Grad party costs go beyond food and decorationsBuying cake and making punch are considered staples of preparing for a graduation party, but some hosts are going beyond securing the essentials for their graduates’ bashes.
By: Brandi Jewett, Grand Forks Herald
Buying cake and making punch are considered staples of preparing for a graduation party, but some hosts are going beyond securing the essentials for their graduates’ bashes.
Local business staff said it’s also common for people hosting a graduation party to seek out the services of housecleaners, carpet cleaners and landscapers before friends and relatives fill their home.
But getting those services lined up on top of buying of the usual graduation party supplies can be a stressful and expensive experience.
“People that call us joke it’s like planning a small wedding,” said Katie Stauss, manager of Merry Maids.
Spring is a busy time of year for Stauss and other Grand Forks cleaning businesses.
“We get a ton of calls for graduation,” she said. “We’ve had to turn down a lot of people.”
This happens to people who call Merry Maids a week before their party. Instead, Stauss said they should be setting up a cleaning more than two months in advance.
“We start advertising Mother’s Day and graduation cleaning specials in March,” she said.
If you do secure an appointment, Stauss said the average cleaning costs about $300. An appointment can cost less if only areas where guests will gather are cleaned.
Another party preparation tactic is calling in a carpet cleaning service.
The extent of the clean depends on the customer, according to Mark Bjornstad, owner of AAA Quality House Cleaning.
“Some people will want the whole house cleaned while others just want the common areas done,” he said.
Most carpet cleaners charge a base price per room, about $60 to $70. Oversized rooms, along with services such stain removal will cost extra.
Lawn and garden
The inside of the home isn’t the only area some choose to spruce up before a party. Local landscaping companies see requests for spring cleaning at homes hosting graduation celebrations.
According to Lawn King owner Matt Dahl, most people calling his business request a spring cleanup, which can include mowing, raking, hedge trimming and other landscape cleaning.
While Dahl recommends booking at minimum a few weeks in advance, he said he’s already had one customer book their graduation cleanup for next year.
Booking months in advance is often necessary to get a job done in time, according to Wayne Riley, owner of Riley Landscaping and Irrigation.
“I’ve had people call this week asking to have a job done before graduation,” he said. “I tell them we can get to it after the Fourth of July because that’s how booked we are.”
A general spring cleanup for a yard ranges from $300 to $500, but Riley said he’s had clients spend up to $20,000 on patio and backyard renovations prior to a party.
Once a home is clean and the lawn manicured, party supplies become the remaining expense.
If planning a party for 50 guests, don’t be surprised to spend than $100 for tableware, decorations, food and other items.
Online prices listed for area party stores show a purchase consisting of utensils, plates, tablecloths, napkins, cups, a banner, table centerpieces, balloons and additional decorations costing between $85 and $120 for 50 people.
Food costs will range greatly depending on if the chow is self-prepared, bought from a store or prepared by a catering service.
If the hosts don’t feel like cooking, catering service meals can run about $6 to $10 per person. Otherwise meat and cheese, vegetable or fruit trays purchased from a deli can cost up to $60.
Bakery cakes range from $14 to $50 depending on size, and putting the grad’s face on the cake may cost extra at some stores.
Call Jewett at (701) 780-1108; (800) 477-6572, ext. 1108; or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.