IT’S GRADUATION SEASON! 10 tips for planning a wonderful graduation party

image credit |  give your grad party a personal touch

Graduation season is fast upon us! And we know many of our past client families are getting ready to celebrate high school graduations.

We’ve planned graduation parties for our clients’ as well as our own children. It can be a time of mixed emotions, celebrating a son or daughter’s hard work and notable achievements, feeling excited for them as they take the next bold step into young adulthood, yet just a tad anxious about letting go. Alas, fly the nest most will do whether parents are ready or not! So find the happy in the moment, and CELEBRATE!

Here are a few tips for planning a graduation party your graduate will appreciate –

1. Talk with them about what THEY’D like – guest list, overall feel, food.

2. Consider holding an open house with a predetermined start and end time, rather than an open-ended party with a set start time. Many families from the same school will be hosting similar celebrations at the same time, and graduates will want to share the fun with as many friends as possible.

3. Try to discourage graduates from posting open invites on social media. Keep social media invites private to avoid unwanted problems, from hurt feelings of those left out, to large numbers of not well known classmates just showing up.

4. Offer fun food that will appeal to a wide variety of tastes. BBQ and build-your-own burger, taco, or salad options are perfect for this kind of party. Make sure to include vegetarian and gluten-free items so no one goes hungry!

5. Don’t bow to the pressure to serve alcohol to under-age guests. Offer fun non-alcoholic beverages for young graduates and their friends (as well as adults who don’t drink alcohol). Look for terrific “mocktail” ideas and recipes online. Add fresh fruit spritzers and coolers, as well as old fashioned and natural fruit sodas. The vintage look and feel is fun, and natural fruit sodas are quite popular. Plus, they look great displayed in large beverage tubs full of ice and suit a casual, self-serve atmosphere perfectly.

6. Serve individual dessert items that don’t require plates or utensils and are easy to pick up and go. Add a fun surprise like custom cookies with your graduate’s school logo. And save cakes that need to be cut and served for smaller family celebrations.

7. Keep the decorations appropriate to the age group. As cute as those little graduation cap cupcake toppers and diploma cookies are, the graduates are getting a bit old for this stuff! Save the cute touches for their younger siblings or even future grandchildren.

8. Control costs by sharing the party hosting duties with another or several families, borrowing needed additional chairs, tables, and serveware, and saying “yes” to those who offer to contribute to the menu!

9. Plan and prepare as much as possible in advance and keep your day-of preparations to a minimum. Supplement home prepared dishes or home style BBQ with sides or specialty items from a grocery prepared foods section or favorite local restaurant if needed. Divide up cleaning, yard work, food prep, and setup responsibilities so no one person shoulders too much of the work. Less pre-party stress for all will go a long way toward ensuring a fun, relaxing celebration!

10. And, finally, be sure to capture the informal special moments with your camera or phone. Those posed graduation pictures are a wonderful keepsake, but you’ll really treasure the in-the-moment smiles caught on the fly!

On a personal note, warm congratulations to all our client families celebrating graduations this spring. ENJOY!!

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