Happy Thursday, babes! As a big wine-o, wine night is one of my favorite things my family does. Every couple of months my husband’s immediate family and our good family friends get together for a wine night. Each couple or person brings their favorite bottle of wine and we all taste it and pick our favorites.
This past month Travis and I hosted wine night in our backyard and we had an absolute blast. We picked 3 of our new favorite wines – The Resident, The Middle Jane, and the Fieldhouse Rosé. The Resident ended up being one of the most popular wines of the night!
Although fun, hosting can be a big endeavor. When we signed up to host we envisioned a fun, relaxing evening outdoors since the weather isn’t too hot here yet. We made a list of all the things we needed to prepare, but set an intention to keep the process stress-free and inexpensive. We all know that when hosting both the stress and the expenses can ramp up pretty quickly if you aren’t careful.
In an effort to stay on budget, here are some of the tips and tricks we used to create an unforgettable, inexpensive backyard wine night:
how to have an inexpensive, unforgettable wine night:
- Use what you have – the first step in hosting any type of party is to take inventory of what you already have. This will be the biggest money saver. For example, we already had a galvanized tub to use as a water tin, a bar cart, and a rug we could use outdoors. We also did things like make our own ice cubes instead of purchasing all the ice and used greenery from our garden.
- utilize your garden – whether you’re creating centerpieces or using greenery in your food displays, check your garden first! We used rosemary sprigs to decorate our cheese tray and we got it from our garden!
- bargain shop – one of my sweet friends has taught me to always look through the Dollar Store when you need something inexpensive before looking elsewhere. I knew I needed plastic silverware and napkins and I was able to find both at the Dollar Store. // There were some items we needed to purchase like plastic wine glasses, so instead of ordering offline, I hit up our local Marshall’s and found exactly what I needed! Bargain shopping pays off!
- clean your space well – a clean space makes a big impression! No matter what or where you are hosting a clean space will always make a big impact!
- DIY parting gift – people love gifts and it’s always fun to leave a party with a little something. We ended up using what we had to create a meaningful, personal parting gift. We have a giant rosemary bush in our backyard, so we made our own rosemary infused olive oil. We put the infused olive oil in little jars and gifted it with homemade sourdough bread.
- rose petal ice cubes – have a little fun with your presentation. We knew we would have a tub of waters and carbonated water, so we decided to jazz it up. I had the girls pluck of rose petals and put them in ice trays with water. Rose petal ice cubes add color and make such a fun impact! We got the ice trays at Walmart.
- music – nothing sets the embiance quite like music. Always have music on in the background – not too loud though!
- discount flowers – we get all our flowers from Trader’s Joes because they’re super affordable, but I just got the tip from a neighbor who uses the “bargain” bucket from the grocery store to make her own bouquets! Fresh flowers is an easy way to add color. A little goes a long way!
- easy appetizers – creating easy, make-before apps allows you to not be preparing in the kitchen all day and saves money. Opt for apps like dips such as queso in a crockpot or a cheese tray (use the $5 and under buckets or keep all blocks under $5). We love the “love dip” from Central Market and always keep it on hand for parties!
- something fun for the kids – if you’re like us, the odds of having guests with kids or your kids being awake when everyone arrives is high for this stage in our life. We wanted something fun for the girls to make them feel special. So, we created a mini s’mores bar. We simply put out marshmallows, and my moms amazing s’mores secret – fudge stripe cookies instead of chocolate and graham crackers. The girls loved the sweet treat and thought our milk jars (from the dollar section at Target) made them so cool.
I hope this helps and please provide any and all tips you may have, too! Always looking to have a good time and get the most bang for my buck!