This article originally appeared as part of the story Best Party Ever in the June 2019 issue.
Summer means weddings, graduations and other parties are in full swing. Before you start planning, check out TST Creative Catering’s tips to ensure a celebration that feels extra special, but stays right on budget.
- Do think about what works best for you. Focus on doing what is in your comfort zone, and delegate the rest.
- Do keep track of time for prep and how much help you’ll have. If Grandma loves cutting up fruit and has time, take her up on the offer.
- Do get input from the guest of honor. When choosing a menu for a graduation soiree, make sure you’re taking the graduate’s tastes into account.
- Do front-load the buffet. Put items that are least costly at the beginning. Guests can load up on salad, veggies, chips and dip before reaching more expensive main dishes.
- Do mix and match. Set on ordering a specialty dessert? Go ahead with half the amount you need, and supplement with less expensive cupcakes or a sheet cake from your local grocer.
- Do use smaller plates. Go for an eight-inch plate rather than a 10-inch, which helps with portion control (and keeps all the mac and cheese from suddenly disappearing).
- Don’t order too much food. People come to graduation parties expecting to graze, not eat a full meal. Keep in mind that family members staying at the party for longer will usually eat more than guests who are party-hopping.
- Don’t miss out on all the fun. Make sure you have time to spend with your graduate. Recruit family and friends to take shifts in the kitchen so you can connect with other guests as well.
- Don’t skip something special. If your budget allows, consider doing something totally unique and memorable like a popcorn bar, build-your-own-s’mores, or other self-serve station. This will really set your event apart and send off your grad in style.