Planning a graduation party is a lot like planning a shower. Much like the bridal shower, you need the basic invite – something that details the date time and place of the event. Further, similar to the baby shower, a host or hostess needs to include any detail you would like your guests to know about the guest of honor. It’s also very considerate to allow the invitees to know what to expect at your graduation gathering.
First you want to decide the where. More than just and address, your guests need to know if the event will take place outdoors or in. They also need to know if this is a formal or casual affair.
Next you want to consider the age of the guest of honor and those your graduate wishes to invite. Graduates are excited, their age group –whether it be 18 year old high school grads or the older 20 something college grads – will want a chance to shed their pent-up energy and excitement any way they can. So give them stuff to do. Opportunities like lawn bowling or bocce ball is always fun. There’s also bad mitten, croquet and ping pong.
Finally remember the music. Again, consider what the median age wants and let them have it. Yes, great Aunt Flossy and her stuffy crowd will probably attend. But that doesn’t mean we ostracize the bulk of the guests because a few have a tendency to voice their musical opinions.
Next comes the logistics. The food is huge at any gathering. Whether you are going to go the potluck route, cater or make it all yourself, you need to decide how the food will be displayed. Consider crowd control and traffic flow. At the very least you need a table for food, plates, napkins and utensils (disposable or not?). You need another area or table for drinks. And remember the age of your crowd. Non-alcohol items need to be readily available. Next a separate dessert table and an area for gifts is always nice.
Finally, allow the party to reminisce who the graduate is. Upon entering the party guests need a table to deposit their gifts. A book or frame that guests can sign is always nice. Stack memory books on a coffee table and lots of pics of the graduate and the many stages of his or her life.
Parties involve a lot of planning. Often it’s much more work than the host anticipates. Keep in mind, however, that this is an exciting milestone being tackled by someone who deserves accolades. Keep the focus on the achievement and the party going for the sake of the one who worked hard to get where he or she is.