Congratulations! You did it. You made it through a challenging and enriching time in your life. Of course you want to celebrate with your family and friends without breaking the bank. But how can you plan the most amazing graduation party without breaking the bank? I'm glad you asked! We're here to help you get plan the best graduation party on a budget.
Pick the right venue
The largest cost for your graduation party is going to be the venue (the place you hold it) and the catering for all your guests. Consider low-cost hall rentals such as church social halls, fire halls, public picnic pavilions, and bowling alleys. You should also consider hosting your graduation party right in your own backyard. Many of these halls will either allow you to bring in your own food or will offer fairly low-cost catering. A graduation party is usually a fun and informal celebration so offering a buffet style or self serve meal should suffice and is the least expensive route.
Control Your Guest Count
The fastest way to increase or decrease your graduation party budget is by carefully managing your guest count. This goes right back to the catering cost. It's a lot less money to feed 100 guests than it is to feed 200. Sit down with your parents or whoever is throwing your party with you and talk about who you will invite and why. Catering can cost anywhere from $10-$30 a person once you add up the beverages, food, desserts, and dishes. Save even more money by skipping a professional caterer and either preparing the food yourself or buying party platters from your local grocery store. Nobody minds self serve as long as the food is tasty.
Pick the right date
Did you know that picking the right day of the week can actually lower the cost of your party? It's true. Many event professionals offer discounts to folks planning on any day of the week besides a Saturday, which is the most sought after day to host events. Planning your party for a Friday night or a Sunday afternoon can reduce your cost by almost half. If you're dying to have your favorite DJ for the day there's also a better chance of them having your date available. Remember that graduation party season is also wedding season. Many professionals book almost a year out and may not be available on a Saturday.
Keep the Time in Mind
The time of day you hold your graduation party can also effect your overall cost. Many banquet halls and event professionals will offer reduced pricing for early day events. Holding your Graduation Party on a Sunday afternoon instead of a Friday or Saturday night might save you a few hundred dollars that you can use for your next big adventure.
One way to rack up the cost of your party is to impulse buy. It's a better idea to be a little thrifty when it comes to purchasing decorations, table linens, dishes and other items you'll want to have at your party. There are many Facebook groups dedicated to resale items. Be frugal on your decor by buying gently used items from someone else. You can find center pieces, picture frames and more on those online sites.
Use Alternative Invites
In the era of social media it's easier than ever to invite your friends over for a party without having to spend a dime on invitations or lick a single stamp. Create an event page on Facebook or create a FREE Graduation Party website through one of the Event Planning Web Pages. If some of your guests aren't internet savvy and still need a paper invite think about making them on your own and printing them yourself. Most people have a home computer and printer. It's easier than ever to custom design and print your own unique invitations right from your home computer.
Make a Lasting Memory
Instead of offering party favors for your guests that they won't really appreciate later pick something that will not only wow them, but leave you with some great memories as well! I'm talking about a Photo Booth Rental here!! Remember those event professional discounts I was talking about? Shop around for a local Photo Booth Company and ask if they give discounts on service for your Sunday afternoon graduation party. You'll be surprised how many will do that. A photo booth is great because it gives your guests a fun memento to walk away with AND you can keep a copy to make a scrap book for yourself of one of the best moments of your life!
The last money saving tip I'll leave you with is "Co-Hosting". There's a great big possibility that you aren't the only one graduating in your group of friends. Why not plan a double or even triple party with some of your closest friends so you can share the love, joy and the cost. Opting to throw a double party means you're bringing your money together allowing you to have an even more amazing party!
If you do go the double party route remember that each friend needs an equal share of attention and you each need a voice. Plan on having even more fun planning together for a party that will knock the socks off all your friends!!
And remember that if you need any help planning our In-House Certified Event Planner is here to help you with all the details. Happy planning and Congratulations again!!
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