Hosting a graduation party is a lot of work and it takes a lot of planning. As you’re thinking about ideas and making plans be sure to create a checklist of “to do’s” so you don’t forget anything later.
Create a time line and organize your “to do’s” within that time line. Try to get things done and out of the way as soon as possible. Graduation time is an extremely busy time of year and you’ll be thankful you got some things done early.
To give you an idea of what a time line might look like and to help you get started thinking about your own here’s one to start with …
6 weeks before the party:
Well, the summer is over and the kids are back in school. Last year’s juniors are this year’s seniors.
A new group of parents is thinking about graduation next May or June and some are already making plans. If you’ve had a graduation party in the past then you know the ropes already. You know that you should start working on some things now before it gets too busy, like your scrapbooks and photo books.
But if this is your first graduation then you may be feeling a little overwhelmed or worried because you don’t know what you don’t know.
Not to fear. There’s lots of great information out there. You just need to find it. Start with our website, GraduationParty.com. It has tons of free advice and great suggestions. It’s a great resource that can help you decide what to do and what not to do.
If you feel more secure with something you can hold in your hands and make notes on, check out the book, “Graduation Parties: Everything You Need to Know From Start to Finish!”. You can buy it from GraduationParty.com. Most of the information in the book is also on the website.
. . . → Read More: Time to start thinking about your graduation party
If your son or daughter is bringing home graduation party invitations you may be wondering if you’re invited to these parties too, especially if the invitations didn’t come through the mail addressed to you. What is the etiquette for these situations? You don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings by not going to their party but you also don’t want to show up to a party if the invitation wasn’t meant for you.
First look at the invitation to see what kind of party it is. For open house type parties go to the parties for the students you know personally and avoid the parties for the grads you don’t know. If it’s an open house then chances are many people have been invited and even if you weren’t specifically invited it’s probably okay for you to go. If it’s a sit down dinner (most aren’t) and an RSVP is required then if the invitation wasn’t addressed to you then you weren’t invited.
Another question is whether your other kids are invited. If you’re not sure if you should bring your younger children it might be best to hire a sitter. If you know the family has kids the same age it’s probably okay to bring yours. But when in doubt . . . → Read More: My grad got an invitation. Am I invited too?
When planning a graduation party there are a few things you need to plan and budget for. The amount spent on each item is up to you. Some things may not be important to you so you may decide to skip them altogether. Some things may be very important so you may decide to spend a little more.
Here is a list of things you should consider:
- Graduation Invitations. You can order printed, embossed, very formal graduation invitations for a lot of money or you can order blank graduation invitations you print yourself at a fraction of the cost. Printed invitations come in a variety of styles and the prices vary so make sure you shop around. You can also design a “newsletter” type invitation on 8.5″ x 11″ graduation-themed paper that can be printed or color copied very economically. You can also do a combination of invitations – e.g. order more formal invitations for relatives and family friends and order more casual, less expensive invitations for your grad’s friends. Many high school grads invite their friends via online websites such as Facebook and MySpace so make sure you check with your grad first. You may need less invitations . . . → Read More: Budgeting for your Graduation Party
Most graduations are in the spring. But it’s never too early to start getting organized. In fact, some people start as soon as the kids are back in school.
Organizing your photos can be a big job. Especially if they’re in shoe boxes and scattered all over your house. Or if they’re on your computer in different folders or on camera cards. Start collecting your photos and organizing them as soon as you can.
While you’re searching for photos start thinking about which ones you want to display at your graduation party and how you want to display them. Do you want to make poster boards filled with pictures? Do you want to create scrapbooks? Do you want to put them in photo albums? Do you want large posters? Do you want a DVD? Do you want to place your photos on tables under clear plastic tablecloths? Do you want a combination of these things? Do you want something else? The possibilities are endless!
Once you’ve collected your photos or know where they are you’ll need to have a general idea of what you want to do with them. For example, if you want a DVD or if you want to create an “online” scrapbook or photo book then . . . → Read More: Organize Your Photos
Not sure what to do for your graduation party or even where to start? Not to worry … there’s plenty of help out there!
Start by talking to friends and neighbors who have been through it before. They will have plenty of advice on what worked for them and the things you should try to avoid. There are also books and websites that offer tips, hints and graduation-themed products that will help make your party extra special.
Our book, “Graduation Parties! Everything You Need to Know From Start to Finish”, quickly becomes a favorite with many parents. Written by our very own Ginger Venable and Mary J. Anderson, this book includes ideas that will help you create a fun and memorable party AND will save you money when it comes to menu planning, decorating, invitations, etc.
Although small (it’s only 100 pages), this book is FULL of helpful to-do lists, budgets, schedules, unique ideas, and many other tips and hints. Here’s a detailed list of topics that are covered:
- picking a party date & time
- picking a location for your party
- graduation party themes
- invitations – formal, casual, print your own, etc.
- out of town guests
- invitation checklist
- planning entertainment & activities for your . . . → Read More: A Guide to Planning Your Graduation Party
You don’t have to spend a lot of money to have a memorable graduation party. The most important thing is for friends and family to get together to honor the graduate. There are many things you can do to stay within your budget and still have a great party.
First, have your party at home. Most people do this anyway. You can spend a lot of money renting a hall or a club or some other facility. Save this money and have your party at home. If there are renovations that need to be done before you have a large party that’s okay. The money you would spend on a hall can be put towards the renovations or fix-ups. And the renovations will last a lot longer! If your home is not big enough or isn’t well suited to having a large party then consider asking a close relative or friend if you can use their home. Or maybe your graduate has a friend who is graduating too and you can have a joint party at the friend’s house.
Having a joint party with 2 or 3 or even 4 graduates can save a lot of money. Many graduates share the same circle of friends. By having a joint party you can . . . → Read More: Graduation Party on a Budget
Most people host their graduation party in their home or backyard or even their garage (well cleaned of course!).
Take a look around your home. Is there enough space to accommodate everyone you want to invite? Where would you serve food and beverages? Do you need tables and chairs? Where would you put them? Where would you display photos of the graduate?
If you want to have your party outside you should plan a backup in case it rains. Can your house be the backup? Do you need to rent a party tent? Can you clean out your garage and make it spotless enough to hold a party?
Consider the time of day and where the sun will be shining. If your party will be outside do you need a tent for shade? Do you want guests to come through the front door? If not, use balloons to lead your guests to the party with a fun yard sign.
Do you want/need to make any improvements to your home or yard before the party? Many people find a Graduation Party is a great motivator!
Does the idea of hosting a large party at your home scare you? Maybe your yard is . . . → Read More: Choosing a Location