1 Make your own personalized desserts, treats, hors d’oeuvres. Rather than hiring a caterer and an expensive cake maker – stand out with your own food trays, personalized, more creative dishes and desserts. Everyone will be talking about your creativity, and you’ll be happy you stayed in budget! Rather than having the typical potato salads, cookies, chips… Spice it up with:
3 Low entertainment costs. Most people are just stopping by, as they have multiple parties to attend and many will entertain themselves. You can have games set up such as volleyball, bean bags, horseshoes and badminton. Include a fun “fondue station” with fruit, pretzels, etc. for dipping. For music, you don’t have to hire a live band but playing some CD’s, an iPod, or MP3 player would be fun and give the guests an area to dance and kids to play.
4 Decorating costs for a party can be expensive, ways to cut back: you can buy many of your decorations (e.g. table cloths, napkins, plates, cups, balloons, streamers, banners, etc.) at stores such as Party City or dollar stores (Dollar Tree, Family Dollar).
5 If you are considering hiring a photographer at the party, consider this idea instead: have disposable cameras for all the guests at the tables. That way, they can create their own memories and have fun doing so. And this way you will get pictures with variety, which you didn’t even realize were taken!
6 Joint open houses. Consider bringing it up to your graduate and their best friend and see if that is an option. Chances are your son or daughter has a close friend(s) that they may want to do this with, so it is worth at least contacting the parents and bringing up this idea. This will let you split costs, share ideas and give the graduates a bigger party.