How to make a party look expensive?

Throwing an elegant, upscale party doesn’t have to cost a fortune. With careful planning, strategic décor choices, and attention to presentation, you can create a luxurious atmosphere on any budget. This article provides tips for making your next celebration look expensive without breaking the bank.

How to make a party look expensive?

Choose an elegant location

The venue sets the tone for any party. Look for spaces with chic details like chandeliers, floor-to-ceiling windows, hardwood floors, or exposed brick. Classic architecture such as vaulted ceilings or marble surfaces also screams sophistication. Consider:

  • Renting a luxury hotel ballroom or event space
  • Hosting the fete at an art gallery or museum
  • Having the party on a boat, plane, or train

If hosting the fête at home, move furniture to create a roomy atmosphere. Make sure there is ample space for guests to mingle.

Send formal invitations

Create excitement by sending stylish invitations. Opt for thick, heavyweight card stock over flimsy paper. Include subtle foil or letterpress details. You might also tie on a small ribbon, wax seal, or tag with something written calligraphically. This signals to guests that they’re in for something special.

Hire valet staff

Nothing feels more VIP than handing your car keys over to a smartly dressed valet. Staff should wear uniforms and open car doors for guests to make them feel instantly pampered.

Offer a signature cocktail

Come up with a custom libation just for your event. It will make things feel exclusive and custom. Give it a fancy name tied into your party theme. Have bartenders prepare them theatrically – perhaps with ornate glassware, fire, carved fruit garnishes or tableside cocktails carts.

Invest in high-end décor

Tap into the rich textures and sheens of luxury with:

  • Fine China dinnerware – instead of bulk packs of disposable plates
  • Metal cutlery and stemware – skip the plastic utensils and cups
  • Luxe linens – think silk, crushed velvet, lace overlays
  • Full flower arrangements – opt for quality over quantity with roses, orchids or hydrangeas
  • Ambient lighting – use candles, chandeliers, sconces and table lamps to create a glam look

Also hide anything with a logo. Tags from linens and price stickers from platters can cheapen the aesthetic you’re going for.

Offer elevated bites

Serve appetizers on tiered platters garnished with greens, sliced fruit or berries. Hire staff to pass hors d’oeuvres during cocktail hour. Include shrimp, scallops, beef tenderloin, lobster bites, or quality cheeses. Have multiple stations so food feels bountiful.

Stage photo backdrops

Create Instagram-worthy moments with a step and repeat banner printed with your event hashtag or logo. Rent luxury vehicles guests can pose in front of. Also have professional photographers capturing guests having a fabulous time all night long.

Have attendants assist guests

Hire hosts to work the room and attend to visitors’ every need. Ask them to handle coat checks and offer refreshing towels or individual fans on hot days. Have them provide drink refills and fetch any items guests request.

Offer party favors

Send guests home with upscale gifts that continue the lavish theme like small bottles of champagne, boxes of artisan chocolates, candles or handmade soaps. Customize parting items by placing them in monogrammed bags or attaching custom tags with guests’ initials or names.

Key Takeaways

Throwing a luxurious soiree is about the special touches. Pay attention to textures, flavors and service flourishes. Create a lush sensory experience through ambiance, music, scents, flavors and décor details. Focus more on quality over quantity when it comes to design elements and menu offerings. Make convenience a priority by offering valet parking, attendants, custom cocktails and luxe party favors. It’s all about letting guests feel pampered.


Hosting an elegant gathering doesn’t require millions. Use these proven tips to add glitz to your next special occasion without depleting your bank account. By focusing on exquisite touches like formal invitations, upscale rentals and gourmet bites over quantity, you can create all the glamour of an exclusive affair. Remember – thoughtful personalization through signature drinks, monogrammed items or custom favors makes things feel especially VIP. Follow these guidelines to pull off any posh event on a realistic budget.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is the least expensive way to make a party look luxurious?
    The least expensive way is through strategic décor choices. Use tall taper candles, mirrors, gold accents, and upgraded dish-ware from thrift stores to create a glamorous aesthetic. Focus on making one area like the bar or dining table look elegant.
  2. What type of lighting should I use?
    Candlelight instantly elevates ambiance. Use taper candles of varying heights. Strategically place sconces, table lamps, lanterns with votive candles or string lights to create pockets of glow without lighting the entire venue brightly.
  3. What types of flowers say fancy?
    Opt for big, full blooms like roses, peonies, hydrangea, gardenias, orchids or calla lilies over mixed bouquets. All white is classic. Work in metallics for glitz. Group identical arrangements together for greater visual impact vs scattering them throughout a space.
  4. Should I hand write or print invitations?
    Hand written invitations using calligraphy pen sets a formal tone. However, printed invites using quality heavyweight, cotton cardstock with details like ribbon, lining envelopes, wax seals or letterpress printing can look just as upscale.
  5. What should guests wear?
    Print a dress code directly onto the invitation so expectations are clear. Formal options include black tie, black tie optional, creative black tie, festive black tie, white tie or fancy attire. Or keep things fun with “cocktail chic”, “island formal”, “gatsby glam” or another theme.
  6. How do I choose signature cocktails?
    Consider a clever drink name tied back to the occasion. Riff on classics topping them with bubbly, garnishing ornately or serving in vintage glassware. Offer an array of spirits – lighter and darker cocktails containing clear liquors, brown liquors, sparkling wines, etc.
  7. What makes items seem VIP quality?
    Details like monogramming, foil stamping, embossing, wax sealing, lining paper, hand tying ribbons or tags, ornate glassware, heavy silver platters, etc. Elevate essentials by housing them in decorative boxes, bags, jars, etc.
  8. Should I hide or remove logo stickers and tags?
    Definitely. Any obvious labels make rented items look cheap. Carefully remove, cover with fabric or creatively disguise logos on chairs, dishware, glassware, serving platters, etc.
  9. What’s a low budget way to create a custom step and repeat?
    Use an inexpensive backdrop stand and removable adhesive vinyl sheets printed with a pattern or logo of your choice. Affix them to white foam board panels secured to the stand. Prop luxe décor items like flower arrangements or chandeliers in front to disguise the simplicity while still offering a photo worthy moment.

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