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Celebrating your child's graduation is important and exciting, and it can be expensive. It may be the second most important party you throw for them. (We'll assume the wedding will really be a show!)
For a successful graduation party, planning is the key; you have to get organized from the very start so that you won’t be stressed at the time of the party. Whether it’s a high school graduation, college graduation, or graduation from kindergarten; planning ahead of time will help you throw a memorable and fun party for all to enjoy. From the invitations to food and drink, I’ve put together some great graduation party planning tips to help you.
Set the Budget: Like any big party, this is an essential first step. I've heard everything from, thinking I shouldn't throw a party and just put the money in an envelope, to throwing the biggest graduation bash ever. The best choice is probably somewhere in-between. Bring family and friends together to celebrate this great accomplishment but keep it informal enough so that it's fun and relatively inexpensive. Setting a budget will help you make decisions along the way.
Set a date and time for the graduation party: This can be harder than you think and should coordinate so that the most people can attend. Write down a few options or ideas and start calling those you would like to see come. Narrow down your choices until you have a date that suits the most people. Remember; be flexible with your child. It is quite possible that there will be other parties around the same time as your child’s party. Talk the timing through and see how you can best accommodate your party and your child’s need to say goodbye to school friendships.
Where Will the Party Be Held? There are 3 basic choices. Your final choice will depend on your budget, how much time you have, and how many people are attending.
1. You can rent a hall. If you are having lots of people, this works very well. No worries about renting chairs, tables, or silverware. Most halls have good entertainment opportunities also. Dance floors, stages, and even outdoor activities like horseshoes for the old folks and playgrounds for the kids. This is a good choice for larger parties.
2. You can make restaurant reservations. Perfect for smaller events. If your child is graduating from an out of town school and just the immediate family can make it, this is a great solution. Easy to plan; the restaurant does most of the work and you can concentrate on the celebration. Try to get a private room, if possible, so you don't have outside interference and you don't feel obligated to leave quickly.
3. You can host the party at your house. Still the most common option. Many graduation parties are open houses and your house works for this approach. This can also be the least expensive option while still giving you great opportunities to make it special.
Getting the word out, invitations: Once you have settled on a guest list you'll have to get the word out. There are lots of very cool invitations out there. And don't forget to order other printed materials you might need:
Invitations/RSVP/Other Printed Items
___ Invitation to the party! - Go to your local party store, check out Zazzle for personalized invitations or email me from for a one of a kind custom design. Complete packages are available. There are plenty of graduation parties happening at the same time so get this out early and try to make it special!
___ Response Card and
___ Response Envelope - Not standard for a graduation party, but, if you are having lots of out of towners, it's not a bad idea.
___ Directional Card - Basically a map to where the party is being held. If it's at your house, this is probably not needed, but, if you're going to a restaurant or a hall, it's a nice touch.
___ Seating Cards - Only if you are having a sit down affair.
___ Agenda - I think this is a nice touch for out of town guests, especially if there are other informal get-togethers over the weekend.
___ Signage/Sign-In Boards - If you are getting any specially made signs, sign-in boards, or cut-outs now is the time to order them. VistaPrint is a great and inexpensive place to create signs and banners, or you can go to your local printer for design and print ideas.
Set a theme and buy the décor: When you consider graduation theme ideas, keep in mind the interests of the guest of honor. You will also need to consider your venue for the party as it might lend itself to certain themes better than others. Everyone loves a themed party so let your graduate help you pick the theme. There are so many fun choices for a themed graduation party. Some of my favorites are; Sail Away, Smart Cookie, Keys to Success, and Picture Your Future. Check out Oriental Trading for lots of inexpensive decorations and party favors.
|Source: Celebrations at Home via Angee's Eventions on Pinterest|
|Source: Party Pinching via Angee's Eventions on Pinterest|
Food: This will all be dictated by your venue. If you are hosting the party at home or a venue allowing outside food and drinks check out this fun site for graduation themed finger foods!
|Source: Love the Day via Angee's Eventions on Pinterest|
Weather you decide to have a giant blow out or a small gathering with friends and family remember this is all about your graduate and should reflect their personality and future…but most of all be FUN!