A game of pass-the-parcel, sandwiches and a bowl of crisps don’t quite cut it anymore.
The peer pressure to throw extravagant party is a growing trend amongst parents and Instagram conscious mamas are feeling the pressure – not just creatively but financially, too!
Some parents admit to spending £800+ on their little one’s birthday bash, with £400 being the average cost, according to a poll by Mums Show Live.
Elaborate parties include:
- an entertainer for one to three hours at £450 (£150+ an hour)
- catered food menu and drinks for 30 at £6 a child (£180)
- hire of a hall at around £120
- Party decorations £50
- Birthday cake £80
- Party bags for everyone at £3 each add up to £90
- Professional Photographer £150+
- Grand total: £1,120
Here are simple ways to make your party just as Insta-worthy without parting from your money.
1. Share the Party
Shared or joined parties with one or more friends that have a birthday around the same time are a great money saving party alternative and often less overwhelming for the parents in terms of cost and organisation as well as the birthday child since the attention is not all concentrated to a single child.
2. Party Invitations
Email invitations or download them for free from us here:
To keep the cost down you want to keep the numbers down – by making it clear that guests’ brothers and sisters aren’t invited however we understand that this is not always possible especially if the party is for younger kids where parents stay as guests with children and need to bring the sibling with them.
If you can’t face having it at home, or don’t have enough space, summer parties can be held in a local park or free outdoor play area with a picnic.
If you don’t want to take a risk with the weather, get a quote from a soft play centre or local hall. Avoid peak times – weekends, school holidays and half terms – when admission charges are higher. Keep your party slot for maximum 2 hours as the set up and clear up time will be added on top (usually 30 min on each end).
If there is a play centre or child-friendly cafe near you, try to do a deal.
Professional children’s party entertainers are expensive but oh, so worth the money! This is where we recommend spending your budget on as you get “best value for money!”
You may wish to keep the costs down by doing it yourself but think again. In return of paying for the high energy, fun and engaging entertainer you save yourself sanity as well as time so you can relax and actually enjoy you party (and a drink or two with your adult friends.)
Besides, keeping the attention of 30 2-7 year olds for an hour or two isn’t an easy task not to mention standing up in front of a bunch of kids (and possibly their parents!) terrifies many so it’s better to leave this side to the professionals. Money well spent!
Young ones typically don’t eat much, so don’t go overboard. This is a classic mistake where money can be wasted. Sandwiches or pizza, fresh fruit and ice cream with a flake should be enough. Or ask family and friends to bring a dish. You can also make your own birthday cake. If you’re not a baker buy plain fairy cakes and decorate them with the kids.
6. Party Decorations and Set Up
Apart from the entertainer the set up is of great importance. When your guests arrive, this is what they see first. The first impression can make a big impact and create a nice party atmosphere.
Of course, you could do a lot of it yourself (ebay and amazon have plenty to choose from) but think of your time, effort and creativity one needs to make the first impression worth (read Insta) while!
There are some budget friendly party decorators and party set-up services available in London that not only offer a WOW factor on a budget but in the same company could get an add on such as photographer. No need to hire that from someone else as separate – and extra cost.
One of those is Alina Moisiuc Events.
She is a one-woman band that offers bespoke (and budget friendly) party decoration and set ups that your party guests will remember. In addition, she is also a photographer and can capture special moments and party atmosphere to last forever. Talking about “killing two birds with one stone”!
7. Party Bags
The party bags can be a headache and thinking up what to put in them (that is not going to end in rubbish) can be stressful too.
One idea is to buy a set of books such as the Mr Men series (or colouring books) and let the children choose one to take away. A book will last far longer than a tatty toy that will be broken by bedtime. Or do a lucky dip.