I would like to throw a birthday party for one of my best friends. Her birthday is December 20th and she will be turning 17. That automatically rules out a cook out which was what I was wanting to do. It will be a surprise party. My parents are pastors of a church and they told me we could use the church for her party, and I'm happy about that so we don't have to rent somewhere. But I need some ideas as far as themes and decorations and what to do. Please help. Any advice would be very helpful to me! Also keep in mind I am on a very tight budget for this.
Could you combine it with an act of charity, like making gift baskets for those in need?
Get a frame & mat for one big picture or a frame & mat for a collage. Have guests sign the mat & take one group pic for the big mat or lots for the collage. Disposable cameras scattered around the room would be fun for candid shots. Have a corner of the room decorated so people can take some prom-like pictures.
It's cheaper if you have guests lend you a hand in buying/prepping the food.
Budget conscious ideas for food:
Baked potato bar
Pizza bar - Guests can make their own pizzas. Either get dough & sauce at a local pizza place, or get frozen pizzas & add extra toppings before baking. Or, use bagels, English muffins, flatbread, pitas for crust - lots of possibilities - use your imagination!
Ice cream Sundae bar - we have done this a lot, because we ask our daughter if she would rather have cake or a sundae bar, & she ALWAYS picks the sundae bar!! Don't forget bananas for splits or brownies for hot fudge cake!!
Hawaiian haystacks - http://www.cooks.com/rec/view/0,1739,146180-246192,00.html
Rsvp party goers & have them bring ingredients for any
of these ideas.
Have someone burn some cds - have a dance & then give the cds to the one with the birthday as a memento.
A red carpet theme is always pretty popular. You can get a little plastic red carpet from a lot of party stores, or you could always make one by
going to a material store and buying a yard or two of a red material of your choice. A lot of dollar stores sell giant balloons, Ive seen them in blue and red. They're a lot of fun.
You can make mocktails (search it on a site like google, and you'll get lots of recipes). A picture corner, or a neat backdrop is always a nice bonus, I also picked up a mini chocolate fountain that I found on sale, that was a HUGE hit at my last party. The guests were telling their friends about it a few days after the party.
Designate one or two people (or more than a few, that are on rotations taking turns with the camera so that everyone at the party makes it into the pictures) as your paparazzi for the night, and dazzle the birthday girl with a wave of flashes as she walks into the room.
A lot of pizza stores offer deals on their pizza if you buy a lot of it, so look around in their flyers to see if you found a deal you like. My local pizza joint, Twice the Deal, offers three extra large pizzas with 3 toppings on each and 3 dipping sauces for only $30, including delivery.
If pizza isnt your thing, "minis" are a lot of fun. Any food you can find thats been made miniature (mini sandwiches, pizzas, bagels, pies, brownies, fries, etc.)
OR a GIANT tray of nachos is always a good choice, because your guests can come back and grab some whenever they want, and wont need to be tied down with plates or anything like that
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