An estimated 7 million students will be graduating from high schools, colleges and universities in 2014.  This accomplishment is one of life’s great milestones that should be celebrated.  If you have a graduate in your life, here are some tips to keep in mind as you plan the Graduation Party.

Involve the Graduate – First and foremost, keep your graduate involved in the planning process.  Do they want a small family celebration, a big neighborhood bash will all their friends, or something in between?  Get their input for key decisions like where to have the party, what type of food to serve, and choice of theme, if any.  Involving your graduate ensures that both you and they are satisfied with the result.

Timing – One money-saving secret to throwing a graduation party is to schedule your party on graduation weekend when most parties occur.  Your party-hopping guests will probably not be very hungry and you can save on food.  The downside of this strategy is competition for your guest’s attention resulting in low turnout, and your graduate is tied to one party – their own. 

Conversely, if plan your party for before graduation, your guests will not have so many commitments and caterers and venues will have more availability.  If that’s not feasible, there’s no harm in waiting until early summer either.

Keep the Cost Down –   Graduation reports that the average graduation party expenditure is nearly $1000.  To try to reduce this financial burden, you can team up with other families of graduates to have a group party and share the expenses. 

Be conservative with your food planning, most people end up spending way more than they should and wind up sending leftovers home with guests or throwing them away.  Don’t bother serving alcohol at a high school graduation.  It’s not worth the temptation or the risk to underage drinkers, and adult guests probably won’t miss it.

Make it Fun – Plan for some party games.  Pinterest offers several fun and engaging party game ideas.  And if you are the DIY type, you can find build instructions for fun yard games like Cornhole, Ladder Ball and Pipe Ball here.  Any one of these would make a great gift for the graduate!

These are just a few of the tips available for planning a Graduation Party, lots more can be found at  A lot of work went into earning that degree, celebrate your graduate and all they’ve accomplished.