How to Significantly Cut Event Costs in Six Moves

linen-like tablecloths plastic tablecloths

You’re planning an event and you’ve got high standards for the work you do. It’s likely that saving money and keeping the event under budget are also important to you. Growing several more pairs of hands would probably be helpful too! I can’t help you with that, but I can offer six ideas for cutting event costs that will help you whether you’re planning a wedding or an event for a university, organization, or business.

1. BYOL: Bring Your Own Linens! Take a long, hard look at your catering fees, paying close attention to equipment costs. These often make up a muchas one third of the overall catering budget and include things like linens and specialty items like champagne flutes and upgraded china (see the next tip). If you’re planning to bring your own linens (and you need a lot of them!), we offer bulk rates.

2. Know What You’re Serving. Here again, study your catering fees. If you’re not serving champagne, make sure you’re not paying for champagne flutes. Do you really need their suggested quantity of chargers? Cut out unnecessary extras to save.

3. Make the Most of Your Venue. If you’re renting a space, see if they can offer off-season or weekday rates. If the venue is part of a non-profit, ask if your venue fee serves as a donation, in which case it’s tax deductible.

4. Focus on Making the Maximum Impact. The details of an event are certainly important - handmade favors and goodie bags, special embossed place cards – in the overall feel of an event, but they can add to your time spent and your stress…and your bottom line. Focus on the bigger picture, and keep your need for special touches somewhat in check.

5. DIY Flowers. Flowers can brighten any event, but they can be extremely costly. Consider harvesting your own supplies (wildflowers, branches, etc.) and making your own centerpieces. And go simple: try a short glass bowl with river rocks and a single floating blossom or sink a single orchid in a tall clear vessel (much less expensive than a whole bouquet of orchids or roses for every table!). If you’re a flower-wrangling newbie, search on YouTube, Pinterest, and other DIY sites for how-tos and inspiration.

6. Think Outside the Building. Depending on what kind of event you’re planning, outdoor events can be less expensive to pull together. However, if you’re planning an outdoor event, you will have to prepare for the possibility of bad weather. Linen tablecloths are costly and therefore risky to use at an outdoor event. Linen-like plastic tablecloths are an affordable alternative that will be a much safer choice in the event of rain or wind. Plastic tablecloths and tableskirts that tape on or Quik Covers: that wrap around the edge of your tables are perfect in case the odd gust kicks up. Using disposable table coverings also make clean up faster, and therefore less expensive if you are paying a crew to do that for you.

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