Graduation is an exciting time of accomplishment, transition and anticipation, so celebrating is a given of course! But a graduation party is more than just a moment of relief after the madness of school or even a celebration of success. A well-planned graduation party becomes a stepping stone for whatever new journey await. If that sounds intimidating, it doesn’t have to be! With just a few simple tips and a little party prep, you’ll be orchestrating an outstanding outing in no time.
Work With Your Grad
Before you start planning anything be sure to consult with your graduate. After all, it is his or her celebration! Talk to your grad about what kind of party he or she wants, how large it should be, who to invite, possible dates and themes, and any other important details. While you might not be able to accommodate everything your grad has in mind, the key to throwing a successful party for someone else is to make it about them! This is especially important if your graduate wants a smaller or more private celebration or has ideas different than your own. While it can be difficult to not get caught up in great ideas, make sure the party reflects what your graduate really wants.
Stick To A Budget
Once you have a clear idea about the size and style of party that you and your graduate have in mind, it’s important to set out a specific guest list and build a firm budget. Party expenses have a tendency to grow exponentially when your back is turned, so creating and keeping a budget for them is particularly important. Party planning also involves a large number of small expenses. These little purchases usually seem insignificant at the moment but are particularly deceptive and add up quickly over time. Following up regularly with your budget and committing to keeping it will make sure that things don’t get too off track.
Organize Ahead Of Time
Graduation season is a busy time for everyone, especially recent grads and their friends. Because many of your graduate’s friends are likely graduating as well, it’s important to plan parties well in advance. Party planning should begin at least a month before the event, ensuring that venues, entertainment, and other important resources haven’t already been booked for the night. Graduation party invitations should also be sent at least three weeks in advance, giving guests plenty of notice before other plans interfere and allowing them time to send in RSVPs. Knowing how many guests to expect will also make the rest of your planning much easier!
Have A Plan In Place
Nothing spells party disaster faster than just winging it. If your party is going to succeed, it has to have a plan in place. Even relatively relaxed parties need to have a plan for parking, food, and general organization. Hosts should also have a few party games or ideas prepared to pull out to help people get comfortable or if you start to sense a lull. Icebreakers and group activities are also a great way to get people socializing and make sure everyone is having fun. Games and activities can be orchestrated by the host and include large groups of people or can be stationed throughout the venue, letting people move around and entertain themselves.
Include A Guest Book
Graduation is a huge accomplishment for your student and a graduation party is something that that should be long remembered. Including a guest book in the celebration gives your grad a tangible memory of the event that can be looked back on for years to come. Guest books give family and friends a place to record advice and encouragement, and a location to store photos, cards and other important memorabilia from the evening. A guest book also makes it easier for your graduate to write thank you notes, particularly with the chaos of moving and adjustment that tends to follow the post-graduate transition.
Personalize The Party
This isn’t just any old graduation party, this is for your graduate! Be sure to choose a theme that fits with his or her style and is something that you know he or she would enjoy. Take some time as well to personalize the party with specific memories about your graduate. Create a now and then section to celebrate past accomplishments, hang photos throughout the venue, incorporate your graduate’s future plans into the theme, or find some other way to personalize the party. Your party should be all about your grad and be a real celebration of their success.
Graduation parties, when done well, celebrate your graduate’s accomplishments while simultaneously directing them toward an exciting future. Planning the perfect party for your grad doesn’t have to be difficult, stressful or expensive. With a little planning and a few helpful tips, you can host an outstanding grad party of any size.