I am with Bamabuzzard, granted parties might not be the best time to experiment but its not really practical to go buy a whole hog just to do a test run one weekend. Its not competition bbq just a graduation party, which makes it a perfect time to do a whole hog.
I like smoking whole hogs. As far as waste, you are going to have some with a whole hog but i paid 1.19 a pound (130 lbs overall weight) for a whole hog ready for the smoker last summer. The same butcher was charging more for a picnics or butt. Shop around and see what the prices are in your area.