ParentClick Santa Barbara

Party Planning – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle


3 ways to throw a fabulous fete with an economically sensitive budget…..

  1. REDUCE the guest count.
    Yes, every time you have to multiply your bottom line by your guest count, your overall cost goes up. This year bigger is not necessarily better. Instead, intimate is excellent. This concept truly reaches across all kinds of party throwing from 4th to 40th birthdays. Sure the temptation maybe to invite the entire preschool class, but wouldn’t your child have just as much fun with a perfectly designed party with two or three of her closest friends? What about hurt feelings you ask? Well, couldn’t you explain to your child that this time it was a small party and not everyone was invited and then take the perfect opportunity to help her understand that not everyone is always invited to every party and that is OK? And, lets be brutally honest here, wouldn’t you be just fine going to one less birthday party?!? It’s your 40th you say? What a better way to spend it than with your closest friends and family surrounding you. But everyone expects a big bash you say….well, schedule a time to all meet up for dancing! I have a friend who planned her recent birthday festivities in this manner. I must say, I think she is brilliant. The fact that you and your friends will not need a bail-out plan for your child’s college fund because of one birthday bash will leave everyone feeling festive and very happy indeed.
  2. REUSE everyday items found around your house for décor.
    I did a table setting not so long ago with ‘found’ items from around my house. The table looked fantastic (I thought) and I truly didn’t bring in that many new items to set the table other than some fresh flowers. Making an event unique from a design standpoint doesn’t have to involve bringing in the most expensive rental items possible. If keeping the above mentioned reduced guest count in mind, you actually can reuse items around the house. Bring out Grandma’s china and combine it with some of those candlesticks that have a fine layer of dust on them that you received as wedding gifts back in the day…. You probably have more items that can be reclaimed as table treasures around the house than you think, No candlesticks you say, well, how about candy dishes, multi-colored pottery, mis-matched ice cream bowls. You don’t always have to use things for their originally intended purpose. Put your child’s ceramic dinosaur (you know the one that has about 32 different colors of glaze on it) and create a table design around it. Now that actually could be a really cool table set-up…where is that dinosaur???…
  3. RECYCLE or repurpose anything and everything.
    You don’t always have to use flowers on a table. Use absolutely anything in your house as a design element. Have a water softener? Use the salt in glass cylinders as a clean compliment to column or votive candles. No glass cylinders you say? My guess is you probably have clear drinking glasses somewhere in your house. Have citrus trees? Bowls of oranges, lemons or limes make tables look bright and sunny. No fruit trees? How about just a tree? A single branch of anything placed in a simple glass container can make more of a statement than an entire arrangement of peonies if executed correctly. If your children can come home from school with projects comprised completely of recycled objects and call it art, there is no reason why you cannot do the same thing with found items around the house. Using things that are part of your environment also allows for you to express who you are. Are you an avid reader? Consider stacking books in the center of the table with some candles and bowls of munchies for a book club gathering. Knitter- baskets of balls of yarn (I think it is probably called a skein or something…but I don’t really knit…). Collector of anything…use what you have. Clustering things together often makes more of a statement than have a few pieces scattered here and there. By recycling and repurposing items that you already own you are able to save the money you would have spent on flowers or rentals for other things…like that college fund mentioned earlier….

Sure times may be getting interesting, but celebrating life together doesn’t have to stop. What is truly important is not what type of event you plan or how you decorate it, but rather who you spend your special occasions with. Cheers!

April 6, 2014

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