Planning a graduation party is a lot like planning a bridal or baby shower. A basic invite – something that details the date, time and place of the event - is needed. Details pertinent to both the guests and the grad, such as where they may be studying in the fall, if they are traveling during a gap year or entering the Armed Forces, is important to include in the invitation.
As for the place of the graduation event, more than just an address is needed. As a courtesy, your guests need to know if the event has more than one person who will be celebrated. In this day and age of utilizing that proverbial village, many parents opt for a group party.
Of course, consider the age of the guest of honor and those your graduate wishes to invite. Graduates are excited, their age group will want a chance to shed their pent-up energy and excitement any way they can. Give them stuff to do. Opportunities like lawn bowling or bocce ball is always fun. There’s also bad mitten, croquet and ping pong.
Music is also important. 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 prefer quiet instrumentals over rap.
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?). Another area, preferably in an area other than where the food is, needs to be set aside for drinks. Again, remember the age of your crowd. Non-alcohol items need to be readily available. Will you serve desserts? Perhaps one large cake? A separate dessert table and an area for gifts can help with how the party attendees enter your home and mingle comfortably.
Finally, allow the party to reminisce who the graduate is. 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. A poster or two filled with pictures is a fun display for any graduation event. Also, a computer or TV screen filled with lots of pics and set on repeat is an easy way for everyone to enjoy all the memories the guest of honor participated in.
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.