Make your graduation party a success

It's the season for celebrating. Thousands of graduates will be marching down school auditorium aisles soon to receive their diplomas. Tassels will be flipped, and caps will be tossed in the air in celebration. After the ceremony, parties all across the country will ensue.

If yours is a family who will be commemorating the accomplishments of a graduation by inviting friends and family to celebrate, you may want to begin party preparation early on and follow some tips for entertaining success.

Start planning now

Special events that take place at specific times of the year can make finding a venue or hiring party vendors quite competitive. Graduations occur during a very limited window of time and waiting until the last minute to secure a party site or make catering reservations could leave you with few options. Begin making reservations the moment you learn the graduation date. If you plan to celebrate on a day other than the graduation day, then there may be more room for negotiation.

Planning early also helps you to get a better price. During crunch time at the end of the school year, businesses may realize their products and services are in high demand and ask a steeper price. Those who book and buy early will have the benefit of shopping around for the best price.

Some of the planning that should take place early on includes:

* party venue reservation

* setting up catering

* determining a guest list

* establishing a budget

Money-saving tips

Cost is a big factor when it comes to social occasions. Saving money with respect to graduation parties can be as simple as joining resources.

Chances are you know several families who are having graduation parties at the same time as yours. Considering having a joint party with a few families so graduates can celebrate together. A joint party can also save you money. Each can be responsible for a certain aspect of the party experience, and cutting the costs two or three ways helps everyone meet their budgets.

Another way to keep costs down is to have the party on a weeknight or a day other than the graduation. Weekends will be the most expensive, especially weekend evenings. Altering the time or day of the party can save you money. In addition, limit the menu to finger foods or snacks to keep the price in check.

Consider an open-house policy

Hosting a graduation party open house means that people can drop by between a specific time frame and mingle. It takes the pressure off of having a party start and end at a firm time. Graduates often find this is a good option so that they can hop from party to party and celebrate with friends who are having their own events.

Keep it safe

Serving alcohol at a high school graduation party is unadvisable, as many of the guests may be underage. In many instances, the party host is responsible for the well-being of party guests. Should guests leave intoxicated and get injured or cause an accident, you may be liable.

At college graduation parties, alcohol may be served, but as a party host it is your responsibility to ensure guests are able to make it home safely and to take charge if a guest is intoxicated.

Having a plan established and securing the supplies, food and venue for your party in advance will make the party much easier to pull off. That means you will be able to enjoy the festivities in full the actual day of the celebration.

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