If you follow me on social media then you probably saw glimpses into Brennan’s 30th birthday shenanigans earlier in September! Not only did we celebrate by throwing a party at our apartment the day-of, but we also went to Minnesota for a week to spend time with friends and family! It was the perfect way to celebrate the end of a decade, and the beginning of a new one.
Brennan has a job that requires him to work long hours all summer, including weekends, so when it comes to surprising him with things, I kind of get off easy! Since his work schedule is so predictable and demanding up until Labor Day, decorating our apartment throughout the day, setting up his presents, and even picking up his mom and aunt from the airport without him even knowing they were in California was a breeze! Other than pure excitement for him to walk through the door to see his first birthday surprise, there wasn’t too much stress surrounding the tiny details.
The main thing I was focussed on was getting the MOST out of spending the least amount possible. Our life goal, right?
Here are a few things that helped a TON when throwing a party on a budget!
Budget-Friendly Party Planning Tips
- Use things around your apartment as decor! Our bar cart is one of our favorite pieces of furniture in our living room, so using it as a focal point in the party was a no-brainer. Stocking it with your favorite cheap Trader Joe’s wine and Prosecco is a must! It also made the perfect spot for any cards/gifts to be set down as guests walked in.
- If you don’t have room for tables in your apartment, but want to add a nice touch to the surfaces you do have, use cute place mats as makeshift table runners. These are from Home Goods and were only a couple dollars each! It makes me sad we don’t have a designated ‘nook’ for a kitchen table, so I don’t get to do too many centerpieces. Place mats have been huge in making our countertop bar and outdoor patio table feel more decorated.
- Birthday party invitations don’t have to be pricey to be perfect! These surprise party invitations below weren’t for the party we had in our apartment, but Brennan’s sister (also named Ashley) threw him a HUGE surprise party in Minnesota, which was a huge success. He was SO surprised and it was honestly one of the most fun things I’ve been apart of! I was playing on the Basic Invite website to see what they offer, and what’s SO cool is they send you a sample of your invitation in the mail before you even have to commit to the order! Their site is easy to use, has gorgeous design features, and like I said, isn’t pricey! See more info on why they’re the best, below 🙂 Almost Unlimited Colors – Basic Invite is one of the few websites that allows customers almost unlimited color options with instant previews online. Once you select a design you can change the color of each element on the card to over 180 different color options so you can make sure the card is exactly how you want it down to the littlest detail. This is what we feel sets us apart from almost any other online stationery company and is what we feel is our biggest draw.
Custom Samples – Basic Invite is one of the few websites that allows customers the ability to order a printed sample of their actual invitation so they can see exactly how it will print as well as the paper quality before they ever have to place their final order.
Over 40 Different Colors of Envelopes – Basic Invite is just as colorful with our envelopes as we are with our invitations. Customers can choose from over 40 different colors when it comes to their envelopes so that they can make their invitation stand out even before it is opened. All of our envelopes are peel and seal so the envelopes can be quickly and securely closed.
Free Address Collection Service – Use our free address collection service to request your addresses with just three simple steps. Share a link, collect addresses, and get free envelope printing.
- If you’re lucky enough to be celebrating at the end of August – September, then you’ll most likely be able to find all of the patio decor you could think of on CLEARANCE. Since summer is technically over in the retail world when August rolls around, they need to clear outdoorsy items out ASAP to make room for back to school inventory. This is how I scored on all of the outside decor we have on our patio! These solar powered market lights and gold lanterns (a few pictures up) were all on major sale. This helps a TON with making your party space feel more decorated without having to buy items that you will only use for the party itself!
- I decided to stay away from the traditional balloons for Brennan’s party, but still wanted something FUN in the center of the living room. Paper Source to the rescue. They had a box of these Happy Birthday Balloons that were perfect for above our fireplace. Since we still haven’t finished decorating completely, our sound sound box, Direct TV box, and TV wires are still kinda all over the place below our TV that’s hanging above the fireplace. These balloons not only added the fun party factor I was looking for, but they also helped hide the wires! It was a win-win. And much cheaper than a ton of balloons that usually pop on the way home!
- The EASIEST way to save money is to make your party a pot-luck! I don’t typically like to ask people to bring things to a party I’m throwing, but it definitely helps out if they bring their favorite snack or favorite beverage!
I hope these little tips help you with your next party! It can be tough to throw a party in an apartment, but it’s not impossible! What are your favorite party throwing hacks?