How can I make my party look expensive?

Throwing a stylish, elegant party doesn’t have to break the bank. With careful planning and creative solutions, you can transform any venue into a luxurious space worthy of a magazine spread. Follow these tips to make your next event look far more expensive than it actually cost.

How can I make my party look expensive?

Choose an Impressive Venue

The venue sets the tone for your entire event. Consider holding your party at one of these impressive spots to instantly give it a high-end feel:

  • Rent an art gallery, museum, or historic mansion
  • Host at a fancy hotel ballroom or restaurant private room
  • Rent a penthouse apartment or rooftop deck with city views
  • Book a country club, winery tasting room, or botanical garden space

If hosting at home, style your house to look like a luxe lounge, cocktail bar, or chic café using the décor ideas below.

Create Majestic Lighting and Atmosphere

Lighting instantly shifts the mood of a space. Use it strategically to make rooms feel rich, moody, and sophisticated.

Ambient Lighting Ideas:

  • Crystal chandeliers or vintage pendant lights
  • Candelabras with tall taper candles
  • Glass hurricanes over candles or string lights
  • Mirrors to amplify and reflect light

Focal Point Lighting:

  • Arrange votives, candles, and small lamps to spotlight focal pieces like artwork, floral arrangements, the bar, or food display.
  • Project patterns using inexpensive gobos or stencils for added wow factor.

Outdoor Lighting:

  • String lights overhead and in trees or shrubs
  • Tiki torches lining paths
  • Lanterns on tables

Make magic by dimming the lights and using accent lighting to set an elegant, exclusive ambiance.

Style Your Tablescapes

The tables offer plenty of opportunity to impress guests with high-end details. Source decorative elements like charger plates, glassware, and floral arrangements from wholesale suppliers or rent them.

Luxe Table Elements:

  • Chargers, runners, overlays in metallic, sequins, or rich colors
  • Fine china, crystal glassware, gilded flatware
  • Elegant chairs – chiavari, ghosts, acrylic, velvet
  • Multiple glasses at each place setting
  • Menu cards in leather holders or calligraphy

DIY Centerpieces:

  • Metallic vases or small fish bowls filled with roses, orchids, succulents, fruits
  • Mercury glass votives and candle holders
  • Cool geodes, starfish, shells, and other natural items

Creative Seating Charts:

  • Frame seating charts like artwork
  • Display on ornate easels
  • Arrange seating cards in floral vases or acrylic displays

Layering all these special touches results in undeniably stunning tables worthy of a luxury affair.

Craft Unique Invitations and Signage

First impressions start with the invite. Design one that exudes elegance and glamour.


  • Layered cards with ribbon and acrylic overlays
  • Foil or letterpress printing
  • Unique shapes – circles, pockets, cubes
  • Luxe texture and papers – velvet, silk, wood

Event Signage:

  • Welcome signs with LED lights or neon
  • Seating charts in gilded frames or flower boxes
  • Bar menus on acrylic sign holders
  • Floral embellished directional sign posts

Professionally designed signs make the event feel cohesive and importantly, Instagram worthy.

Source High-End Rentals for a Steal

furnishing rentals transform ordinary venues and homes into glamorous, designer-looking spaces for less. Renting is ideal for temporary events and makes clean up infinitely easier.

Rent These Items:

  • Bars and bar carts
  • Luxury lounge seating – tufted sofas, occasional chairs
  • Specialty tables – marble tops, brass bases
  • Upgraded dishware – chargers, china, glassware
  • High-end lighting fixtures
  • Dance floors and elevated stages

Searching local event, party, and wedding rentals yields so many stylish finds at a fraction of retail pricing. This is an easy route to elevate your décor seamlessly.

Fake Real Flowers and Plants

Nothing conveys luxury like an abundance of gorgeous blooms. But genuine floral arrangements are hugely expensive.

The game changing secret? Ultra-realistic faux flowers and plants.

Top brands like Ling’s Moment and Brybelly sell stems and arrangements with unbelievable realism and attention to detail. Premium quality petals, leaves, stems make them indistinguishable from real specimens.

Artfully arrange faux foliage and blooms in your choice of vases and vessels. Scatter stems and petals across tables, bars, shelves, entryways. Frame floral arrangements around signage.

Voila! The organic beauty of flowers infused everywhere makes decor feel expensive and classy without the hassle or upkeep of real plants.

Infuse Rich Colors and Textures

Finish your décor palette with unmistakably opulent colors and fabrics reminiscent of royalty.

Color Inspiration:

  • Jewel Tones – emerald, ruby red, sapphire blue
  • Metallic sheens – gold, silver, copper
  • Luxe neutrals – champagne, ivory, black, gray


  • Velvets – pillows, table runners, linens
  • Faux furs – throws, rugs
  • Silks – chair ties, table overlays
  • Sequins – table runners, pillows, backdrops

This layered blend of colors and fabrics transforms ordinary furnishings and spaces into glamorous venues perfect for an important occasion.

Key Takeaways

Follow these crucial tips to host a stylish soiree on a budget:

  • Venue: Book impressive locations or style your home as a chic lounge
  • Lighting: Use ambient, focal, outdoor lighting to set a luxe mood
  • Tables: Rent chargers, overlays, chairs and make floral centerpieces
  • Details: Design sleek invites and event signage
  • Rentals: Source bars, seating, dishware, lighting fixtures
  • Faux plants: Professionally realistic faux stems infuse organic elegance
  • Fabrics & colors: Include lush velvets, silks, sequins in bold jewel tones


Pulling off an elegantly styled event is very achievable even on a budget. Getting crafty with décor, tapping local rentals, embracing faux blooms, and using lighting to set the scene are genius solutions. Prioritize tables, bars, entryways to start and build out decor elements as budget allows.

With mindful organization plus creative touches, you can absolutely host parties with the fabulous look, feel, and Instagram appeal of designer events at a fraction of the cost. Cheers to that!

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What are easy ways to make a venue look expensive?
    Strategically use lighting to create ambiance and allure. Add floor length linens, chargers, crystal glassware, and floral arrangements on your tables. Frame a glamorous seating chart and welcome signage. Use metallics, sequins, velvets to finish the space.

  2. How much should I spend on a party?
    Budget about 35-40% on catering, 25% on venue and rentals, 20% decor like florals and lighting, 10% on entertainment like music or performers, 5% on attire if not a themed costume party.

  3. How do event designers make tables look expensive?
    Professionals layer luxury details on tablescapes like chargers, multiple glasses, menus, specialty napkins. The finishing touches of crystal candle holders, abundant floral arrangements, sequin table runners make them magazine worthy.

  4. What are the best colors for an elegant party?
    Rich jewel tones, metallics, and striking neutrals all exude refinement. Gorgeous options include emerald, ruby red, sapphire blue, champagne, gold, silver, black, and white. Mixing metallic chargers or table runners over ivory tablecloths looks expensive too.

  5. What entryway decor sets the tone for a luxury event?
    Welcome guests on a red carpet flanked by tall vases bursting with faux floral arrangements. Stage a sleek bar cart or console table behind the carpet to display invite coasters, menus, or signature drinks. Hang a professionally printed welcome sign overhead.

  6. How much do I need to spend on flowers?
    It’s ideal to budget about 10% of total costs on florals. But genuine professional arrangements can devastate your budget. The game changing secret is ultra-realistic faux stems. Quality silk peonies, roses, ranunculus, eucalyptus cost a fraction of real flowers and last for years. Mix and match faux varieties liberally around your event space and tables without worrying about expense.

  7. What type of lighting should I use?
    Layer ambient, focal, and outdoor lighting to create an expensive atmosphere. Inside, install dimmable crystal chandeliers overhead and candlelight at tables. Outside string cafe lights overhead and place lanterns along paths to set a posh patio vibe.

  8. What should I wear to look expensive?
    Choose elevated fabrics like satin, silk, lace, or velvet for dresses or suits rather than basic cotton, polyester blends. Seek elements like jewel embellishments, shoulder pads, cinched waists rather than plain shapes. Metallic shoes or purses also instantly make attire look far pricier.

  9. How do I take luxury tablescapes up a notch?
    Chargers and table runners instantly make place settings elegant. Add menus, multiple glasses, tons of candlelight. Layer the table with luxe textures – sequin overlays, velvet or silk tablecloths. Finish with gleaming silver serving pieces, abundant floral arrangements in crystal vases, ornate candle holders.

  10. What should I serve for an upscale party?
    Cultivate refinement through hors d’oeuvres instead of basic finger foods. Offer delectable canapes, crostinis, skewers with luxe toppings. Staff a carving station with prime meats. Serve a signature cocktail along with fine wines, champagne. Infuse dessert with decadence via chocolate fountains or gilded cakes.

  11. Where can I rent fancy party furniture?
    Numerous local companies specialize in event rentals for weddings and corporate events. Search terms like “party rentals near me” or “event décor rentals + your city” yield excellent sources. Be sure to price out delivery fees too. Well in advance, call to discuss budgets and reserve items that convey refined style – lounge seating, bars, upgraded dishware, accessories.

  12. Should I make my own party decor?
    Absolutely! Crafting your own decor allows personalization and saves substantially over buying retail finished pieces. Shop craft stores for items like vases, candle holders, frames. Spray paint, stencil, or decoupage generic items with metallic paints, fancy trim, faux gems to make them look bespoke and expensive. Arrange flowering plants or faux stems around your homemade pieces to finish.

  13. What games feel luxurious at parties?
    Upgrade traditional activities with a high-end twist. Host blackjack tables with custom chips. Do wine or whiskey tastings guided by an expert. Provide engraved bingo cards and prizes like luxury skin care items or restaurant gift certificates. Hire artists to create stylized caricatures or astrology charts for guests.

  14. How can I save money on party drinks?
    Rather than fully stocking a bar, provide beer, wine, soft drinks, and one signature cocktail. Allow guests to bring additional alcohol which cuts costs exponentially. For wine, avoid full bottles. Serve box options which give you up to four times more for your dollar. Infuse large beverage dispensers with custom sangrias, mojitos, and lemonades flavored with fruit purees and herbs.

  15. What entertainment seems elevated for an event?
    Live music instantly heightens ambiance. Hire a jazz trio, string quartet, or harpist to welcome guests with refined melodies. Later on, bring the excitement with salsa dancers, Hawaiian dancers blowing fire, or waist drummers making rhythmic beats. Tap student groups from arts high schools or colleges to discover affordable performing talent.

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