How to Throw an Intimate Event on a Budget

by Jillian Leslie on

So many of the parties I write about are big parties, so it was fun talking to party planner Chris Nease, owner of Celebrations at Home in Richmond, Virginia, about some of the smaller events she throws, and the creative things she comes up with to make her parties special.

She just put together a candy table for a preteen's birthday, and her inspiration... a shower curtain.  She wanted to do something fall and fun, so when she saw the $16 red and brown shower curtain at Walmart she knew she was onto something.  Using the colors as her guide, she included chocolate milk (in recycled Starbucks frappuccino bottles), chocolate bars, licorice, Whoppers, Hershey's kisses, and chocolate covered donuts.  But the best part, it looked professional and fabulous and cost less than $150 for the whole shebang.

Candy table in red and brown
Candy table in red and brown

Chris says her favorite kinds of parties to throw are cocktail parties -- drinks and appetizers.  In fact, she just threw a Ladies Night "Let it Snow" Christmas party for 13 of her closest girlfriends, where everyone brought an appetizer or bottle of wine and she provided a dessert/favor bar.  Simple, yet fun.  Here are a few pictures from the event.  See more pictures on her Catch My Party page.

The dessert and favor bar
The dessert and favor bar

The wine glasses with snowflake stickers
The wine glasses with snowflake stickers

The centerpiece was a manzanita tree spray painted silver
The centerpiece was a manzanita tree spray painted silver surrounded by poms and carnations

As Chris says, she's a regular person on a budget, so she understands how to throw parties with that warm, stylish, creative touch, while not blowing the bank in the process.  Check out her blog to get many more fresh, inexpensive ideas.

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