Hosting a memorable and luxurious event is possible without spending your life’s savings. While your ideas may include champagne towers and all-white attire, your wallet may say bottom-shelf wine. Fortunately, there is a happy medium between the two extremes.
While your budget may be far below the Kardashians, you can still put on luxury events while sticking to a reasonable budget.
For all the BAUCE women with big ideas and small to medium size wallets, here is some expert advice to help you put on that fabulous event.
Start Planning Early
Set yourself up for success by starting the planning process early. A typical rule of thumb is six months. Planning gives you more time to understand what you want, avoid mishaps, and an early start is better for everyone on the event platform planning team. Here are aspects to consider early in the planning process.
Venue: The event location can be one of the biggest expenses when planning your event. However, you can get a fair rate and negotiate some details by choosing a venue early when the site isn’t completely booked and has more availability.
The key to booking a venue for a luxury event is to find a non-conventional place such as art galleries, botanical or rooftop gardens, art studios, or historical libraries. If you want a more traditional venue, add a unique twist like a boutique hotel.
Expert tip: You can book a venue for free. The key is to look for venues that won’t charge an upfront fee but instead agree to share the event’s profits with you. Another option is to invite guests that would visit that venue in the future—for example, hosting an event for freelancers and entrepreneurs at a co-working space.
Additionally, you could work out a special discount or rate with someone you know who has a restaurant, works in a corporate office building, or has a fancy beach house.
Invitations: Whether your event is free or paid, it’s important to send out guest invitations early, about four weeks in advance, most professionals say. By sending out early invitations and requesting RSVPs, you can know how many guests to expect.
When sending out invitations, start with people in your network. You can even offer incentives to guests who RSVP early, such as choosing seating or entering a raffle. You can also invite VIP guests who will pay more for a VIP experience.
A pro tip from Andrew Roby Events, a black-owned event planning business, is to order matching thank-you cards when you order the invitations. Sending out thank you cards will help you leave a lasting impression on your guests.
Entertainment: One way to save money on entertainment is to combine the cost of entertainment with other expenses. For instance, you could cater the event with food entertainment, such as mixologists or sushi chefs that prepare the meals in front of the guests.
Create A Budget
Knowing how much you can and are willing to spend on your luxury event is crucial to success. A budget isn’t meant to be restrictive; it can help you figure out how to manage your money best.
According to Project Manager.com, you should include equipment, food and beverage, venue, travel and accommodations, and staffing cost in your budget.
When calculating your expenses, see which areas you can be flexible with. For instance, you may want to put more money towards food and beverage depending on the goal of your event.
Ebony Edwards, a professional event planner, says that having an itemized list of the event can be a lifesaver.
Putting together a luxury event on a budget is simple when you keep your costs at the top of your mind.
Hire A Professional
If you feel overwhelmed in the planning process or have trouble sticking with your budget, hiring a professional event planner can help.
As a professional, Edwards always asks her clients how much they want to spend, and through collaboration and communication, she helps her client’s visions become a reality.
Keep Track Of Expenses And Changes
Remember that your budget is a living element. By keeping track of your expenses and any changes that might occur, you’ll be sure to stay within your price limit.
For best practices, try using a spreadsheet or Excel to monitor your costs.
Have A Wow Factor
A wow factor is something that is going to engage your guests and have them talking about the event. It doesn’t have to be extravagant and over the top. To impress your guest, try creating something meaningful to your guests. Create something that will leave an impression, such as customizable gifts.
Planning a luxury event on a budget is possible through the right planning, assistance, and imagination.