You need to know how much money you have before you start any actual planning. Be realistic with your costs. Sit down and make an outline of every aspect of the event and how much you're willing to shell out for each. As you plan, visit your budget frequently to be sure you aren't going overboard. Make tiers of options that you can live with if your first choice doesn't work out. For example:
- Option 1: You have an open bar.
- Option 2: Each guest receives two free drinks.
- Option 3: Guests pay for their own drinks.
Don't be afraid to take a little from one area to give to another. If you're determined to have an open bar, for example, you may have to cut into your catering budget. If there are things you want that you just can't afford, look for discounts and don't be afraid to negotiate with vendors. They need your business just as much as you need theirs!