Throw Elegant Holiday Parties for Less
- Flowers: Avoid Expensive Blooms
Flowers can be expensive but one way to keep costs down is to avoid the big, showy blooms. So that means no roses. Instead, look to less popular flowers like carnations which graced Cowie's table (and have a beautiful, spicy scent). You can even go with fake flowers which look real but don't leave you with dead leaves a week later.
- Decor doesn't have to cost a lot
Cowie is a fan of a monochromatic colour theme. This doesn't mean boring. He decorated the dinner table using gold and silver metallic baubles that you can find at your local dollar store. It's not the cost that's important but the impact. This colour theme can be extended to your tree and even to the gift paper.
- Have more drink than food
Unless you specific that you're having a dinner party, always ensure that you have more alcohol than food. You can get a good wine for less than $10 to $15 and can mix a punch or cocktail for the same cost. Average approximately three glasses per person and keep the number for a cab readily available.
- Cheap, cheerful but effective decor items
Cowie sourced his items from stores such as West Elm. His mirror runner can be recreated simply by using mirrored tiles from your local hardware store or from IKEA.
- Get Creative with Drinks
Cowie said that most people serve wine or beer but he suggests that one place to splurge is on a fun cocktail. The cocktail served at the event was a lime-based drink but you can create a cocktail based on your or your guests' tastes.
- Pay someone to clean, or DIY?
You can spend the day cleaning and be tired for your party or you could budget for a professional cleaning. Yes, it can be expensive but the results are worth it. You won't be tired and can be an amazing host and your home will be holiday ready for the rest of the season, only requiring some minimal straightening up.
If you're doing it yourself, clean everything but focus your efforts on the main traffic areas where your guests will be – the living room, the kitchen (because a kitchen party always happens) and the bathroom.
- To Cater, or Not to Cater
You can make your own food but Cowie said that he bought everything. Because who has the time to make food these days when you can pre-order such a variety of wonderful items?