5 Ways to Throw a Pride Party On a Sparkly, Shoestring Budget

pride party
Participants march at the annual Miami Beach Gay Pride Parade on Sunday, April 9, 2017 in Miami Beach, Fla. AP Photo/Lynne Sladky

It’s easy to come up with a good reason to throw a party.

Birthdays, graduation, retirement, getting a new job, leaving an old job, your dog’s bark mitzvah.

With June being Pride Month and all, now’s a good time to throw yourself a Pride party, don’t you think?

5 Frugal Tips for Throwing a Fabulous Pride Party

As with any party you host, the point is to have a good time with friends and family, not blow your rent money on expensive decorations and bakery cake.

Here are a few ways to throw a Pride party and still have money left over to pay the bills.

1. Send Free or Low-Cost Invitations

The key to a good party is having, y’know, guests.

Email free invitations to everyone on your guest list using a website like Evite, Canva or Punchbowl. Some sites allow you to skip the inbox altogether and text invitations right to your friends’ cell phones.

If snail mail is more your speed, hand make your own invitations or hire someone from Fivver to design them for you.

2. Make Your Own Groovy Decorations

Party decorations aren’t too expensive at dollar stores, but making your own lets you personalize them while saving a few bucks.

The possibilities are endless with these DIY balloons, which pair nicely with these DIY sparkly garlands.

If you’ve got the space, think about setting up a DIY photo booth complete with props.

By the way, every party needs a pinata.

3. Track Down Free Dance Music

Some hosts like to spend hours finding just the right tunes to get the party started and keep it rocking for hours.

Other hosts (like me!) want someone else to do all the work so all that’s left to do is plug in the speakers and hit play.

To pull this off, a free streaming music service is what you want.

  • Tidal has at least one free playlist filled with pride anthems and subscribers have access to even more music. If you’re not a paid member, Tidal offers a free month to try before you buy.  

4. Make a Delicious Cake

All parties need cake, and nothing says “Pride party” like rainbow-colored confections.

There are a gazillion recipes online that explain how to make a colored layer cake from a boxed mix or from scratch.

You can also make a gluten-free, raw sugar-free, egg and dairy-free, kosher or vegan rainbow cake for guests with dietary considerations.

Rainbow or not, cakes can be a real pain to make. If you’d rather whip up some rainbow cupcakes, Martha Stewart can hook you up.

Whatever you make, go ahead and jazz it up with sprinkles. You know you want to.

5. Play Fun Party Games

If you’ve got some spare cash, you can always buy pre-made games online. The Penny Hoarder way, though, is to DIY games for your party.

  • Have a costume contest. I mean, obviously.
  • Movie bingo is a perpetual favorite of mine, though it tends to work best with smaller groups. Create some bingo cards filled with popular words, scenes or short phrases from the flick you’ll be watching, turn on the movie and go. Things get funny pretty quick.
  • The popular guessing game Who Am I is a great icebreaker for guests who don’t know each other.

To play, people mingle around with an index card taped to their forehead or on their back with the name of a person or character on it. (Names centered around one theme make the game a bit easier.)

Since no one can see their own card, they’ll need to ask other guests questions until they figure it out. Everyone is friends before you can say “Nathan Lane.”

The whole point of a Pride party — or any party, really — is to just have fun.

Don’t worry if your cake’s rainbow colors are out of order or half the balloons deflate early. Your guests will still enjoy themselves.

Just don’t forget to invite Babadook.

Lisa McGreevy is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. She probably wouldn’t ace a trivia quiz but she’d kill it in a costume contest.