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Top 5 grad party planning tips

Posted by by Craig Thomas, catering specialist
Friday, May 17, 2013

It’s the time of year again that can strike fear in the hearts of parents…graduation party season!

Don’t despair! There’s a lot to think about, but it doesn’t have to be a nightmare of to-do lists. Follow these simple steps to streamline your party planning process:

1. Set your budget
This step will be the basis of all your other decisions. Set a total dollar amount for the party and stick to it before things get out of hand! A money saving idea is to consider hosting the party with another family. Many of the same people would be invited to each of the parties, so why not consolidate?

2. Select a date
Since you have a limited number of weekends available during the heavy June graduation party season, there are likely to be a number of parties going on at the same time. Check with your son or daughter to find out when their friends’ parties are occurring. Keep in mind that Saturdays are typically more popular than Sundays, with 12– 3 p.m. being the most popular time.

3. Determine your guest count
Start with family and close friends, then estimate the number of other guests . And when your son or daughter tells you that 300 of their “friends” accepted an invitation on Facebook, don’t panic! At times “Minnesota nice” rules on Facebook require us to accept all invitations, even if we aren’t planning on attending.

4. Determine the location
Once you have settled on an estimated guest count, you’ll need to make a decision on where to have the party. Is your home and yard large enough to accommodate the guests or will you need to investigate other options, such as a public park or a rented venue? Don’t forget to plan for inclement weather… Minnesota in June (or any other month we’ve seen so far this year) can be highly unpredictable. If you are planning an outdoor party, consider renting a tent to avoid potential raindrops.

5. Plan your menu
The most common mistake in planning a graduation party is providing too much food. As mentioned previously, many graduation parties are going on at the same time and your guests will likely be stopping at several receptions throughout the day, meaning smaller appetites when they reach your house. Plan on half your guests actually eating if your party is between11 p.m. – 4 p.m. on Saturday or Sunday.

Regardless of how much and what foods you decide to serve, have a plan in place to keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold. Rent chafing dishes or use crock pots to keep food hot. Since refrigerators tend to fill up quickly, consider keeping food cold on ice using items that you already have on hand, like coolers, a child’s swimming pool or a wheelbarrow. You can even store backup food in your bathtub filled with ice!

And if all else fails (or if you don’t have time for everything), we’re here to help! Remember this is a day of celebration not only for the graduate, but for you. Our catering experts and team of chefs and cake decorators are ready for any party planning need you have. Give us a call at 952-897-9800!

Tags: graduation

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