Tips and Guides

RL Entertaining: Party Times Two

Times may be hard, but you can party harder! Throw a dual celebration to save money without scrimping on the festivities


With words like "economic downturn" plaguing the news, you're probably more conscious of the way you spend your hard-earned money nowadays. You may not be in a festive mood, and parties might be the first things to scratch off your list when you're considering your budget-but you must admit that there are certain occasions that are really worth celebrating.

What to do? You can still celebrate-the smart, stylish, and economical way. Throw a dual celebration by rolling two parties into one: Combine two occasions that are taking place at about the same time, then throw one big get-together instead of spending for two. It's twice the fun for half the cost!  

Read the original article ("Party Times Two") in the March 2009 issue of Real Living Magazine. Download your digital copy of Real Living on the Real Living App now! Log on to for more details.  

The Set-up

The key to having a dual celebration is to put in elements for both occasions! For a party commemorating your brother's graduation and your sister's birthday, for example, you could pick one color for each of the celebrants and take it from there. In the Real Living setup, we chose sleek, masculine black to echo the color of a graduation toga, and a sweet pink for our birthday girl. A few doses of white here and there will balance it all out.

Make use of a tablecloth in neutral white, patterned black and white tableware, and a boxy black vase filled with pretty pink blossoms.

Set out table napkins in solid pink and solid black, to show that each celebrant is getting equal billing!

Special Touch: Dessert Bar

Now is not the time to splurge on a chocolate fountain, but you could still have a fabulous dessert bar for a fraction of the cost.

Head to the nearest supermarket and pick out an assortment of local sweets in your chosen color scheme.

In keeping with our pink and black theme, we chose little, strawberry-coated biscuits, donuts with strawberry and chocolate frosting, chocolate-coated pretzels, and chocolate sandwich cookies.

Use clear glass pastry stands, jars, and bowls for a clean look. This will also allow the pretty colors to stand out.

The Invitation

You could easily create an inexpensive invitation: print out the details on parchment paper, and roll it up to look like a diploma. You can tie pink and black ribbons around each diploma to give your guests a preview of the party theme.

The Party Favors

You don't have to send guests home empty-handed. Even if you're on a tight budget, you could still afford to give them a little something to remember the party by.

Using black cartolina, make little containers shaped like graduation caps, line with Japanese paper, and fill with tiny pink treats like candy.

With pink cartolina, make mini-party hats, line with Japanese paper, and fill with chocolate pretzels or wafer sticks.


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