DIY Backyard Engagement Party on a Budget

8th November 2015

Last month Jason and I were so elated to have our engagement party at his sweet grandparents’ home. We were so fortunate to have the help of Jason’s aunt, grandmother, and mother. It would not have been possible without them!

DIY Engagement Party Sweet Southern Simplicity Blog

Because I am in grad school and Jason and I are trying to get out of debt, we did not have a huge budget for this party.

We found ways to save money pretty easily through out the planning process. The first being the invitations. I went to order them on Shutterfly and was SHOCKED when my total was over $150 and the shipping date was way too close to the actual event. Luckily, UWG has a fantastic Publications and Printing service on campus and I was able to get my invitations professionally printed SAME DAY for $10. I was ecstatic about how they turned out! Perks of being a grad student, I suppose .:)

We were able to save a ton of money by having it at his grandparents’ home and having delicious homemade BBQ and sides catered by Jason’s family. Everyone that attended had wonderful things to say about the food and J and I enjoyed leftovers for days!

DIY Backyard Engagement Party | Sweet Southern Simplicity Blog

I absolutely adored the way my in laws set up the drink stations. It was so cute and functional. You can’t see it in the photo, but we had all the beers set up in buckets in an old wash stand. It was glorious! We borrowed it and a gorgeous chandelier from Jason’s aunts who love vintage and antiques even more than me (who knew it was possible?!). Jason’s other aunt made the menu out of an old window, one of my favorite elements from our party!

The most expensive aspect of our party was renting the tables and chairs. I was able to get 6 large round banquet tables and 70 natural wood folding chairs for less than $250. That’s a pretty fantastic deal! Picking up and returning the chairs and tables ourselves saved us a great deal of money. And by ourselves I mean some wonderful members of our family. Thanks Dad and Uncle Charlie for your trailers and muscles!

DIY Backyard Engagement Party | Sweet Southern Simplicity Blog

Jason and I purchased six navy blue tablecloths from Amazon, a money-saving tip I learned from my lovely friend Amberly of Wrennwood Event Design. We spent a total of $64 on them and will likely use them for our actual wedding (if we don’t elope, that is ;)). I made the centerpieces myself and spent a total of about $80 on supplies for them. I even got some of the succulents from THE DOLLAR TREE. Yeah, kind of unbelievable! I will be posting a full tutorial for these soon, so stay tuned!

DIY Backyard Engagement Party | Sweet Southern Simplicity Blog

Other table decorations included vintage books I already owned, white and gold pumpkins from the dollar section of Target, and old vodka bottles with the labels removed. I bought one bouquet of fall flowers and arranged them in each bottle vase. They had a minimal but chic feel to them and the entire bouquet only cost me $12. BONUS: After the party I put the bouquet back together and gave it to Jason’s grandmother, they were still beautiful in her kitchen over a week later!

To add a little element of goofiness we hung up an old white sheet and got some low cost  props from the Halloween section of Wal Mart. The giant cat head was definitely a hit.

DIY Backyard Engagement Party | Sweet Southern Simplicity Blog

The photo screen was not as fancy as a photo booth but I think it accomplished the same goal and only cost us around $20!

These are only a few examples of ways J and I were able to save money on the ridiculous costs of hosting an event. This sentiment could easily be applied to a wedding, shower, or other event! If you’re willing to get your hands dirty and let go of perfection DIY is the way to go!

Our party was such an awesome gathering and meant the world to us. It’s amazing what you can accomplish with the help of family and friends. There is no way Jason and I could have handled this ourselves! Thank you to everyone that attended, we love you! I promise you will get a thank you card for the gift, just let me get through a few more weeks of school!

What money-saving ideas do you have for your next event? Comment below!

XO – Sarah

Who, being loved, is poor? – Oscar Wilde

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