We all have a reason to celebrate, whether its a birthday, graduation, anniversary, or retirement, so let's celebrate! And better yet, by following a few tricks, we can celebrate on a small budget because what makes a celebration FABULOUS isn't how much we spend, but rather how our guest feel.
1 - Plan in advance.
Look ahead and see what important events are coming up. It's never to early to start planning a celebration, especially if you have a smaller budget. First start by finding things around your house that can be used. Then take time to get additional supplies when they are on sale.
2 – Pick a theme.
A celebration without a theme is just another get-together. A theme not only sets the tone for your guest, but allows you to stay focused and keeps your budget under control. Pinterest is a great site to find ideas and save them to an inspiration board. Then you can go back and eliminate the ideas that aren't within your budget.
3 – Keep it simple.
Remember that how our guest feel at the celebration is what is going to make it a great celebration to remember.
Easily create an invitation using an online service like Evite or if you want to be more creative, use a service like Canva, which allows you to create your own design and then save as a photo to text or email. Also use decorations to set the tone, subtle touches of the theme and simple color coordinated tableware is all you really need.
4 – Avoid meal times.
Food will quickly hijack your budget. While having some kind of food at any celebration is nice, planning your celebration away from meal times allow you to offer lighter snacks (ie. cheese/crackers, chips/dip, mini meatballs) instead of a full meal.
5 – Save on alcohol.
Worse on your budget than food is the cost of alcohol. Not to say you can't have alcohol, but rather choose a signature drink (punch style). You'll be surprised how many different drinks can be served as a punch and this saves you from buying the entire liquor store.
6 - Let guests know what you'll be providing.
It all goes back to how our guest feel. By adding to your invitation what you will be providing (ie. "We will have light snacks and a signature punch" or "Join us for Appetizers & Margarita Punch") sets the expectation for your guest before they arrive. It allows your guest to eat prior to arriving at your home since a meal isn't provided or if they don't like punch then they can choose to bring their own beverage of choice.
See, celebrating a special event doesn't have to break the bank, so go out an make memories!
Sunday we celebrated Kayla’s 12th birthday and it was great!
If you read the blog from July 9th, you know that I have been planning this celebration for 2 months, but I have been tight lipped because while Kayla knew a birthday celebration was in the works, she didn’t know the who, what, when, where of it all. I’ve tried surprise celebrations for her before and it’s never worked out, but this year I pulled it off.
I started planning just before school let out and had a game plan in place and just had all supplies delivered to my full-time job so that she would see them. Once she left for her dad’s, I got to work. The door sign, birthday banner, matching PJs were all created while she was gone. Everything was nicely packed up and ready to go so when she got home nothing was left to chance.
She arrived last Wednesday and I still wasn’t convinced I would successfully pull off keeping it a secret until Sunday, but I was trying hard. I enlisted my best friend (her godmother) to be my decoy for the day. Those two LOVE to shop…I do not…so going school shoe shopping together was the perfect plan. And it worked!
The best part is that I hired Jessica West with Majestic Creations and she assisted with the final set-up so that when Kayla arrived I was able to just sit back and enjoy the evening with my loved ones.
A celebration is an organized gathering which brings tribute to an important event or occasion. Most common celebrations are based on life events, whether it be a birthday, anniversary, wedding, or new baby just to name a few. Next would be personal accomplishments, such as graduation, promotion, or retirement. Then there are corporate events, which are not limited to the launch of a new business, release of a new book or product, or a sales team meeting a major goal.
There are skeptics who view celebrations as being unnecessary, grandiose, and wasteful. Of course everyone is free to their opinion and to live in a manner of their choosing, however, they miss out on the benefits that such celebrations bring to our lives.
A few of those benefits are:
1 – Pick a Date & Time:
Make sure it works for the grandparents and best friend, wouldn’t want them to miss it. Also, timing is key…for toddler’s think about planning an earlier party so that it ends just before their afternoon nap; whereas for older kids, afternoon parties are best.
2 – Set a Budget:
Before you start planning, set a budget and STICK TO IT. When you start thinking decorations, food, cake, party favors – it all starts toadd up quickly. By setting a clear budget, it will help you decide what is really important.
3 – Send Invitations a Few Weeks Ahead:
Again, timing is key…if you send the invitations out too early, parents tend to forget and if you send the invitations too late, many won’t be able to make it. Rule of thumb is 2-4 weeks.
4 – Serve Kid’s Favorites:
Keep it simple, you can never go wrong with kid’s favorites (pizza, hot dogs, chips, etc.)
5 – Keep the Party Short:
Younger children tire out from all the excitement after about 1 ½ hours and older children (and parents) after about 2-3 hours.
So Kayla's birthday is on the 26th and she is turning 12. As I have been working on the plans for her birthday, I have been reflecting on last year's birthday beach trip weekend.
See last year, we didn't have a birthday party because Mami, the event planner was a little deflated. I spent 6 months planning her Moving Up to Middle School Party which was in June. The plans came together great until the day of the event. I loaded up the car, met my mom at the park to get everything set up, cooked, made sure everyone was fed, happy, and had their treats to go home. Then when it was all done, the car was loaded back up and home I came to clean it all up. When I sat down at the end of the night, I realized I missed the whole thing. I didn't get a single picture. Kayla didn't get her treats to take on her trip to Dad's.
This was my affirmation of why I started Celebrations Remembered - our life's special moments only come once and when they are gone, they are gone forever. So I want families to be able to focus on creating the memories while we worry about all of the little details.
This was also my realization that Mami, the event planner does not have to be super mom. And that for our future family celebrations, it is okay to hire another event planner to make sure that we get to create our memories.
I do love planning her parties and have spent the past 2 months planning this year's birthday party. However, I am happy to say I just secured an event planner who will be assisting with all of the final details & set-up to make sure that this Mami is relaxed and prepared to enjoy the festivities.
I don't know about you all, but I know that I always start off the month of July thinking of where I'm spending the 4th and who I am spending it with. Will I travel or stay home? Where will I take the fam to watch the fireworks? And most importantly, which BBQ will I be attending...lol...because I love food. So, I thought I would share one of my favorite recipes to take wherever I end up on the 4th.
This 4th of July Trifle is my favorite because it’s easy with just 4 ingredients and it’s refreshingly delicious. It’s always a huge hit with the adults as well as the kiddos. Go ahead – try it this 4th of July and let me know if it goes over as well for you as it does for me.
4th of July Trifle
1 – 16 oz vanilla pound cake, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 – 16 oz tub of Cool Whip, thawed
1 quart of strawberries, sliced – reserve 1 cup for garnish
1 pint of blueberries – reserve ½ cup for garnish
In a triple bowl or large glass bowl, layer 1/2 of the pound cake, cool whip topping, strawberries, and blueberries. Repeat for a second layer then garnish with the remaining blueberries & strawberries. Refrigerate until ready to serve.