Graduation time is approaching fast, so let’s get right down to planning the perfect party. When planning your graduation celebration, make sure the party is a reflection of your child’s personality. Your graduation parties don’t have to be “cookie cutter,” filled with store bought “Congrats Grad” plates and banners or filled with school colors. Graduation parties can be themed, done in your child’s favorite colors or the colors of the college they are attending; if they are graduating from college, it can be the profession they will be entering. Be creative!
There are a few things to consider when planning your party. There are plenty of parties happening at the same time, and your guests may be party hopping. Location is key if you’re planning a backyard party; because of the amount of parties on the same weekend, party supplies are in high demand. Tents, tables and chairs are in short supply, so your order needs to be placed early – in some cases, one or two months ahead. If you’re renting a facility or restaurant, booking the location should be your number one priority. With that out of the way, let’s get started!
Invitations can vary; many choose the classic look with the school colors. Personalized invitations with pictures of the graduate are a great way to use the beautiful senior pictures you have.
Themed invitations like luau, sports, or super girlie invites may be a great way to go to show your graduate’s personality.
Keep in mind what type guests will be in attendance; if it is more of a teenage crowd, hamburgers and hot dogs are a great idea. For a less stressful option, consider having your party catered. If your budget doesn’t allow for a professionally catered event, you can always go to your favorite restaurant and order a couple of trays of your favorite items, add some of your homemade items, and you’re done.
Graduation cakes are also a nice way to show personality, but remember your favorite bakery will be busy too – so book early.
Can I make a plea? When it comes to decorations, please avoid the colorful paper generic graduation decorations. Your child has spent 12 years working up to this moment, and you can create a fabulous party on a budget without it looking generic.
If you must use disposable dishes, clear plastic or the new imitation plastic chinaware offers an instant upgrade to paper products.
If you’re planning a classy dinner and you do not own enough dishes to host your party, dishes are available for rental at a cost of approximately $2.50 per place setting.
Here are some other fun ideas for décor:
- Instead of a generic banner, try printing pictures of your graduate from kindergarten to senior year, purchase a 3” circle hole punch from the craft store, and punch out pictures as well as plain circles. Thread a piece of ribbon between the plain circles and the pictures, using Elmer’s glue to form a garland.
- To make personalized centerpieces, print 5×7 pictures and mount those pictures to a piece of cardstock 5.5 x 7.5,” then attach them to wooden skewers. Add these to floral arrangements.
- Balloon arches and columns offer a way to add big statement décor to your party. Colorful linens help to bring a theme to life; if you’re using colored linen, centerpieces can be less dramatic.
- Remember, when all else fails, hire an event planner to take all the stress away; this is a once in a lifetime event that you want to be able to enjoy.