To follow up on my previous post, I also wanted to write to yall today to help yall plan your graduation party, that hopefully you have already started planning. I am just here to remind you of some stuff you may have forgotten or give you some ideas.
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I found that the number one key to a graduation party is the timing of it. What day and what time will you have it at? I personally think having your party as close as you can to your graduation date is better than waiting until the end of Summer. The further out you plan it is likely less people will show up because they might forget about it, you don’t really see people from school anymore like you did while yall were in school so you can’t remind them, people are more likely to take vacations further on in the Summer, and by the end of Summer people are getting ready for college and may not have a lot of time to go to grad parties.
I had my party literally 4 days after graduation. That had a lot to do with my sister getting married the following weekend in another state so all of my family took 2 weeks vacation and came to Ohio for my graduation and party and then we all traveled to my sister’s state for her wedding. We were trying to pick a date that would work with most people and that is what it was. I had no problem with it because we got it done and over with and the hype of graduating was still there because it had only been a couple of days.
I know I’m a little late with that tip seeing as many schools have already graduated so you are done with school, but for those of you who are still in school hand out those invites during school so you can get them to more people directly and won’t have to drive around to people or send them out through the mail. I handed mine out the week we let out because a lot of other people were also doing that and at that point everyone was excited to graduate and looking forward to going to everyone’s parties. I added a senior picture to all of my invitations too just because my mom ordered probably 200 wallet sized photos and I needed to get rid of them. A lot of people’s invitations had their senior pictures printed on them but I ordered mine through a company called Jostens that did our class rings and other things for our school so I just stuck on in the envelope with it. I think adding a senior picture to your invitations is a good idea because some people (like me) like to keep those things and 20 years from now when I look back through graduation stuff and see an invitation from a Kelly I will probably be like “Kelly who?” I need pictures to go with faces and I like to look back and remember you and put a face to your name.
Here is the front of my invitations from last year. You opened it up and it had more graphics of my school mascot along with the invite info with time, place, etc. and my picture!
It’s obviously nice to invite all of your friends from high school but do not forget about family and family friends!! Mail those invitations out to all of your family and friends so they know you are graduating, just incase you have forgetful family members like me. Those who can’t make the party would still love an invitation and a senior picture, and they will probably send a little something back in the mail for you as a graduation gift!
You can make an event on Facebook if you would like to so you can invite people that way, which is what I did. I also posted statuses on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram about details and told people to message me with any questions about the party. Creating events on Facebook is just easy because you can invite a lot of people at once and a lot of your family uses Facebook so that is a way you can invite them instead of sending out cards because I know now a lot of kids use Facebook that much anymore but your family still does!
If you are planning on holding your grad party at a location you should probably jump on that ASAP because I am sure there are a hundred other people trying to jump on that same spot at the same time you want it. I booked mine at a park because it was warm and the park was very pretty. Some people have their parties inside buildings or at their own house, which is the cheaper and easier route. If you book it somewhere else and you happen to forget something you have to drive all the way home to get it or run to the nearest store to buy a new one instead of running inside to get it if you have it at your house. My house just isn’t big enough to hold a party which is why we booked it at a park.
Pick a time frame that is long enough so that people will have a good chance of making it around their other events, but also not a time frame that lasts all-day because that would be exhausting for you to have to sit at all day. Mine was 5 hours long which was a stretch but it worked out great because there were other parties on the same day as mine but because my time range was big and at a good time in the afternoon a lot of people were able to make it to mine first then go to others or come to mine after they went to someone else’s. Also, whatever time you schedule your party at plan to come about a half-hour early for set-up and stay a half-hour for clean-up (depending on what yall have planned and set up). Mine was already at a park so the only thing we had to set up was tablecloths and food. That was also easy to clean up because the food was all eaten and the table cloths were getting thrown away. So I wasn’t there for a long time before and after but I know some people are, so plan accordingly because you don’t want to be late to your own party or not be ready when people start showing up.
Now, onto the good stuff: FOOD. Get food that is easy to prepare, bring, and for people to eat and walk around with that most people will like. I had Subway cater my party with sandwiches and we also bought cupcakes for dessert and had other veggies and drinks on the side. Pick things that won’t go bad if they sit out for long periods of time. I love to be creative with my foods and I think people who make food to go along with their theme is so cute. I rolled my silverware in white napkins and tied them with black ribbon so they looked like rolled up diplomas. I bought plain vanilla with white frosting cupcakes but then my mom and I put Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups upside-down with a square of Hershey’s chocolate on top and squeezed some red icing along one of the sides to make the cupcakes look like graduation caps. I also bought ring pops and had them out as snacks with a sign for “Class Rings”. So have fun with it! Search things on Pinterest for graduation snack and food ideas because that’s what I did.
Have a guest book of some sorts for people to sign when they come to your party so you can look back on who came. I bought a Jenga set and some fine point sharpies for my guest book. I had a sign saying “Build Memories” so that everyone would write their favorite memory with me on a Jenga Piece and we would build the Jenga tower up with all of the memories. I thought it was a super cute and unique idea for a guest book that I could play with later on after high school and re-read all of my old memories in the future. You can have something traditional like an actual book or go to Pinterest and find something fun and unique.
Take pictures!!!!! I am a HUGE picture person so I was on-top of pictures. I took pictures of the food, the decorations, with every person who came to my party, me opening cards and gifts along with just my guests who came. I still plan on taking all of those pictures and grad party invites from other people and their senior pictures along with other things and putting all of that into a scrap book but I just haven’t gotten to it yet so all of that stuff is sitting in a bin in my room waiting on me.
Bring baby pictures, you in your sports, yearbook pics, anything for people to look at. I love when people have the progression of pictures from newborn to kindergarten, 1st grade all the way through to senior year because I personally love looking at baby pictures and old pictures of people. I bought a trifold cardboard piece from the dollar store and taped old and new pictures to it to set up for people to look at. I also had my laptop playing a slide-show of all of my senior pictures because I didn’t want to bring them all out or tape up my bought copies. My boyfriend had his pictures hanging from string that was tied around the posts of the Gazebo at the park he had his party at so you can display them in so many different ways! If you got Senior Pictures taken and have extra wallet sized copies that you would like to hand out put them out at your party so people can see them and take their favorite one home with them as a keepsake.
Have some games at your party! Most of the time adults will bring their kids and you may have younger cousins there or younger siblings so have something for them to do. I liked having mine at the park because there was a playground right next to my Gazebo that the kids could play on. My boyfriend had corn hole for the adults to play, you can have a volleyball net out at the park, or play kick-ball. I recommend having something for people to do so they aren’t bored sitting at a table for a while.
You can also hang up any uniforms, jerseys, trophies, outfits, medals, etc. for people to look at. This is a good way to showcase all of your sports, clubs, or activities you were apart of during high-school and people can see what you’ve been up to for the past 4 years. I brought all of my cheerleading medals to lay out for people to see. I also had laying out my diploma itself, my National Honors Society Cords, my tassel, and the thing I wore around my neck for graduating with Honors.
You want to have some sort of music at your party. I am not saying go out and hire a DJ or anything. I just took my beats pill to the party and played a Pandora station off my phone at a reasonable volume level so that people could hear it but it wasn’t overpowering conversations that were going on. It is just nice to have some background noise when things start to quiet down.
WRITE OUT THANK YOU CARDS!! This is why it is important to have a guest book so you can see who all came and after the party you can write out thank you cards to them and the people who brought/sent you gifts or cards! This one is huge because many people over look this step and some people don’t see it necessary but I think it is still important to do in this day and age. Thank your friends and family for coming and supporting your graduation, thank them for the nice gifts and kind cards, just be polite and thank people for coming out and supporting you because they didn’t have to. They chose to.
I hope these little tips of mine can help you plan out at your graduation party! Once again,