What to Do Before You Host a Graduation Party

cup cakes on a plate
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Your son or daughter is about to complete a significant milestone, graduating from a school. This is a big event no matter what the age, and worthy of a celebration. Here are the things you need to think about before you plan this special graduation party.

Work out Your Budget and Guest List

Before you make any other decisions, you'll need to figure out how much you can afford to spend on this party. To do that, you'll want to make some decisions about your guest list and how big or small you would like your ideal party to be. Will it be the entire graduating class? Will it be a more intimate family party? Once you have those decisions made, you can work out all of the other details.

Decide Where to Hold Your Party

Are you planning a small, intimate party at home? A large party in a catering hall? A giant barbecue out back? Before you make another decision, choose the location for your party.

Pick Your Party Time

With graduation parties, timing can be everything. If you host the party at the same time as the rest of the class is hosting their parties, you should expect quick visits from your guests. Make your event an open house, and plan food that can be refreshed periodically as the next round of students make their appearance.

Decide Whether You'll Have a Fun Theme

Picking a theme can add a fun touch to your party, as well as help guide your menu planning. Luaus are a popular theme for graduations. Or, you can make it a simple summer barbecue with food that kids of all ages enjoy.

Plan Your Menu

If you have a theme, the menu will be easy to plan. If not, begin to prepare by thinking about your guests and their tastes. Only kids? Then make it kid-friendly. Family members and kids - plan food for all ages. Will it be a late night party? Then stock up on snack food ​and beverages without worrying about anything more hearty.

Send Your Invitations

Depending on the style of your party, the invitations will run from the very formal engraved variety to the very casual but hip e-vite. Just remember to include the essential details on your invitation, no matter what form they take. Guests will need to know the date and time of your party and the location, among other details that will get them there for the big day.

Decide on Your Decorations and Party Goods

Whether it's as simple as a color scheme, as spirited as school (past or future) colors, or as funky as your theme, plan decorations to set the mood of your party. Some people choose graduation themed items for their decorations such as graduation caps and diplomas. You might also decorate with a theme that celebrates the graduate's plans for the future whether it's spirit wear from their planned college or items representing a future career.

Decide on Entertainment

Entertainment can come in many guises. You could hire a DJ to play popular songs. Rent a karaoke machine for everyone to take a turn as the star. Or provide popular party games or lawn games to keep the fun going throughout your party.