When you’re planning a graduation party, you’ll want it to be a big success, with a good turn-out and a wonderful time for all your guests. Well, that’s easy to achieve, if you follow these tips. Here are the ten top dos and don’ts for a great celebration.
1. DO considering having the party BEFORE the graduation. Many of your graduating classmates will be having parties. And they will all be competing for same dates for their festivities. If you choose to have your celebration on the Friday, Saturday or Sunday following your ceremony, your big bash will be going up against all those other parties. Pick a date when more people will be available and you’ll have a bigger turn-out.
2. DON’T set a date without consulting with your friends. There’s always a few people whose presence will make or break the party for you. You want to make sure that they are available to share this special occasion. So check everyone’s schedule to make sure that the most important guests will be able to attend.
3. DO think about expanding your guest list to include neighbors, former teachers, coaches, friends of the family, parents of your friends and co-workers. If you have an open house, you can easily accommodate extra people, since not everyone will show up at once. A good mixture of those who have meant something in your life will make the party lively, entertaining and meaningful.
4. DON’T skip sending out mailed invitations. You may be tempted to email invites, send text messages to your friends or post the details on your Facebook page. But there are distinct advantages to mailing actual graduation party invitations. First, it will serve as a hard-copy reminder of the date, time and place for your celebration. Plus, it will set the tone and build excitement for your event, so that your guests can’t wait to attend
5. DO look into cutting costs by joining forces with a few graduating friends for one big party. Instead of throwing separate parties, work together to plan and host one giant celebration. Your buddies were probably planning to invite many of the same people, anyway. And if you pool your resources, you might be able to afford some extras, like hiring a DJ or renting a popcorn machine.
6. DON’T run out of food. If you have a casual open house party, your guests may be coming and going all night. Even if you think you have enough food, a new crowd of hungry friends might show up and deplete your resources. Buy back-up items that will stay fresh long after the party in case you don’t end up using them for the celebration. Snacks like salsa, chips, cookies, nuts and microwave popcorn are good. Add to that some frozen appetizers like pizza rolls, chicken nougats and mozzarella sticks that you can pop in the oven if more guests arrive, and you’re good to go.
7. DO create a time capsule. Ask your guests to bring an item to contribute. It can be anything from a newspaper headline, current issue of an entertainment magazine, photos, advertisements, or whatever your friends come up with to represent your graduating year. You might want to give a prize to the person who brings the most interesting, creative or funniest thing. Then set a date when you will open it, such as your 10th, 20th or 30th class reunion.
8. DON’T rule out graduation party favors. It’s a nice little thank you to give to your guests for sharing your celebration. Plus, if you choose personalized giveaways that contain your name, cell phone number, email address, and maybe even your photo, you’re also giving away contact information. Encourage your friends to keep in touch with personal facts imprinted on mementos such as magnets, bookmarks, notebooks, tins filled with chocolates or anything else they’re likely to keep handy.
9. DO include a video booth. Even if you don’t have a camcorder, you can still do this with the movie mode on your digital camera. Set up a place at the party where your guests can record a message to you. Select someone to act as the videographer and to ask questions of the participants. You can ask people to share a memory of you or their school years. Or you can have more fun with it by encouraging them to predict where you will be in ten or twenty years.
10. DO have fun! Make sure you plan everything in advance, so that when the day for the actual graduation party arrives, you can just relax and enjoy yourself.
You have worked very hard to receive your diploma, now it’s time to reap the rewards of a job well done. Launch your future with a great graduation party. Just follow these easy tips and you’ll be on your way to planning a celebration your friends will still be talking about years from now.