & paper games out there. Call me old fashioned but who says you can’t make your own fun!

Host a Gathering Without Breaking The Bank

Image Credit: Sarah Parrott, Creative Commons


Last but not least, invitations! Now don’t get me wrong, I’m a sucker for pretty paper and go googly eyed over some gold foil, but let’s be honest, paper invitations can get expensive the pretty they get & the more you need. When working on keeping those dollars in your pocket, I suggest sending out e-invitations through services like Evite & Paperless Post. These websites are easy to use, help you keep up with your RSVP list, & allows you to make event changes and keeps everyone up to date. It’s a win win, because they also provide beautiful designs that look just as good online as they would on paper. 

What gathering are you planning on hosting soon?