How to throw a holiday party for $5,000 or less!

If you find yourself wondering how you’ll be able to throw a holiday party in a week, prepare to have your mind blown! I’m going to share some tips on how to throw a holiday party for 150 guests or less for under $5,000.  Yep, five thousand dollars… you read that properly, it’s not a typo. 

Venue: If you can’t keep it in-office, go with non-traditional event spaces that wouldn’t mind sharing their space for events.  Voilà currently has access to 3 amazing spaces that would be happy to negotiate a last-minute rental for $2,000 or less; Mint Salon, Big House Labs and Interface NYC.  With any space bargain, you want to be flexible and willing to host your party during off peak times like lunchtime or starting at 4pm on a weekday. 

Now you have roughly $3,000 left for food, beverage, entertainment and décor.  Here’s the game plan…

Catering: Go for a drop off service from a gourmet deli.  I like to use Savory & Sweet because they’re not your average deli… The owners actually run an event space, catering company and staffing agency.  So events are what they do best!  Their event platters range from $4.25 and $12.95 and feed up to 10 guests each. For a full listing of their drop-off menu, click here

Liquor:  Keep it simple and go with wine, beer and a seasonal signature cocktail.  Trader Joe’s offers a great selection of wine & beer as a matter of fact, their Josephsbrau Winter Brew is delish! Their Grand Reserve Carneros Wines are also fantastic and you have the option of chardonnay and pinot noir.  The wines are $12.99 per bottle but if you go to their store in Union Square, you’ll find other brands as low as $4.99.  For a full listing of their offerings, go here

Décor & Entertainment: Do I really need to say it?  DJ Spotify or DJ Pandora are dying to play at your next party.  Do it up and pay a minimal fee to make it commercial free but if you don’t care about sporadic interruptions, your guests might not either.  Also, you’re on a budget so you probably can’t afford a photo booth right? But what about that gadget you take photos with and sometimes use to make phone calls?  You guessed it!  Create a fun-zone or “photo booth area” with DIY props like sunglasses, scarves, top hats etc… and create a fun hashtag for the holiday party too!  Guests can use their own devices to capture funny moments and post it to the social media channel of their choice.  You can later use the hashtag to collect all the photos and create a photo album for guests to later enjoy.  And lastly, spice it up with some fun lights and décor from Oriental Trading.  A little goes a long way on that site so no need to allocate more than $200 on décor.

et Voilà!