Celebrating your graduation is important and exciting, and it can be expensive. It may be the second most important party you’ll throw (assuming your wedding will top the list) and usually the first time you’ve hosted a large party. It’s almost like a rite of passage. Here are some tips and trips to make your first formal party a blast.
At the bottom on this article, you'll find a simple checklist, we even suggested some places to shop for this very special day.
Set a budget
Like any big party, the budget is where you should begin. Will this be the biggest graduation bash ever or just family and friends or somewhere in-between? If you keep it informal enough it will be fun and probably less expensive. Setting a budget will also let you answer three important questions; "Where ?"Who is doing the cooking?", and "do I need to hire entertainment?".
Where will the party be held?
There are 2 basic choices besides a restaurant. Your final choice will depend on your budget, how much time you have, and how many people are attending.
The obvious option is to have it at your house. (Or talk to someone else you know with a large house/yard) This can be the least expensive option but you may have to rent tables, chairs, table linens etc. and you will have to have space in your kitchen to prepare.
Rent a hall. If you are having lots of people, this works very well. You may not have to worry about renting chairs and tables because a lot of halls have these as well as things like dance floors, stages, barbeques, kitchens and even outdoor activities like horseshoes for the old folks and playgrounds for the kids. They are a good choice for big parties.
To cook or not to cook?
This is a big decision. Do you want to prepare the food yourself or have the event catered. If you have lots of help, cooking can save you money and let you prepare your favorites but it can put you in the weeds and ruin what should be a fun event. Delegate and delegate some more! Cooking for a big crowd can be scary, time-consuming, so allow yourself at least 3 days prior to prepare and don’t forget refrigerator space. You may have to ask neighbors if they have any room in theirs. Catering can be the solution. It can also be expensive. If you are lucky enough to live in the
Choose your menu from pictures and descriptions of over 75 different appetizers and email your order in. We will deliver everything you need the day of the party. It may just prove to be the perfect solution.
entertainment or not?
We've seen lots of graduation parties with DJs and even bands. Really, it depends on location , how many people will be there, and can they entertain themselves. At a hall, this could be a way to go.
Here’s your check list:
Invitations/RSVP/Other Printed Items
___ Invitation to the party! - From your local party store, or get a personalized invitation.
There are lots of graduation party's happening at the same time so get this out early and try to make it special!
___ Response Card and Response Envelope - Not standard for a graduation party, but, if you are having lots of out of towners, it's not a bad idea.
___ Directional Card - Basically a map to where the party is being held. If it's at your house, this is probably not needed, but, if you're going to a restaurant or a hall, it's a nice touch.
___ Seating Cards - Only if you are having a sit down affair.
___ Agenda - I think this is a nice touch for out of town guests. Especially if there are other informal get-togethers over the weekend.
___ Signage/Sign-In Boards - If you are getting any special signs, sign-in boards, or cut-outs, now is the time to order them. Party411.com has a great selections, or you can go to your local printer, or do them yourself.
For the Day of the Graduation Party
___ Graduation balloons
___ Other (e.g. life size cut-out of the graduate)
Inside Location/Outside Room:
___ Welcome Sign or Banner
___ Lifesize caricature cutout of the graduate - from Party411.com
___ Entrance Sign at "room" entrance
___ Graduation balloons
___ Sign-In Board and/or
___ Sign in Book
___ Table Decorations
___ Pens (Can be a great favor too!)
___ Directional signage based on theme
___ Restroom signs theme-oriented
___ Photo Blow-Ups - Having big pictures of the graduate (and the family is a great way to decorate!)
___ Gift Table
___ Balloon Treatment/Arches - Graduation Balloons are always fun and very inexpensive.
___ Linen ___ Specialty ___ Color Choice(s)
___ Napkins ___ Specialty ___ Color Choice(s)
___ Centerpiece - You can make your own or get a three-sided, personalized one from Party411.com
___ Graduation balloons
___ Single use camera(s) - What a great favor for your guests. Get personalized cameras from Party411.com
Graduation Party Favors:
___ Favors for your guests.
Make these little grad caps : http://familyfun.go.com/playtime/everyday-ideas/everyday-ideas-easter/grad-caps-686693/
PS: Don't forget to get your party appetizer orders in as soon as you can so your date will be available. Call 1.800.691.2283 or go to www.PerfectPartyBites.com