Any tips in hosting a high school graduation party?!

Question: Any tips in hosting a high school graduation party?
My daughter and her friend are hosting their party at my house. It will be an open house, and so far they have (gulp) 160 people on their invite list. To make it relatively easy, we were going to buy big bags of meatballs at BJs, along with trays of Stauffer's frozen lasagne as well as all the snick-snack foods like chips, candy, crudite, etc.

Even though a lot of people are invited, there's no telling how many will show -- or at what time. (I"m thinking we'll offer a span of 3-4 hours for the party.)

This seems like a daunting task, and while I"m an excellent hostess I've never planned for so many people. Have any of you ever done anything like this before? I welcome your advice!


Get help from invitees. You are trying so hard to play hostess that you are going to loose out on the bigger picture. Having fun at celebrating your daughter's graduation, and equally important, the graduation of many of the people who will be attending. Let them help. I know you (and your daughter too probably) want to make this into some grand social event, but the only way to truly do that is to cater. Since that cost a ton of money for that many people (probably at least $7 per person = $1,1120 min), you are on the right track. First, plan the menu.

Drink cheap generic can soda, unless you find brand names on sale. Pick them up when you find them. They are easier to recycle at the end of the day. If you go with 4 sodas per person that is 640 / 24 per case = 26 cases of soda. Even if they are not all used, you can store the remaining ones with no problem.

The other alternative is to get 2 - 3 5 gallon dispensers (check with the school coaches for a loaner to save money). Jugs of Hi-C (or similar) and diet ginger-ale (1 gal:1 liter respectively). BJ's has the big plastic cups cheap. But, while less expensive it would be my second choice because it has a higher waste factor IMO.

Food. Most people plan to much stuff. Instead of lasagna, look at BJ's for the heavy Hors d'?uvre, salad and petifors.

Get some of the big serving trays from the $ store too.

Mixes salad bowl (buy 4 of the biggest bags you can find - this is mostly for the girls)
Appetizers (see link for ideas)
Velveta and ro-tel dip & 7 layer dip with chips will round this out nicely for a party not lasting very long
Finish with mini cheese cakes, cream puffs & 1 other thaw and eat desserts.

Here is the key. Little foods actually make them fill-up faster, it looks classy, saves money, lets you control the amount coming out at any one time, enables to you NOT have to toss out anything that is unused because it can go back into the frige/freezer (even for a smaller event say the next day for her closer friends - that would be the time for lasagne).

I hope the party is a great success, and make it a theme of casual sophisticated fun. This is going to sound kinda gay, but make it very sex in the city kinda fun for them. They are growing up, and make it kinda like a grown-up party. That is the selling point. And lastly, heavy use of school colors. Alright baby, that is all I have for you. I'm proud of you for doing this for her, and her for graduating. When my granddaughters are ready I hope I can hook them up too. Good luck with the event.…

JUST host a party that you like, and that you can enjoy also, do what will make you happy,and stick to the modern stuff.:)

ask your daughter and her friend what she wants i mean like if she says mum how about pizza instead of lasagna.

It sounds like you have it covered, just stagger the cooking of the food so you have some ready at for the first half and the second half and keep warm containers or chafing dishes help too. Also, someone to help watch the food to replace things that are getting low will help, you will probably be very busy welcoming and talking to guests.

Also, you could do a wall of fame for the girls, showcasing their achievements, special medals or awards, etc. You could even have a memory book of their high school years made to show their progress through their school years.

Remarkable Memories designs layouts with photos and memoriabilia and then has it printed, bound into a photobook and shipped directly to you all for one price or if you'd rather you can just buy the jpeg files for a lower cost and do a slide show or have it printed yourself. Check out for more information.

Good Luck and Have fun!! :-D

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