When planning an event, we look far and wide for inspiration. Google, Pinterest, Instagram - it's a rabbit hole of elaborate decorations, musical masterpieces, delicious bite-sized canapes and artistically-plated, locally-sourced, seasonal goodness. We create lookbooks, scrapbooks and mood boards that piece together the details; turning our dream into real life.

And then reality hits. There aren't endless amounts of money; we have to do this within a budget. Is it possible? Will it be the same as the image in our mind? The answer is yes, with a little bit of tinkering at least. And we're here to help - we're giving you some insider tips, explaining how to maximise the function experience while minimising the spend.

1. Set your budget - and stick with it!

Coming up with the magic number is difficult - what is a reasonable budget, and is it affordable? Function planning is stressful - there is no benefit in adding financial stress to an already stressful situation.

Once you've determined the total budget, break it down for the different 'areas' (food, venue, entertainment, for example). Attribute each area a spend amount and allow for a small contingency. If one area goes over budget, reduce the spend in another area to compensate, ensuring you stay within that magic number. And include every single cost - the little things add up; if you're not tracking your spending, you may end up massively blowing the budget!

2. Prioritise - 'need', 'want', and 'nice to have'

Make a list of every single thing you'd like and need at your function. Then divide that list into three: what you 'need', what you 'want', and what would be 'nice to have'. Then prioritise spending on the 'needs', followed by the 'wants', and if there is any money left in the budget, add in those 'nice to haves'.