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£400 for a party is a lot of money??

(71 Posts)
andratx Sun 17-Feb-13 21:59:49

My Twins, age 4, had a shared birthday party last weekend. The total bill for everything has come in at £400.

AIBU to think £400 on a party for 4 year olds seems like a LOT?! I had no idea it would all tot up to this amount; this was the first time I had a party outside my home.

Don't get me wrong, I had a great time, so did DTwins and it seems so did the other adults and children. The people running it were excellent and I actually had fun rather than running around cleaning up and cutting up cake. But £400!!

I am now wondering what's the normal outlay then for a party for this age group?

(We didn't have an entertainer to keep the costs down - we just did pass the parcel and musical bumps etc. We were in a local hired hall that lays on bouncy castle, ball pit, ride on toys etc as part of the party package. Nice coffees/sparkling wine and lots of food for adults (all eaten as it was lunchtime) and the normal party food for children. 27 children. Big cake from supermarket. Party Bags to take home). I would be grateful for comparisons before DH starts huffing and puffing about the cost.

Uppermid Sun 17-Feb-13 22:04:57

Wow, that's pricey, where amounts was this party?

soverylucky Sun 17-Feb-13 22:05:15

Soft play centre round here is about £8. That includes a party bag (bag full of sweets) You provide cake. I invited 14 friends for dd - £112. I think that is a lot to spend on a birthday party. How many children did you have? Why did you provide nice coffee and wine - I mean it is a nice touch but surely parents don't expect it?

jkklpu Sun 17-Feb-13 22:06:53

If you had adult wine and food as well, doesn't surprise me at all. I presume you asked how much it would cost before you signed up? If it was done as a multiple of the people there, you knew how many you'd invited, I guess, and could have done the ballpark sums.

lockets Sun 17-Feb-13 22:08:10

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

I spend around £200-£250 per party for my DC, I usually get a playbus or have a bowling party or an animal man or a similar entertainer. £400 for a hall and no entertainer does seem a little excessive if I'm honest, although I don't usually have food for the adults.

CSIJanner Sun 17-Feb-13 22:10:12

Erm - hall hire here was £35 for the afternoon, £60 for the entertainer, baked the cakes and did the food between us. I would say about £40 for the food. Party bags were about £3 each including bag etc for 15 kids but that's bouncy balls, streamers etc that you can buy in bulk.

What on earth did you out in the party bags? Each to their own, but I wouldn't have bothered with wine. Mine had the choice of coffee, tea or squash.

Adversecamber Sun 17-Feb-13 22:10:20

Invite me next time, what kind of food? I have only been to one twin party and the Mum had lots of fresh strawberries dipped in white and dark chocolate amongst other really rather lovely food.

I had a party for the whole class about 25 dc but was about five years ago, soft play at a leisure centre, food done by myself and party bags and bought cake. I think it was 100, maybe 120 but not more than that.

FelicityWasCold Sun 17-Feb-13 22:10:20

Well yes, it's a lot, but hardly surprising that you fed (and provided alcohol) to so many adults. There are cheaper ways to do it.

ProphetOfDoom Sun 17-Feb-13 22:12:29

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MsBrown Sun 17-Feb-13 22:13:07

My dd has only had one proper party, and that was when she turned 5. it was very expensive, but my parents paid for most of it.

Cake - £45
Entertainer - £230 (this included bouncy castle, party bags, party games, music/dj booth, food and drinks for children and parents)
Hall hire for 3 hours - £60
Invites - £5
TOTAL = £340

This was for 30 children.

Arisbottle Sun 17-Feb-13 22:13:57

When we have done parties and fed adults we have spent a similar amount. It is the food/ drink for adults that bumps it up.

Depends on how many adults you catered for and the totalnumber of children.

Split it in 2 and it was £200 each, that may make your DH feel better.

If you can afford it and as it went so well, i wouldn't qeustion it, the money is spent.

CharlotteBronteSaurus Sun 17-Feb-13 22:15:26

it's not the norm round here to do food and drink for adults - that must be a fair whack

dd1 is having a party for 30 this year <and only this year>
we have got a bargain on soft play and food for 30 costing £160
party bags are another £40
a tenner for cake
and a tenner for a couple of tins of roses for the parents to dip into
I make that £220

next year we're sticking to 10 guests, so I reckon £100 or so would cover it.

deleted203 Sun 17-Feb-13 22:16:31

It sounds a horrendous amount for an adults party to me - never mind a ruddy 4 year old's! Did you not work out what it was going to cost before you booked it all?

andratx Sun 17-Feb-13 22:19:25

The hall hire, bouncy castle etc and the kids food came to £220. I knew that before, but I didn't add up all the other stuff before now:

I made the adult food myself = £30.
2 cakes = £18.
Party Bags £40.
Balloons, paper plates, candles, paper napkins = £42,
alcohol & coffees £40.

Total is £390. <gulps>.

BlatantLies Sun 17-Feb-13 22:19:40

It depends on what you can afford and what you want to afford.

If you can afford it, you all had a fantastic time AND you think it is worth it then it is perfectly OK.

BlatantLies Sun 17-Feb-13 22:21:06

Actually, now that ou have broken the cost down it seems more reasonable.

I bet a lot of people like me spend more than they think they have.

PoppyWearer Sun 17-Feb-13 22:22:41

Around here (Surrey):

£250 for party at soft play or similar including child food/drink for up to 20-25 children, no party bags - this is pretty standard, have paid this for various birthday parties and Christmas parties at 4 venues in past 2 years.
£90 for a specially-made party cake if not made yourself. Cheaper if from a supermarket.
Party bags extra. Say another £50 (£2 per bag)
Adult food/drink would be up to me, I have done this before so say another £50.

So yes, easily £400+. I tend to budget £500 per birthday party, as we usually end up throwing in some extras like balloons, and includes £50 for our present.

Looking forward to the days when we can take a handful of friends to cinema/bowling etc!

willoughboobs Sun 17-Feb-13 22:24:26

i always spend around this much on any of my dc parties as i always do food for the adults as well, theres usually around 15-20 children and same amount of adults (just familyshock)
come to think of it it usually comes to more blush I'm already planning my ds birthday for august so i will spend and spend until then and then realise the full cost afterwards confused

PoppyWearer Sun 17-Feb-13 22:24:53

Am guessing the bouncy castle was the main chunk of that £220? Because I'm hiring a hall this year and the total is about £50, really good value!

But then you have to entertain the little angels...<sigh>.

£42 for ballons, paper plates,napkins and candles! Where on earth did you buy this stuff ?

HappyMummyOfOne Sun 17-Feb-13 22:30:15

Its all relative, if you can afford it and had fun then thats all that matters.

We aim to have no more than 20 and around £12 a head so adding adults on and doing own party bags soon bumps up cost. Venue we use does party bags so is great value.

bedmonster Sun 17-Feb-13 22:30:23

Well I usually spend £250 ish on each of DDs parties, so as you were having a party for 2 DC, that's £200 per party IYSWIM.
So while I don't think YABU for thinking £400 is a lot for a party, when you think of it as 2 separate parties the overall costs are halved.

We are having a joint pool party this year for the DDs and it's coming in at about £550 for the pool hire, food and cake but it's just over what we'd spend on individual ones so not too shocking.

<disclaimer - this has all made sense in my head!>

andratx Sun 17-Feb-13 22:31:41

SoVeryLucky It's just that it was a lunchtime party and I have been to too many where you as an adult are starving; you end up eating scraps off your child's plate! So I thought it would be nice to lay out some food for the adults. But I made it all myself and it was all eaten <chuffed>

Arisbottle, Yes I can see now that I spent £80 on feeding and watering the adults. Without that it would have been £310.

Poppywearer We are also in the South East. The bouncy castle comes as standard in their children's party included within the hall hire. I guess from their point of view, they paid hundreds of pounds for it, so they need to get a decent hall hire charge to cover it.

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