First things first, you do NOT want your house destroyed like the picture to the right. When you’re planning a graduation party there is one major battle that almost every parent faces.
Do everything yourself to save money and keep things simple? Or do you spend less than $1,000 and have almost everything done for you?
Most parents will admit that money is tight during graduation time due to the glooming costs of college tuition.
As of 2018, average college tuition is estimated at a steep $25,290 per year.
It’s no secret that throwing a graduation party could seem to be unreasonable. But we’re here to prove that it’s actually SO much easier to plan a graduation party with these 5 steps that can keep you stress free and spending under $1,000. Please allow us to explain. At the end, we’ll add everything up and show you how you can do this really effectively.
Step #1: Try To Keep Everything Outside
As a parent, what drives you nuts? A messy house, right? So for starters, if you have the space to allow it then you’ll certainly want to think about keeping everything outside. Especially if the weather is nice, then you don’t want to keep everyone inside. Well, wait… if it’s outside, what happens if it’s hot or raining?
Good question, and I’m glad you asked. You can rent a tent with our company where pricing can be as low as $225 for your tent. You can certainly use your garage if you have one but the goal is to limit the amount of prepping you have to do.
So… Step #1, whether you’re shoving everyone in the garage or renting a tent…. Make sure you at least stay outside.
Step #2: Don't Go Cooking Crazy
This one is important… Is it cheaper if you make all of the food yourself? Of course. It’s also cheaper to build your own house but that doesn’t mean you should haha. Let me tell you why you shouldn’t cook all the food for your child’s graduation party….
You’ll find yourself running around maintaining all of the cookers, ovens, grills and more. Which will pull you away from the party itself. Your job is to ENJOY this moment of celebration, not work it. So even though you’ll save a few bucks doing everything yourself, you might want to consider getting your event catered.
A really reasonable option is Outlaw BBQ Smokehouse in Hampstead, MD. We use them for all of our company events and children’s
parties (yes our family owned business has 4 kids parties a year so we love our bbq)
Step #3: Order Your Supplies Online
Nobody likes to admit it but online shopping is the easiest way to get everything you need fast and cheap. It’s tough to compete with Amazon’s FREE 2-Day Shipping and extremely competitive prices.
Let’s face it, we are all addicted to Amazon Prime. So, ordering your party supplies online will save you money and it saves you a trip to the store.
You get the jist. So let’s quickly recap how to throw a graduation party your child will love and without destroying your house. You’re going to keep everything outside. You’ll consider catering to prevent from you playing chef all day. And you’ll order your supplies online to save money and simply just convenient. Okay, let’s keep going.
Step #4: Send Invites Like...Yesterday
It’s true… well maybe. Depends on when you’re reading this but a common time to get the best responses for graduation head counts is 2-3 months in advance. Something parents don’t really care about but kids do is; more invites equals more money or gifts for graduation.
If you haven’t sent out your invitations it’s suppppppper easy to order them online. There are so many template based designs these days that they practically make them for you. It’s important to get your total head count because that will determine how much food you need, what size tent you need and stuff of that nature.
Our recommended place to print and order your invitations for the cheapest cost online is Oriental Trading. They are the king of personalized design and party favors, decorations and supplies. The only reason we recommend Amazon for party supplies is for Amazon Prime. But, it is true that if you don’t absolutely need your stuff in 2 days then you should definitely personalize all your decorations and supplies at Oriental Trading.
Step #5: Have At Least 2 Activities
Have you ever been to a party that you had a hard time staying awake because there simply just wasn’t anything to do other than sit and eat? Yeah, we don’t want that for your graduation party. From being in this business for over 8 years, we’ve found that only having one main activity (like cornhole) isn’t enough because 50 people can’t play at once. So you’ll want to have at least 2 fun things to do to keep your guests occupied.
If not, you’ll end up playing entertainer and I’ll leave that up to you, to decide if that’s a good idea or not haha. You can rent cornhole if you don’t have a set. But we also offer a fun one that teens love which is Kan Jam. And if you already have both of them, then consider adding an inflatable to your event. When you think bounce house you probably think about little kids bouncing around.
Well, that’s true. We do have kiddie bounces but we have a large obstacle course and big slide that is even fun for us and all of “us” (Dreamers owners) are over 24 years old haha. Of course a little alcohol is involved when we’re racing through the obstacle and slide inflatables but that doesn’t matter, right?
I should mention…. You can rent a Kan Jam Set for only $10 which is dirt cheap. But wanted to mention, if you don’t want to rent the set and actually buy it, then you can buy them online on Amazon. Just Click Here to purchase the set.
So... How Do We Do This For Under $1,000?
According to Springfield News-Sun, the average cost for a graduation party is $985. If you look into the article, it isn’t exactly apples to apples. But it gives you an idea that spending about $1,000 for the party isn’t exactly terrible. Some people spend much more.
All your rentals – You’re looking at an average of $300-500. All your food and drinks – You’re looking at about $400-450. Decorations, games, misc stuff– Roughly $100 or so.
Those numbers depend 100% on how many guests you’re expecting. More mouths to feed and seats to fill will be the bulk of your costs.
But honestly, it’s not even about the money. As a parent, the #1 GREATEST feeling is seeing your child be happy and achieve great things. I’m a parent myself and even though my kid’s haven’t graduated yet, I can certainly relate to the feeling of fulfilled when you see your children succeed or accomplish things.
You’re going to want to soak this moment in. College or the “real world” is right around the corner. Your babies won’t be just babies anymore. So even though you’re probably stressing out about how difficult this might be, try to treat this graduation party like a “parent send-off” celebration. You’ve been an amazing parent and will continue to be as well, but let’s face it, this is a big deal. 18 years of very hard work. So you’ll want to celebrate the right way.
Just remember, soak up every minute of the event. Don’t stress about the food or the entertainment or if your house is a mess. Focus on the moment.
We hope you found this article helpful. We are one of the top rated party rental companies in our area (check out our 70+ 5 star reviews on Google).
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