Graduation is a momentous occasion that deserves to be celebrated with family and friends. Whether your graduate has just finished high school, college, or even completing an advanced degree, you want to share them how proud you are of their accomplishments and what better way to do that than with a fun graduation party.
While most people know that advanced planning will make for a successful party, they just aren't sure where to begin. So whether you are planning a simple dinner party or a party full of family and friends, these simple tips will help you get started.
Initial Planning and Determine the Budget
May and June can be a tricky time to plan a graduation party as this is a busy time for most families of graduates. So it is best to select the date of your graduation party at least 6-8 weeks in advance to allow guest enough time to prepare.
After you have selected your date, write down all of your must haves for your party.
Now that you have an idea of what you want for your party, it's time to set the budget. While this is the least favorite of party planning, it is essential to minimizing stress. Here are a few ideas to keep in mind when getting started on creating your party budget.
To avoid conflicts with other graduation parties, consider throwing the party later in the season. Another consideration, if possible, look at co-hosting a party with two or three other families. Not only will you not have to worry about guest overlapping and having to choose which party to attend, but it also allows for a grander party and shared expenses.
Build the Guest List
Your guest count plays a huge factor in your budget. So you want to keep that in mind as you start building your guest list. Start with your closest family and friends and then build from there.
Be sure to compile your list at least 4-6 weeks before your party to allow enough time to send out the invitations. Sending out invitations early enough allows guest to put your party on the calendar and if you have guests traveling from out of town they will be able to make their travel arrangements.
Choose a Location
There are pros and cons to each type of location that you can select for your graduation party. So let's talk about them.
At Home - Saves you money, it's easy to personalize, and provides a welcoming space for your guests to gather. Having a party at home does come with the labor and time it will take to clean your home before and after the party.
Restaurants - Great option if you are looking at having a smaller celebration. It provides not only the location, but also your food and beverage. However, there are a few things to consider:
A Venue - Allows for a larger gatherings and many will already have the necessary tables and chairs needed to accommodate your guests. Venues typically will come with a higher cost and since many have already been pre-booked up to a year in advance it may be a challenge to find a venue with your date available. Also, some may have restrictions on vendors you can use.
Choose a Theme and Decorations
Having a theme for your graduation party adds a fun touch to your celebration. It will also help you when planning your decorations and menu. Check out these fun graduation party themes.
Once you have selected your theme, the fun begins, but be sure to pay close attention to your budget. Trust me! As you start researching decoration ideas for your theme you will quickly find that there are so many fun options that you will want them all. So you will want to pull all of your favorite ideas and then narrow it down to be sure to stay within your allotted budget.
Finalize the Menu
Where you are hosting your party will greatly depend on what options you may have, but if you are hosting at home or a venue with an open vendor policy create a menu that will coordinate with your theme. Hiring a caterer, local food truck or event a personal chef will allow you to enjoy the festivities.
Plan the Entertainment
There are so many fun options to make sure that your guests have fun and stay engaged throughout the party. Again keeping your budget in mind look at hiring a DJ, rent large yard games to play, or consider having a photo booth decked out with graduation attire, signs, and props.
If you still feel like planning a graduation party is out of your wheel house, Contact Us. Our team of party planners are ready to help you with all or part of your planning needs to ensure that your graduation party is one to remember!