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How To Plan The Perfect Graduation Party

While graduation season may be a few months away, it’s time to start planning the celebratory parties now. After all, due to the COVID-induced challenges, the class of 2022 has been through a lot. For example, they had to learn to navigate the world of online learning and were separated from their peers when social interaction is vital for emotional development. As a result, more than ever before, this year’s graduates deserve to be able to celebrate their achievements in style. 


With that in mind, here are some top tips that you can use to plan the perfect graduation party for your teen this spring! 

Ask them how they want to celebrate.

As a parent, it’s likely that you’ll want to spend as much time as possible with your teen in the coming months, especially as they prepare for college. However, it’s important to remember that reaching graduation is also a sign of them reaching adulthood – meaning that you should allow them to make some decisions for themselves. As a result, you should ask them exactly how they wish to celebrate their graduation. In some cases, they might want to forgo a traditional party in favor of a family day out or road trip of some kind. Alternatively, they might want to throw a massive party for all their friends. Getting their input sooner rather than later is the easiest way to know you are going in the right direction when it comes to graduation celebrations. 

Send out Graduation Announcements. 

Graduation announcements are a great way to let friends, family, and other loved ones know about your child’s achievement. They can also make great keepsakes after the fact, especially if you chose a design that allows you to include their senior photo. However, in this instance, they could also be used as graduation invites for your party. If you haven’t got a clue where to get started in designing a graduation announcement, check out graduation announcements from MagnetStreet. Their site boasts a wide range of unique yet professional-quality designs, making sending out grad announcements easier than ever. 

Before you send out the announcements, you should spend a little time putting together a guest list. Again, it’s probably worthwhile to get your kid’s input on this, too, as it’s their celebration after all. While you probably won’t allow them to disinvite your sibling, you should make sure that the people attending the event are people they actually want to spend time with. 

Put together a budget.

The next step towards planning a successful graduation party is to create an event budget. Ideally, you should be able to cover the cost of venue hire and decor, entertainment, and refreshments. While this may sound expensive – it doesn’t have to be. In fact, there are plenty of ways to throw a budget party. For example, you can handle the food and drinks yourself instead of hiring caterers. You could start by recreating some of these thirst-quenching drinks or by cooking your own party food and snacks. While this may take a little more planning, it’s much more budget-friendly than bringing in a caterer. 

You could also save a lot of money by hosting an event with some of your teen’s friends. Not only does this mean that you can split the overall cost of the party, but it also means that they’ll be able to celebrate with the people closest to them – which is important as many of them will be heading off to different colleges in the fall. In fact, this could be the last time that they are all together for a little while, at least until the Christmas holidays. As such, the party is not merely a way to celebrate their graduation but also gives them a chance to say goodbye.

Find a venue. 

Once you’ve decided how much you want to spend on your party, it’s time to find a venue. If you’re only inviting a handful of guests, then you may be able to throw a party in your backyard, which is excellent for those working within a tight budget. However, if your guest list is a little longer, you might want to look into local party venues. While this can be expensive, booking venues out earlier rather than later is a great way to save money. This is because venue owners often place significant discounts on early bookings, though you may have to pay some kind of deposit upfront. Booking early also means you’ll get the first pick of graduation venues – which can be tricky if you live in an area with a lot of graduates who will all be vying for the best place in town. 

Choose some decor.

Whether you’re hosting the party in your home or have rented out a local hall or bar, it’s important that you find a way to make it your own. The easiest way to do this is through decor. During grad season, stores are often full of graduation-themed decor, which makes transforming the space a breeze. However, you could also use this as an opportunity to put your DIY skills to the test by creating your own graduation decor. For example, you could use the below video to create a stunning graduation cap garland. 

Furthermore, as anyone who is parenting a college-age child can attest, embarrassing them is a lot of fun. You can make the most of this opportunity (especially if a bunch of their friends are attending the party) by decorating the space by hanging up old and preferably embarrassing photos of them. Not only is this rather funny, but it’s also rather sentimental as you can see how much they have grown over the years. If you don’t want to print out photographs, you could put them together in video format and play the video at some point during this party.

Think about the entertainment. 

To throw a good party, you must ensure that your guests are always entertained. Thankfully, there are various ways in which you can achieve this goal. The first step is putting together a good playlist. Your choice of music will vary depending on the kind of atmosphere you are trying to create – whether you are throwing a sophisticated dinner party or want your guests to be dancing all night long. If your kid isn’t a fan of your 80s hits playlist or complains whenever you play music in the car, you might want to hand over this duty to them. Alternatively, you could ask guests to write down a choice of song upon their arrival and add them all to a Spotify playlist. This way, you’ll know you are playing music that people actually like and enjoy. 

Another way in which you can keep your guests entertained at a graduation party is by playing themed graduation games. For example, you could print out photographs of different party guests at their own graduation and have people try to figure out who the picture is of. Alternatively, you could use funny baby pictures! 

Set up a gifts table. 

Whenever graduation rolls around, friends and family will often want to commemorate the event by handing out gifts to the graduate. While this should not be expected, you should also ensure you have a space set aside at the venue to store the gifts safely and securely. For example, you might want to put on a table. If you want to, your teen can open the presents on the big day, or save this until later. If people are not sure what to buy your teen, you could suggest that they put some money in an envelope – as this way, they’ll be able to purchase something they really want or set aside for college. 

Prepare a speech. 

It goes without saying that you’re probably feeling very, very proud of your teen right now – after all, they have overcome so many challenges to walk across that stage and wear the cap and gown. While the party is a great way to celebrate and demonstrate that pride, you could also use this as an opportunity to give a speech. Shake off your nerves and speak from the heart, as this is a great way to show your guests exactly how you feel. While you may feel a little emotional during the speech, especially as to you, it feels like only a few days ago when you were packing your kid’s bag for their first day at school, try to keep the tears to yourself – as your teen will only start to roll their eyes! 

You might also want to suggest that your teen prepares a short speech, or at the very least, gets up to thank everyone for the support, presence, and gifts. 

In short, planning the perfect graduation party for your teen doesn’t need to be complicated – you simply need to give yourself plenty of time to prepare (and celebrate). 

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