As you know, we recently celebrated Baby Berry’s first birthday at The House on High Street. It was such a blessing to host her Bio Family and witness all the love she has in her life! There were about 20 adults and my three nephews (the only children) in attendance. Even though it was a lot of work, I loved doing it! Not to mention, hosting a party at home is not as stressful as some may think. It’s less expensive and you have more control over the theme and ambiance.
I decided to coordinate something along the lines of “simple and pretty” for this little angel’s very special day.
Of course, I don’t have many pictures of the party because I was too busy enjoying Berry and her family.
I still had most of Banana’s “First Birthday” paraphernalia, which she wore for just a few hours. So, I didn’t need to buy as much stuff, for Berry. Also, I started my party-planning early. My theory is the more you plan ahead, the more time and money you can save!
Hosting a Party at Home
Here are a few tips on Hosting a Party at Home:
Always start with a guest list and a budget. That way you have an idea on who is coming and how much food to buy. You’ll also have a feel for the type of meal, snacks, and/or desserts you want to serve.
Choose a theme or a color scheme. For Berry’s party, I decided to do pink & gold and add a “princess” theme. She wore a beautiful princess-like dress and sparkly shoes. The balloons were pink and gold. They also had Disney princesses on them. I ordered a few bouquets of balloons from a dollar store and they filled up the main rooms in the house just perfectly!
Select your Menu. At first, Scott and I were going to grill. The benefit being that grilling is a relatively inexpensive way to go. But, the problem with it is that it takes up a lot of time, and it’s not something you can do in advance.
Instead I did something easy and tasty! My go-to menu is traditionally Italian style meatballs, gravy, pasta, and salad. I don’t know many people who don’t like Italian Food. Sure, I sometimes add a chicken and a vegetable dish for options. (And, it’s always good to have gluten-free pasta on hand.) Since my guest list was small, I chose to keep it simple. Not to mention, I was able to make the gravy, meatballs, and sausage in advance and freeze it!
I like using frozen stuffed shells, the most, for parties. There is no prep work aside from placing them in a baking tin with marinara sauce and popping it in the oven.
In addition to the menu, I like to determine if I’m serving cocktails or anything other than beer & wine. Obviously, it’s much less expensive to serve beer and wine over martinis!
(By the way, if you’re contemplating over serving alcohol at a kid’s first birthday party, my theory is this: If you have more adults than kids, YES. If there are more kids, NO. A fifth birthday party, with children, at a skating rink, is not the place to serve wine!)
I always stake out Walmart, Dollar stores, and (believe it or not Joann’s fabrics) for party ideas. I tend to stay away from those grand party stores because their prices are a bit higher. Not to mention, dollar stores (these days) have everything you could possibly need for a party! From balloons to decorations to paper products and buffet items!
If you’re hosting over 15 people in your home, don’t feel compelled to set a table! I just have chairs all around the house, and my guests typically like to float around anyway. It’s so much nicer to just lay out your paper plates, utensils, and napkins at your buffet line. By the way, I don’t always buy special paper plates for a party. Sometimes I’ll just use a good quality paper/plastic plate and utensils with nice dinner napkins. It’s just such a big money saver!
Don’t skimp on the cake. Unless you are a baker, spend the extra money and display a beautiful cake and cupcakes, where everyone can see. It adds such a beautiful touch!
Make a count-down list. There are certain things you can do in advance, like order the balloons and cake. Other things you need to do the day of. Here is something you can hopefully use before your next party at home!
I leave you with a few of my Favorite Party Items that I keep in my basement! I think they’re worth the investment if you plan on Hosting a Party at Home!
If you’d like more tips on hosting a party at home, on a budget, check out this blog post by a fellow-blogger. She has some great ideas! Birthday Party on a Budget.