May brings many exciting changes. Summer weather starts to really set in, vacations are just around the corner, and for many, graduation is the main event. Soon everyone will be caught up in pomp and circumstance as they watch their loved ones walking across the stage to pick up their diplomas.
An event such as this is cause for celebration. Start your party planning early to ensure that your graduate gets the good time they deserve. A graduation party doesn’t have to be expensive. Gather your graduate’s closest family and friends and serve some good food and fun festivities. This alone is the recipe for a memorable party.
It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the all the details it takes to throw a party, so follow this simple checklist to make it a little easier on you. Whatever you can think of to make the party extra special, feel inspired to add in your own personal touches.
Secure a Spot
Call to rent the space that you want the party to be held. Going to a banquet hall or favorite restaurant are good options. A backyard BBQ or casual lunch at home are also great ideas without having to worry about making reservations.
What’s on the Menu?
Keep the food finger-friendly so that it’s easy for guests to enjoy while mingling with others. This is also a perfect idea if you plan to have an open house style of party where people are free to come and go as they please. Simple and tasty ideas include:
- veggie trays
- fruit skewers
- chips and dip
- party meatballs
- cheese and crackers
- cookies or other sweets
- Ask your graduate if there are any special food requests and of course, don’t forget about the cake!
Make a Guest List
List everyone your graduate wants to invite and make sure you have the resources and budget available to accommodate everyone. You can send out formal invitations. Often schools will have the opportunity for your graduate to order ones with the school colors. Or, you can go online and use Evite for a free way to spread the word and keep track of who’s coming, so that it’s easier to plan.
You can hire a DJ or a musician to perform for guests. If it’s a smaller affair, you can have a slideshow running of your graduate throughout the years. Entertainment is optional, not something people necessarily expect, so do what feels right for the occasion.
Go all out for your graduate with balloons and streamers. You can also order custom signs online with congratulatory messages or an inspirational quote from the graduate. No matter what you decide on for decorations; make the focus be on the one celebrating the big day.
Go for Easy Cleanup
Buy festive paper plates, napkins, and plastic cutlery, making cleanup easier. Put a trash can or recycling bin off to the side, so people can drop their items in when they’re done. This makes it less stressful on you knowing there won’t be a ton of dishes to do when the party is over.
Put Out an Advice Jar
Leave slips of paper and pens for people to share their advice with the new graduate and have them drop it in the jar. After all the festivities and thank-you notes have been written, allow your graduate a few quiet moments to read through all the well wishes.
Have a separate, decorated table where guests can leave presents. Depending on the size of the party, guests may want to watch the graduate open the gifts. If not, make sure that you know who each gift is from so that the appropriate thank-you cards can be sent out.
Don’t put too much stress on yourself during the party planning. The most important thing is that your graduate feels special. It’s who is present, not what is present that makes the difference. Graduation is a big accomplishment and should be treated as the spectacular ordeal it is. The party is another way to show how proud you are and give everyone a chance to celebrate together. What better way to send your graduate off into their new adventure than with a party surrounded by those they love.
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