Low Budget Event Planning Tips

You don't need to be a millionaire to create an event that looks amazing. There are plenty of budget-friendly options out there for all aspects of your special event. Below we have listed a few suggestions for some categories.


If you are not hiring a professional caterer and want something more elegant than paper plates, but you do not have enough China/Tableware to accommodate your upcoming event, there are a couple budget-friendly options. The first is to check out your local discount variety store where everything is a dollar ($1). These types of stores actually have some high quality tableware items; glasses, plates, and even chargers. Since each item is only a dollar you can get away with spending only $3-$5 per guest. This is a less expensive option than going to the higher end home stores, Tip: Once you have found the design that you desire, check with the Cashier to see if they have that item in the back, still in the box. Another option is to check out your local party rental suppliers. Most places offer tableware items for as low as $0.30/each and you do not have to worry about storing these items after the event is over.

Photo Booth

Photo Booths are a fun and exciting addition to any kind of party. Booking these services through a vendor can be costly. There are a couple of other options that won't break the bank. Simply creating a backdrop using wrapping paper or Photo Booth kits on an empty wall and supplying props is sufficient enough to allow your guests the ability to use their phones to take photos. If you are relying on social media to store your Photo Booth gems, remember to provide your guests with a distinguishing hashtag. You can also supply a camera, such as the Fujifilm Instax Mini Camera, so that your guests can take home a physical memento. Taking it even further, there are multiple websites out there that offer an at-home Photo Booth that is shipped to you. Companies like BoothByMail offer packages that include the backdrop, props, photo paper, and the camera. The only items you will need are a printer and ink.


With the combination of music streaming apps, such as Spotify and Pandora, and Smart Speaker Systems, such as Alexa and Google Home, becoming more popular, more and more events are saving on the expense of hiring music entertainment. Specifically, with Spotify, you can create or search for playlist that match any type of party mood. Last year, we planned a Western Themed Birthday Party and we were able to find Saloon Music on Spotify that set the mood and took the guest back to the Western Era. Combine those speaker systems with sound activated lights and you have yourself a rave right in your own home. You can purchase lights that have a speaker built into them. Disclaimer: Even though the technology, discussed above, is somewhat advance, music and lighting provided by a professional will always be superior to any low-budget option.

Floral Arrangements

Flowers can consume a large portion of your budget. When you hire a professional florist, you are not only pay for the materials but you are paying for their time, convenience of not having to craft arrangements on your own or storage of the arrangements until the time of your event We would strongly recommend hiring a professional for those reasons. However, if you are looking for simple arrangements that can be placed in decorative containers with water, there a few options for DIY-ers. Local members on warehouse retail shops offer a fresh floral section. Here you can purchase bulk flower options at economical prices. Some offer wedding collection section where you can receive a package with all the necessary floral options (bouquets, boutonnieres, corsages, etc.) You can also use some online options to purchase fresh florals and have them delivered right to your home. FiftyFlowers has a very useful section called "Make This Look" that you can browse through and it gives the exact amount of stems to create a particular look. If ordering or picking up flowers, always remember to order them for the day of or 1-2 days before your event. Always make sure they have a sufficient water supply and never let them get too hot or go below freezing temperatures.


Stationary can be another item that will consume a good portion of your budget. If you are artistic and detail oriented, you may be able to simply use a program on your computer to create your own invitations and print at home. Printing fees at office supply stores are extremely budget friendly and can offer same day printing. If design is not your strong suit, Etsy has a wide range of inexpensive invitation designs. You can purchase a design and have it customized by the seller for only a few dollars and print as many invitations as you want.

Looking for even more savings?

Those who hire an Event Planner tend to spend less overall. A seasoned Event Planner may at times be buying in bulk (for multiple clients) or booking services through the same vendors over and over again; because of these reasons, Event Planners are often able to offer even lower discounts for products and services than if you were to purchase them on your own.

1st Capital Events, LLC | York, PA | 717-683-8127

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