Your Guide to Planning an A-plus Graduation Party
There are few milestones in the life of an American teenager that are as significant as graduating high school. All they’ve known for their entire lives is school and now, after years of hard work, it’s finally complete.
If you’re the proud parent of a graduate then you’re probably thinking about a graduation party. The idea of planning a party can cause excitement for some, and anxiety for others. No matter which camp you fall into, breaking the planning into smaller steps can make things a bit easier. Here’s a quick guide to get you started.
Location, Location, Location
The first thing you and your soon-to-be-graduate should focus on is where the party will be held. Most people opt to have their graduation parties at their homes—and for good reason. It’s cost-effective, comfortable, and there’s no strict time limit like you might find at a restaurant or banquet hall.
If you have your heart set on an at-home party in the backyard, then you’ll definitely need to assess your patio furniture situation to ensure you have enough stylish and comfortable seating for your guests.
If your patio furniture can use an upgrade, then check out Ski Barn. Sure, they’re your best source for winter sports equipment, but when the weather gets warm, Ski Barn carries a wide selection of patio dining sets and deep seating options from top patio brands like Malibu, Kingston, and Gensun.
You’ll also find cool and classic umbrellas to complete your backyard oasis, and other party-perfect accessories. And if your graduation party keeps going well after the sun goes down, then a firepit will help keep guests warm and cozy.
To Theme or Not to Theme
One of the most fun aspects of planning a party is choosing a theme. For a really special graduation party, choose a theme that’s relevant to the graduate. Consider these ideas:
- Career goals: Does your graduate hope to be a doctor? Hand out toy stethoscopes, white lab coats, and use prescription pads to label food and drinks. Are they hoping for a career in the arts? Hand out berets and decorate with prints of famous works of art. There’s all kinds of possibilities.
- College major: Maybe the graduate doesn’t know their career path, but knows their major. Many college majors like zoology, music, graphic design, and English literature lend themselves to fun and easy themes.
- School location: Think about what makes the location of your child’s college special. If your graduate is going to school in Louisiana, then you can have a Mardi Gras theme. If they’re going to New York City, then you can have a theme based on Broadway or famous New York landmarks. Or, if they’re headed down South, then a traditional southern barbeque would be perfect.
- Sports: Will your graduate be playing a sport in college? It’s easy to create a fun theme around soccer, football, basketball, volleyball or any other sport.
- Or, no theme: It’s also fine to not have a theme. Parties with friends, music, and food are still fun even without a theme.
Make a Grade-A Guest List
It’s your graduate’s party so discuss with them who they’ll want to invite. Friends, family, grandparents, and classmates are all obvious invites. But also consider inviting others who played a role in your child’s education, like:
- School principals or vice principals
- Guidance counselors
- Music instructors
- Camp counselors
Use Invitation Etiquette
Here’s some quick tips for graduation invites:
- Use paper invites sent through the mail (not evites).
- Send invites at least 6 weeks prior to the event.
- Request RSVPs at least 2 weeks prior to the event.
- Make sure you pick out thank you cards when picking out invites so your graduate has them ready to go shortly after the party.
Make the Food Fun
Serve delicious food that’s easy for folks to eat as they mingle. Here’s a list of classic crowd pleasers:
- Flatbread pizza
- Pigs in a Blanket
- Deviled Eggs
- Beef sliders
- Vegetarian nachos
- Chicken skewers
- Stuffed mushrooms
- Crab cakes
- Mini sandwiches
- Chicken wings
- Cheese quesadillas
- Mini egg rolls
Be sure to provide guests with plenty of water, soda, and juice. Ski Barn carries stylish drink cooloers to help keep the drinks cool in this summer heat, along with serving carts to transport and store beverages. If you like, you can serve beer and wine for the adults.
Ski Barn also carries a wide selection of Weber Grills to help you cook many of these foods outside as you continue to mingle with guests. Grilled chicken skweres sound like the perfect appetizer!
And of course, no party is complete without dessert. Get your graduates’ favorite cake, cupcakes, cookies, or ice cream, since it is their party after all.
Party Perfection Is Possible
Planning a graduation party requires some thought and some creativity, but remember, above all else they should be fun affairs that match your graduate’s personality. If you use the ideas above and make sure your graduate is involved in the planning process, you’re sure to throw a party that’s the perfect celebration of your child’s accomplishments and future goals. Now head over to Ski Barn while you still have time!