Casual elegance is key when planning an affordable, yet fancy outdoor party. Looking to impress your friends, but you’re on a budget? Keep things low-key by utilizing up-cycled and re-cycled materials, using mix-matched serving ware (plates, glasses & stemware you’ve already got on hand), and fresh-cut botanicals from your own back-yard. Keep reading to take a deeper dive into these creative hacks for your next big bash.
1. Use Up-cycled Crates as Tables
Sitting on the floor never felt so regal! Take the traditional table and lower it to grown-level with this crate table idea. Think of it more as a fancy picnic! This way, you don’t even need to account for chairs because you can bring in some pillows from inside and use them as cushions.
If your guests aren’t the type to sit on the ground, borrow some fold-out tables from your neighbors or layer your crate tables to give them some height.
Either way, you’ll want some sort of table covering to avoid splinters or unsightly table top, which brings us to our next point.
2. Use Newspaper (Or Other Recycled Paper) As Your Tablecloth
For this trick, you can even find some fun wrapping paper (or brown craft paper) to wrap your crate table tops in order to more properly match your party’s theme. This is also great for a quick clean up, avoiding loads of laundry, which a traditional table cloth would typically lend.
Here are a few cute wrapping paper rolls I’ve found on Amazon that could work for many different types of parties:
3. Bring Your Indoor Furniture Outside to Create an Eclectic Look
This is especially useful if you know your party will be entirely outdoors, and no one will need to use your indoor furniture during the event. This is also a huge money saver, while also giving the party a layered and eclectic look.
4. Cut Fresh Clippings From Your Own Backyard as Floral Arrangements
Instead of breaking the bank from purchasing flowers from the store (or hiring a florist), go on a walk in your own backyard and cut some clippings from a tree or bush. If you need to add color in addition to your fresh clippings, then you can compensate with store-bought flowers.
5. Set Up a Photo Booth
This could be something as simple as a staged photo area with a special hashtag created just for your event. To take it to the next level, purchase a printable camera so your guests can take photos and have them printed on the spot!
Here are a few popular ones on Amazon with great reviews:
6. Create Family-Friendly Activities for The Party
If this is a family-friendly event with youngsters attending, make sure there is something for the kiddos. Set up a coloring station; and if you’re already using kraft paper for your tablecloth, all you have to do is add some crayons to the tabletop and the kiddos are free to color as they please!
You can also incorporate yard games like Jumbo Jenga, Corn Hole, Yard Tic Tack Toe, and much more! These are always a huge hit in our household, no matter how old you are. Here are a few we keep on hand:
7. Serve a Signature Drink
This doesn’t have to be anything fancy, but by giving the party a signature drink, it adds some pizazz! Then, give the drink a name — Name it something cute or relevant to the event, and have enough ingredients on-hand to make the drink for your guests all night.
To give the drink a pop, garnish it with freshly cut fruit, or a sprig of rosemary, depending on what might pair well with the cocktail.
8. Get The Lighting Right
By hanging some outdoor string lights, the mood will instantly be set! It creates the perfect amount of low-light a party needs, and adds some great ambiance.
Aside from string lights, tabletop lighting is just as important. Collect all of your candle holders from your house and incorporate them into your table setting. Light them just before guests start arriving in order to ensure they will last the majority of the party.
Mixing and matching candle holders is 100% ok in my book, but if you’re looking for a more cohesive set, check out a few of these, available on Amazon:
There are so many things you can do to keep an outdoor event, affordable and fun at the same time, but these are just a few off the top of my head. I
hope these tips help the next time you’re planning your next gathering.
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