Shannan leigh

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5 Budget-Friendly Tips For Hosting a Holiday Dinner

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Last week we hosted our THIRD annual friendsgiving. Each year gets a little bit easier and LOT more enjoyable! The first year we hosted I spent a month planning everything and stayed up until midnight the night before getting it all done. Then, I ran around the morning of like a chicken with my head cut off and it was just so crazy!

Fast forward to year three and wow, what a difference. I planned this years table scape in a few hours and ordered the food the day before! No stress, and the most fun one yet!

Over the years I’ve figured out what works and what doesn’t, what is worth spending the extra dime on and what can be DIYed. Today I’m sharing 5 tips for for hosting a budget-friendly friendsgiving! These can totally be applied to your family Thanksgiving too FYI!

1. Decorating with Food

I saw these personal pies for 50 cents at Walmart of all places and instantly pictures them on each plate! I tied it with a ribbon and added a name tag so everyone knew their seat and got the pie flavor they wanted! Not only did it pull out table design together, but it also took care of dessert for $10 including the ribbon!

Another way we used food as decor was adding this bowl of apples to the table and letting them spill down the center. It added a slightly rustic, super festive touch and cost me $6….the bowl was pulled from inside the house!

2. Thrifted Bud Vases

I can’t tell you how many different occasions I’ve used these bud vases for! I think we got them for my bridal shower, like four years ago! They’re from GoodWill. I think they were maybe $1-2 each, and they are the perfect filler on a large table!

3. Pretty Plastic Cutlery

We’ve been using this gold plastic cutlery since the 2nd year we hosted! Party City just came out with this new textured one I loved! It was only $8 for a set and it’s one less thing to clean at the end of the night!

4. Ikea Cafe Chairs

These chairs have served us so well throughout the years! They work indoors or outdoors and fold up for easy storing when they’re not in use! Plus they are only $15!

5. DIY Place Cards

Place cards add that extra little touch. I DIYed these place cards and tied them to the pies with $2 ribbon. To make your own place cards, open any kind of document…Microsoft, Google Drive, Photoshop, whatever works for you. Type everyones name in your preferred font and size with enough space in between to cut them the size you want. Email your file to the local Fedex print shop and ask them to print it on matte card stock. This costs less than $2! Cut them out however you planned and place them on your table! Done!

These five things always help me pull together a great dinner party, no matter the occasion! I hope they inspire you to host your own with family and friends!

Don’t forget to pin this for later!

Flowers by Shine + Co Floral!

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November 21, 2020


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A photographer of all things life & love. Dog mama to two tiny pups that have my whole heart, and married to my best friend of 13 years. Together, we share a little house on Lemon St.

I’m Shannan Leigh.

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