Party Like a Pro
Throwing a memorable graduation party does not require a professional event planner. Things to consider, such as location, invitations, party food, and decor, are merely starting points and easy enough to tackle on your own.
It's not every day you have the chance to celebrate a graduate. Graduation is a momentous occasion where friends and family gather to make and share memories. To allow yourself to indulge in festivities along with everyone else, it's best to have a plan beforehand. Here are some simple ideas for hosting a memorable day that your graduate will appreciate.
Make Your Party Plan
Planning ahead and creating a timeline is essential to remain within your budget. A great first step is to write down all the desired features for your party. After you complete your list, make an actual timeline of when you can accomplish these tasks.
Create Your Budget
A budget is the least fun aspect of party planning, but perhaps the most important. A budget will keep your buying in check and allow you to prioritize the needs for the party. Planning a graduation party with limited funds can be made easier by buddying up with the graduates' companions or close friends that may help split the labor and expenses. You can also try making most of your decor and party favors to cut down on costs.
Secure a Location
There are plenty of location options for hosting a graduation party. Your own family home might be large enough to host the event, or maybe a friend or family member is open to sharing their space. You can also rent a party hall, park pavilion, or country club for the celebration.
Spreading news of your graduate is important but does not have to break the bank. You can always send traditional print announcements through the mail, but make sure you consider the price of printing and postage. Advanced planning is also crucial with paper invites as it can take several days (or even weeks) to design, print, and send the cards. If you don't have enough time or a budget for paper invitations, electronic invites via email or Facebook are convenient and free.
Choose Your Food
Reference your budget to make a grocery list to cover your food needs. You'll need to figure out what kind of food you'll be serving—you could offer a backyard BBQ or opt to serve snacks and desserts only. It's also useful to make a list of people you can count on to help you prepare food for the big day. You could also keep it simple by ordering pizza or asking guests to bring food potluck style.
Graduation Cap Rice Krispies Treat
In the case that your graduate is not a big cake person, consider this life-size Cocoa Krispies treat graduation cap for your celebration. The only downside is that this looks almost too good to eat!
Sparkling Sugar Cookies
To grow your dessert table offerings, we suggest these sparkling sugar cookies. If you are considering gift bags to hand to your guests, these glitter cookies will make a great addition.
Candy Cup Hats
These candy peanut butter cup hats are adorable to surround your dessert table. Hand these out to your guests as they arrive to get the party started. These will be a hit, especially with those chocolate lovers who prefer a peanut butter center.
Edible Image Cake
This trick is for the host trying to save time and money but still wants a creative cake for their graduate. Edible images are edible printouts that can be applied to the top of any cake. They can feature anything from a phrase or quote to your graduate's actual face. You'll get professional-looking results that require little baking experience.
An RSVP count is helpful when it comes to planning beverages and the bar. Consider how many children, teens, and adults will be in attendance. Then you'll need to calculate how many people will be drinking alcohol. If possible, do your best to estimate their beer, wine, or cocktail preferences. You may even opt to skip serving cocktails and stick to the ease of self-serve beer and wine. Don't forget to feature some tasty non-alcoholic options as well.
Graduation Party Decor
Graduation decor is fairly specific. One staple at the event is a table sharing the graduate's achievements and some memorable photos through the year. Graduation is a wonderful time to reflect through all those special moments and welcome new ones.
DIY Balloon Superlatives
Use this fun decor idea to assign all your guests a special superlative like "most likely to succeed" and "class clown." Put the superlative on display attached to the end of a balloon and share them with your friends.
Feature School Colors
Often graduates like to have a theme for their bash while others might stick with traditional school colors. Either way, it's festive to represent your school and class in the decor.
DIY Balloon Tassles
Don't settle for ordinary balloons for your graduate. This festive DIY balloon tassel trick is a playful way to proudly show off those school colors. Balloons are a great cost-effective way to bring color to your party.
Yard games are a great way to keep everyone engaged and having fun. If your yard is big enough, set up a volleyball net for a big group to enjoy. Music is always welcomed by party goers as well, and a photo booth is a good idea for graduates to commemorate the day. If your budget is a bit tight for a photo booth, a selfie stick and backdrop can go a long way.
Photo Booth Printables
Props for your photo booth are always a great idea. Print these in advance for photo fun on the day of your party. A backdrop is a really cute addition to your DIY photo booth as well–this could be made of simple supplies such as streamers, balloons, or a brightly colored fabric or wrapping paper.
You can create your own social filter for your graduate and pair it with a DIY photo booth. Guests can make their own special keepsakes to remember the graduate and their special day. Take it a step further by adding a printer to your setup.
Make a playlist in advance. Music can be the last thing on one's mind when deep into party planning. Music helps guests feel comfortable as they enter a room. It also helps the party move into the night. Spotify is a great option. It has some easy and helpful playlists already made for you.
Money Confetti Poppers
Most graduates appreciate cash gifts as they venture off into the working world. Try this money confetti poppers DIY as a playful way to surprise your graduate. They will receive plenty of cards at the party, so have your generous monetary gift stand out with confetti.
Keep things organized by setting a garbage can and a recycling bin out during the party so guests can easily dispose of their cans and bottles. Disposable dishware and serving platters are your friend. If you are hosting the party, this simple tool could save hours on clean up. If you're worried about the environment, opt for eco-friendly materials.
Thank You Notes
A highlight of the party for the graduate is getting gifts. Kindly remind them to send out individual thank you cards to each guest who has attended and contributed to the party. Guests will be full of gratitude for the sweet gesture and feel proud to have helped your graduate in the next leg of their journey.