Great receptions for $5,000, $7,500 and $10,000

Cocktail Party: $5,000

Our color scheme coordinated this inexpensive cocktail party: black and white linens (oilcloth for the bar), platters, favors, even invites. These DIY projects were easy—centerpieces of river rocks and carnations in ribbon-tied vases.

Carnations, farmstogo.com; ribbon, Midori, midoriribbon.com; square vases and river rocks, Save-on-Crafts, save-on-crafts.com; grosgrain ribbon with black stitching, Costco, costco.com; glass votives, Ikea, ikea.com; candles, Jamali Garden Supplies, jamaligarden.com; plastic plates with silver rim, Costco; cocktail napkins, foryourparty.com.