How to Throw a Party & Charge Enough to Cover Expenses

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Throwing parties is a great way to celebrate various occasions and connect with friends. However, parties are often quite cost-prohibitive. Therefore, many people charge guests as a way to cover expenses. Whether you charge a fee at the door or have your guests buy tickets ahead of time, you will need to calculate a per-guest amount as you plan your party. This how-to guide will show you an easy way to calculate and execute a guest fee for your next party.

Planning and Execution

Decide how many guests you hope to have at your party.

Estimate how many guests will actually attend the party. If you have to book a venue before you know the exact number of guests, make an educated guess based on the responses you already have.

Calculate the cost of food, drinks and preparation for each guest.

Charge each guest the amount from Step 3. Since it is often bad form to outright charge your guests, consider creative ways to recoup your costs.

Set up a cash bar or raffle tickets to shift the cost burden. While a cash bar or raffle tickets will not yield as predictable an amount of money, you can still recoup a good portion of your money. If people buy enough, you may even make a profit.

Tips & Warnings

  • Visit Evite's "Party Budget Estimator" for a rough sense of how much your party will cost.
  • Not all guests take kindly to paying, especially if the party fee is not mentioned in the initial invitation. For this reason, you may wish to ask potential guests whether they think they will attend if there's a fee. Another option is to set a party ticket fee and then based on the response from RSVP's, set your budget accordingly.

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