Graduation is such an exciting time and one that calls for a huge celebration. Not only have you worked your tail off for years to accomplish your goal of obtaining a degree, but you’ve also met so many fantastic people that you will remember for your entire life. Throwing an incredible party to commemorate your achievement and to feel the love and support of family, friends, teachers, and acquaintances is a large-scale task, but one that will be forever cherished if you pull it off with efficacy.
5 Graduation Party Tips
If you are planning to host a large graduation party that ticks all the boxes of a memorable and successful event, the following tips should get you going in the right direction. Details such as creating your budget, a menu of delicious foods, forging a party theme with decor and ambiance and organizing a plan will definitely help you.
1. Get The Budget Ready For Your Party
It’s entirely possible to host a fantastic party for 25-50 people and stay in the range of around $250-500, however, you’ll need to be savvy in where you place those dollars in order for the math to work. Now let’s be completely honest, a party devoid of good food and beverages is one that most people will want to exit in a matter of minutes, especially if your patrons skipped dinner before attending your special soiree. Other than food and drink, plan your party budget with expenses such as glasses, flatware, and utensils, and on creating decor and ambiance, in mind.
2. Delicious Food Options
It’s highly recommended that when deciding on food items that you focus on providing foods that can be picked up and eaten in a bite or two, or that can fit on a small plate. Finger foods are easy to prep and won’t require a massive amount of ingredients and cook time. The following are items that are quick, easy, affordable, and delicious:
- Healthy and hearty chips and dip
- Swedish meatballs
- Pulled meat sliders – This will require a bit of time in a crock pot, however roasting a large pork shoulder or chicken can provide a lot of food at an affordable price.
- Fruit platter or fruit kabobs – One of the easiest things to make that requires very little preparation. Fruit dips and cookies are a great addition.
The options for beverages need to, of course, include those that don’t consume alcohol, and to make life easy and affordable it is best to stay away from offering a full bar. Soda, cider, and ice water with lemon are easy and cheap non-alcoholic drink options. Make sure that you are well stocked with plenty of ice.
For alcoholic beverages, a keg of easy drinking beer that won’t be too strong or hoppy for the masses works out to be a very affordable option. Large pitchers of pre-batched sangria can be a huge hit at parties and will appease the wine drinkers (always have a bottle of cheap Chardonnay for that one lady). Buying a handle of Vodka and Gin along with soda water and tonic water can be easy options that don’t require mixing and won’t empty the wallet either.
4. Party Themes, Decor, And Ambiance
College is now over, choosing an appropriate ambiance and decor will show your maturity and vision for the future. This doesn’t mean you can’t have fun with things, but the beer pong and beer bong should probably be reserved for those entering college, not exiting it. So be cultured and dynamic, not a stiff. If you have a sizable backyard perhaps work on creating several different lounge areas with your indoor furniture and lighting. These groupings can provide comfortable and relaxing conversation areas for small groups. Christmas lights, Chinese lanterns, or even brown paper bags with candles in them can offer incredible life and lighting to the space without too much hassle or expense.
For ambiance, one method to achieve this is to set a certain theme. It could be as easy as having a color scheme such as an “all white party”. There are hundreds of party theme ideas online to browse through that will create special memories. Building a “Secret Garden” in your backyard where guests feel as though they’ve discovered an exciting labyrinth with hidden treasures could be fantastic. Or perhaps you tell your guests to wear fantastic hats, with a grand prize for the person who makes the best showing. Whatever the theme, make sure it fits the size and demographics of your attendees.
Music is, of course, a very important part of your ambiance. Try to choose a playlist that will match well with the entire group. Yes, there will be people in different age categories and those with different preferences, but it’s not rocket science. The volume of the music needs to be such that people can enjoy it, but can still hold a serious conversation and not be struggling to hear their counterpart.
5. Important Planning Factors
When planning for this event it is advisable to make a checklist of important factors and ensure that things are coming along smoothly. Give yourself the proper amount of time to organize everything so that you don’t feel rushed or over-stressed. It’s never easy to host a party, but if you give yourself time and don’t procrastinate, you’ll find yourself enjoying the event instead of dreading it. Here are a few planning factors to add to your list.
– Send out your invitations at least a month in advance and ensure you have a response by everyone on your guest list a week out from the party date.
– Enlist the support of friends and family members who will help you carry out the party.
– Give yourself plenty of time to come up with the food options. Create a menu that conforms to your budget at least three weeks prior to the gathering.
– Two weeks out, finalize you food and drinks menu and make a list of all things needed to purchase.
– One week out, get your final head count together in order to figure out the quantity of food and drinks needed.
Finally, on the day of graduation, enjoy your moment, you worked hard and you deserve the recognition. Enjoy the celebration and easily switch from being celebrated to being a successful host.