Price of graduation parties increasing

By: Kelly Sommariva

Parents, this can be a busy time for you if you've got a son or daughter graduating. You want to throw them a great party, but that can also mean a big expense for your family.

It's one of the biggest milestones in your life, graduating high school. It can be pretty expensive to give your grad the party they deserve, so we searched out some ways to save you a little cash.

More than 2,000 LPS students will graduate this May, and that means plenty of parties. “We definitely book out on all of our tables, all our chairs for the big weekend,” said Hilary Keiser, the Manager at Elite Event Rentals.

So how do you have all the pomp and circumstance of a graduation party, without breaking the bank?

“A lot of people are inviting 100 guests. They arrive open house style, maybe they'll get eight tables and 64 chairs. That with a few serving pieces, it's around $100 or $150,” said Keiser.

We called around, renting a hall can cost anywhere from a couple hundred dollars for a small room at a country club, to more than $1,000 at the firefighter's reception hall. “You can have the party at home in your backyard in your garage, versus trying to have a hall where you have the expense there,” said Keiser.

The bottom line? You'll save the most money by keeping it simple. With the food, try finger foods and skip soda. Keep your decorations simple. Plants cost less than flowers, and if you're sending invites, go green! Send them on Facebook or by email. Most importantly, set a budget and stick to it.

The better you budget, the more money you'll have for that graduation gift. Elite Events says they run out of their plain metal folding chairs the fastest. They don't charge more the later you book, but there's more of a chance all those cheaper items will be rented out.