Whether a graduate is leaving high school or college, you want to celebrate the occasion and give your child an unforgettable experience. It’s a major achievement that deserves thought, attention and resources. To help you plan the big event, try a few of these tips from graduation announcements to games to turn a simple “congratulations” into an unforgettable graduation party.
Start with the Bottom Line
Your first agenda item is a budget to guide your options. Decide in advance how much you want to spend. Talk with your grad about how many guests you’ll invite and then stick to the final number you come up with.
Remember who this party is for as you get caught up in the planning. While you need to maintain some control and keep costs in check, let your grad participate as much as possible. You’ll find it may take a lot of the pressure off, since young people often prefer simpler gatherings over too many planned activities.
Move to the Where, What and How
Tap into your creativity to come up with a location. Rent a tent if you’re going to keep it low-keyed in your yard and cater the event to give your grad something different besides the typical barbeque. Book a party boat for the occasion, a local restaurant or game room and arcade.
Rely on your grad’s interests to choose a theme for the party. Consider school colors for the décor or go with black and white for a dramatic look. Ask guests to come in costumes from your grad’s favorite movie or throw a luau complete with hulas, limbo and smoked pig. Let your child provide input on the theme too.
Create special invitations. You can find the perfect graduation invitations from www.basicinvite.com in almost unlimited colors and over 40 different colors of envelopes. You can even get instant previews online and order custom samples so you can see exactly how it will print as well as the paper quality before you ever have to place an order for 500 invitations. Use parchment paper to print the invites and then roll them into scroll-like diplomas for hand delivery.
Be sure to let your guests know if you’ll be serving a meal or appetizers. If the graduation party is during lunch or dinner I would suggest offering a meal. Otherwise, you can serve cute appetizers to match your party theme like our sweet & salty pops. Of course, don’t forget the cake and drinks!
Make it Personal
Whether you stick to a tent in your yard or a local catering hall, make the space personal. Hang a poster on a wall and leave sticky notes or markers for guests to leave their own congratulatory messages.
Install a mural of your grad using pictures depicting him as a baby, in grade school, through the years, up to the graduation moment. Leave out the naked infant photographs to avoid embarrassing him, but do include fun Halloween and bad hair photos. Guests will love the montage.
Create Lasting Memories
Hand out unique party favors to create lasting memories, such as bottle caps made to look like tiny graduation mortar boards, coupons for an app store or business card holders printed with the date and occasion.
Add a game to the festivities that includes prizes. Come up with categories including Class Clown, Most Likely to Marry Miley Cyrus/Justin Bieber and Future Shoe Salesman. Give statuettes to the winners after guests turn in their votes.
Ask each guest to bring a small contribution to put in a time capsule that you’ll open in 10 years. Make a show of burying or sealing the box and set a date for a reunion.
The effort you extend for your grad’s party will be appreciated and remembered. Graduation is a milestone for you and your grad. Congratulations are due for you both. So as you plan that special event, build in time for you to relax and enjoy the party as well. Hire caterers and bring in loads of extra help so you too can enjoy and remember the day.