Whether you’re inviting the entire neighborhood for cocktails, celebrating a child’s birthday or planning a party for 50, throwing a great party requires panache and lots of planning. As host, your task is to create a mood–relaxed, elegant, festive or wild–that carries through every aspect of the party.

We’ve put together a handful of great, cost-effective ideas for theme parties, office parties, plus ideas for party favors and budget-savvy centerpieces.