A graduation, whether from high school or college/graduate school, is an event warranting a great party. However, a great celebration doesn’t have to be a ridiculously expensive endeavor. The main point of a graduation party is to commemorate the great times you shared with your family and friends. Plus, you want to celebrate a great academic achievement that will guide you in years to come. While planning your graduation, remember the main objectives of the party! You don’t need to have a seven course meal and Swarovski-crystal embedded party favors to give your guests a good time. In fact, something more casual and intimate will probably be more memorable for both YOU and your friends. Here are some tips to help you throw an event without racking up a ridiculously long bill!
LOCATION LOCATION LOCATION: Try an Outdoor Event
In order to make your event more intimate and full of sunshine (or moonlight), try to use up available space in YOUR OWN BACKYARD. This way, you won’t have to pay a venue or restaurant for ridiculous rent out costs. If you live in a relatively urban, compact city, where backyards are sparse, try to use your building rooftop or your building events’ room for the party! Another option: use one of your friend’s backyards. After all, what are friends for?
Guest List: Be Cut Throat
Let’s cut to the chase: You don’t need to invite your mom’s best friend’s cousin’s boyfriend’s stepdaughter. She probably doesn’t care that you’ve graduated, and she will probably drink up all the alcohol at the party anyway. Normally I would say, “the more the merrier.” Not in this case. Be strict when it comes to your guest list. You only need to invite close family and friends. That way you can spend your time actually ENJOYING your company. Plus, you won’t have to pay for your mom’s best friend’s cousin’s boyfriend’s stepdaughter’s dinner/lunch/drinks.
To USE or NOT TO USE (Your Fancy China)
In deciding on the cutlery for your graduation party, it is important to do a rough cost-benefit analysis. Do you have enough silverware and plates for your guests? Find out if it would be cheaper to use your existing dishes or if it would be cheaper to buy disposable plastic/paper cups and plates.
Pictures Are Worth a Thousand Words, Not a Thousand Dollars
Professional photographers can be expensive and INTRUSIVE. Instead, use a family member (or rotate family members) to capture special moments at your party. Another option: find a photographer or videographer on Craig’s list. They will usually work at your event for free (and provide you with a link to your photos), provided you let them use your event photos on their website.
Entertainment: You Don’t Need a Man to Do the Same Thing Your Boom Box Can (No DJ necessary)
OK, so a boom box may sound outdated. Still instead of hiring a DJ, make a long list of your favorite tunes, and let your iPod/Laptop do the work. Connect the device to some speakers, and you are good to go!