There are so many life events worth celebrating, and graduations are one of them. Whether someone is graduating from high school, college, or another program, a graduation party is a wonderful way to honor that person. Getting through school takes a lot of hard work and effort, so graduates deserve recognition for their accomplishments. Here are some essential guidelines for throwing a great graduation party.
Choose a Date
The first step when planning your party is to choose a date. Of course, you will likely want your party to be as close to the graduation date as possible. However, it’s not always practical to have your event on the same day as the graduation, as graduations tend to be lengthy and tiring.
Instead, you can consider scheduling your party for the weekend before or after graduation. As you select a date, also consider the schedules and travel times of the guest you plan to invite, so you can select a date that accommodates everyone.
With every single step in this process, you want to plan ahead. Without a solid plan, it will be challenging to organize an event. After all, there are many moving parts when it comes to party planning, so you want to ensure that you take care of all the necessary details.
Take the time months in advance to brainstorm some ideas and write them down. You should make lists of all the supplies you will need, along with an estimate of costs. It can also be helpful to set a budget for your party at this stage, especially if you plan to have a big event with a lot of guests.
Pick a Time
Once you know the date of your graduation party, you can pick an appropriate time to begin the event. Some people prefer a late afternoon party to enjoy lunch together and spend time outside when the sun is still shining. In contrast, others prefer a dinner party that extends into the late evening.
However, another popular trend for graduation parties is to have a flexible time, so people can stop by at their leisure. For example, you can hold your party from noon to 4 PM, and guests can come and go as they please. Choose a time that works best for you and your guests.
Create a Guestlist
And that brings us to the guest list. Before you move on to the next steps in your party planning, create a guest list so you have an idea of how many people will be at the event. As you pick people to invite, consider who the graduate is closest to and who they would want at the party. Friends, family members, classmates, and coworkers are always great people to include on the list. You’ll want to keep your guest list and the number of people in mind as you select a venue and food and make invitations.
Select a Venue
Now we can’t forget about selecting a venue. You’ll need a suitable location for your graduation party. Many people prefer to save money on a venue by throwing a party in their homes. However, your home may not be accommodating for a large guest list, or maybe you would prefer not to deal with cleanup after the party.
In this case, booking an event venue may be the better option. You can choose a location like a hotel banquet hall, a fancy restaurant with a private room, or another venue location. You can also save money by throwing the party at a public park and using a gazebo or picnic table for food.
Let’s face it: it’s hardly a celebration without some good music! You can create your own playlist and use a stereo or sound system or hire a professional DJ for the event. Alternatively, maybe you know someone who can sing or play music, so you can hire them for a live performance.
No matter which option you choose, try to keep the music choices light and upbeat. You want to create a celebratory mood with your music to make people feel good and encourage them to dance and enjoy themselves.
It’s also a good idea to get decorations for your party. You don’t have to go over the top if you don’t want to–not all parties need an ice sculpture or chocolate fountain. Instead, you can opt for some streamers, balloons, and other graduation decorations.
For example, a sign to congratulate the graduate that says their graduating year is always a good option. It’s also fun to get decor in the graduate’s school colors. For example, if their school colors are maroon and white, you can get matching maroon and white balloons, streamers, plates, cups, and tablecloths.
Food and Drinks
Food and drinks are other essential items to cross off your party planning list. People will get hungry, so you want to have something to feed them. You don’t necessarily need to prepare a full meal unless you plan to have a graduation dinner or lunch party.
Instead, you can hire catering for the event and have buffet-style dining, so people can choose what they like. Or you can get finger foods like small sandwiches, chips, snack mixes, and other fun treats. Just make sure you have enough food and beverages for all the guests attending, so no one gets left out.
Now that all of the party details are in order, you can make your invitations, designing and decorating them however you like. For example, you can incorporate the graduate’s school colors and graduating year. Just be sure to include all the essential information on the invitation: date, time, location, and a phone number or email for RSVPs. You will also want to send out the invitations at least a few weeks before the event, so guests can work out their schedules and make the appropriate travel arrangements.
Get a Gift
And finally, you’ll want to get a graduation gift. High school graduates often receive gifts of money that help them pay for college or take their next steps in life. However, you may prefer to get the graduate something more personal that they can cherish for a lifetime. Some great graduation gift ideas include shadow boxes, photo albums, and graduation plaques.
Now that you have a complete guide to throwing a graduation party, you can start planning your event today. If you’re looking for the perfect gift for your graduate, be sure to check out Crystal Central’s stunning selection of graduation plaques.