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Celebrating a graduation is exciting, but it can be expensive. Other than a wedding, it is probably the most important party you will throw for your family. Here are some tips:
Set the Budget. This is an essential first step. Unless you like the idea of just handing a envelope of money to the graduate, the other extreme is, of course, throwing the biggest graduation bash ever. Maybe the best plan is somewhere in-between.
Bringing family and friends together and keeping it affordable but still memorable is the key. Setting a budget will help you answer the most important question: Where Will the Party Be Held?
There are 3 choices, depending on budget, time, and how many people are attending.
1. Rent a hall. If there are lots of people attending, this is the best, but most expensive option. Most halls will provide chairs, tables, and will have a dance floor and/or stage. An outdoor event at a park is also a good choice for big informal parties.
2. Rent/Reserve a restaurant. If the graduation is out of town/out of state, and probably only the immediate family can attend, this is a practical solution. The restaurant does most of the catering so you can concentrate on the celebration.
3. Host the party at home. This is the most common and economical option. The home atmosphere adds to the feeling of a family and friend celebration. A big decision is whether to prepare the food or have it catered. Cooking can save you money, but that means a lot of work. Catering is expensive; “Pot luck” may be the solution. It saves work and money, and adds to the “family” atmosphere. If you have a house available with a big lawn, a lawn party can be lavish, but still more economical than a hall or restaurant.