Graduation is one of those truly special days in a person’s life that a person holds in their heart forever. All the important people in one’s life come together to celebrate their achievements and collectively look forward to all the wonderful things that will be accomplished in the future. It’s a day to look back and to look forward all at once and revel in all of it. Whether it’s a graduation from preschool, middle school, high school, or college, it’s a day worth celebrating, and if you’re going to bother to celebrate, you might as well do it with style. To get you started on the right path, here are some steps you can take to plan the ultimate graduation party.
Establish A Budget
There’s absolutely no reason that you can’t produce an amazing party if you are on a budget, you just have to be smart about how you spend your cash. You can’t skimp on things like food and tent rental. Where would all the party guests go if it rained? You know that your kitchen simply isn’t big enough to accommodate all those high schoolers your child has befriended over the years. (Most of them are bigger than you for heaven’s sake!) You certainly can, however, save on things like decorations and party favors by getting creative in your approach.
Once you decide how much you can afford to spend, it’s time to bring in the troops.
Decide On A Date And Time
This is much trickier than it sounds. Chances are that there are a bunch of other graduates whose families are hosting parties for them around the same time you are planning to throw one for your little overachiever. It would be a disaster if your graduate couldn’t attend a good friend’s party because of a scheduling issue, or worse yet, her friends couldn’t attend hers because of other conflicts. Talk with others who might be planning graduation parties around the same time you are and try to work out a schedule that will work best for everyone and prevents the graduates from missing out. Especially if you foresee scheduling complications, consider planning your party a few weeks before or a few weeks after the actual graduation.
Nail Down The Specifics
We all love a good surprise, but a graduation party probably isn’t the best event to try and keep a secret. If you do manage to plan a great event and keep all the invitees quiet until the big day, your graduate may feel left out until she realizes it was all in an attempt to make the day more special for her.
If you really want the graduation party to be an unrivalled success, include the beneficiary in your planning. It’s certainly no secret that teenagers can be picky, so why not let them choose the colors, the themes, and the food for this wonderful day? It should, after all, not be just about what dreams are made of—it should specifically be about what her dreams are made of. Things you’ll need to pick are:
- Color scheme
- Rentals (Tents, linens, chairs, cooking equipment, etc.)
- Menu and/or caterer
- DJ or playlist and speaker system
Remember that there are likely to be about a zillion graduation parties occurring this spring, so while your graduate will undoubtedly enjoy having a party that’s all about her, what she’ll really appreciate is throwing a party that’s memorable. Think about some ways that you can spice up this last hoorah so it isn’t just like another family barbeque. Here are some fun ideas to get you started:
- Rent paintball guns and set up a place for the kids to battle it out in the backyard.
- Plan the menu with all unusual foods.
- Set up tons of Christmas lights in the backyard and have a nighttime pool party.
- Have a bonfire at the beach or lake.
Fun parties don’t need to be extravagant, they just need to be original.
Make A Guest List
This can be really hard or it can be really easy—the difficulty of this task depends largely on your budget. It may seem like a wonderful idea to invite the entire graduating class and their parents over to your place for a night of frivolity, but your wallet may not agree. If your budget is truly a concern, consider having a family party and encourage your graduate to invite a few of her closest friends.
Now that you know who to invite, pick out some theme-appropriate invitations and ask everyone to come! You should keep a few extras stashed in case some invitees have to decline, then you can ask a few more people who didn’t make the original cut.
Party Day Should Be An Epic Day
The day of your graduation party should be all about you, and that doesn’t just have to start at 6 p.m. when dinner will be served. Have a big family breakfast together. Plan the day out so while you are setting up for the big event, your graduate is getting spoiled. Send your girl to get her hair and nails done. (A massage couldn’t hurt either!) Send your boy out for the afternoon to play laser tag or go-kart with friends. A fun beginning, middle, and end will make graduation day one that your special someone will never forget (and you probably won’t either). Bask in the glow of your triumph. Congratulations! You’ve just planned and executed the ultimate graduation party.