‘On the couch’ with Jasminda

DEAR Jasminda,

Our daughter, who has been event planning since she was four, is now turning 21.

She is planning a huge party that combines her extravagant vision and our flatlining credit card. How can I rein it in?

Hugo L

I like you, Hugo. I don’t know you, but I empathise.

I have a daughter like that — sort of a combination between Mr G from Summer Heights High and Beyonce with a dash of Jack from The Shining thrown in when things don’t go according to plan.

A 21st birthday is a momentous occasion, but you don’t want it being one that results in you having to remortgage your home.

You’ll need to set a budget and get her to cost it out before committing to anything.

Give her an amount that you are willing and able to spend, and she can save for anything beyond that, or reduce her expectations.

An event doesn’t have to be expensive to be spectacular.

If she has a flair for event management, she can use those skills to help create a memorable night for all the right reasons.

Some great ways to save money include:

Hiring glassware or sourcing it from a recycle centre.

Having a set timeframe for free cocktails/drinks and encouraging people to BYO for the rest of the night.

Staggered food times so there is no wastage.

Considering talented friends for entertainment (though this could be a disaster depending on family differences of opinion on what constitutes entertainment — no one wants to see little Johnny’s magic tricks followed by Uncle Simon’s Cuban rumba demonstration.

I hope it’s a magical event and that you all remain on speaking terms both during and after the event.

Carpe diem, Jasminda.

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