Graduation parties are a blast to plan! It's so important to produce an event that fits the graduate's personality, style, and interests. Like a birthday party, a graduation party is ALL ABOUT THE GRADUATE.
My sister graduated from Parker Chiropractic School in Dallas, and of course I was given the responsibility to produce the perfect party. I have a couple basic steps to follow when coordinating your next graduation party...
FIND THE PERFECT VENUE.
Now what does this mean? Well, does it hold the number of guests you are expecting comfortably? Does it fit the overall feel of the party that you are looking for? Does it have a stage for a band, a dance floor area, power, etc? Are you looking for an indoor or outdoor space?
Make sure to have these questions answered BEFORE deciding on your perfect venue.
Mopac Event Center : Fort Worth, Texas
My favorite customized party decor would have to be the banner for a graduation party. It's literally the first thing they see as they walk in the room - a large banner congratulating them on their success!
Make sure to hang the banner up in a spot where everyone can see.
ADD FLORAL & CANDLES
I am a freak of floral arrangements, and for me, it's always a must. If you don't want to hire a florist to prepare the floral arrangements, then feel free to do it yourself. You can pick out the floral from Whole Foods and order some cheap vases off Amazon. Easy! Although if you are like me, you can hire a florist to do all the work for you :)
Also a big candles fan - you can never have too many candles. Order some votive candles off Amazon or pick some up from Michaels or a craft store. Set a couple on each table, and you will be shocked on what that brings to the overall look & feel of the table setting.
Make sure to have photos of the graduate from when she was a baby all the way up to when she graduated. BONUS if you have graduation pictures of all ages. Be creative with the way you set out the pictures in the venue. You can place a couple on the tables, the bar, or hang them up in certain areas. You can place in picture frames or even blow them up really large (those should definitely be the embarrassing photos LOL).
Come up with a signature cocktail (or three). This was so much fun creating cocktail names for a chiropractic graduation party. Make sure the names of the cocktails fit the graduate or the theme of the party. Also it's nice to have a variety of cocktails since some people only drink certain types of alcohol.
Cocktails we provided:
The All Naturalita - tequila
The Spine of a Mule - vodka
Moccasin Subluxation - Whiskey
Also make sure to provide cute cocktail straws that go with the color scheme. These striped straws are extremely popular right now and come in all colors! We ordered ours off Etsy.
You should 100% make sure to have a graduation cake at the party. If not a cake, then a dessert of some sort - cupcakes, donuts, cookies, etc. It's always nice to have a sweet treat at the end of the night. Once again, customize the dessert to the theme of the party! You can decorate with the icing or fondant, cupcake toppers, sprinkles, writing, or even pictures printed onto the cake. It's important to have every little detail all tie in together.
HIRE A BARTENDER!
If you are providing alcohol at this event, then absolutely hire a bartender... maybe even two depending on your guest count. I actually wish we had hired one more since our family & friends love to drink. It's the worst having a long line backed up behind the bar with guests waiting to have a drink in hand.
HIRE A PHOTOGRAPHER/VIDEOGRAPHER
If you want to capture the night, make sure to hire a photographer or videographer or maybe even both. It's such an important night with so much work that was put into the party, you aren't going to want to forget it. Also having to worry about taking the photos yourself is just too tough. This is the night for family & friends to just relax & enjoy!
HIRE A CATERER
My biggest piece of advice would be to work with a caterer and make sure you have more than enough food for the guests. My worst nightmare in this industry is running out of food at an event. Also, be creative with the food selections - catering can bring the party to a whole other level! Work with the catering company on providing cute appetizers that fit the theme of your party. Since our graduation party was later in the night, we provided all finger foods for late night munchies.
If you follow these steps, I promise you will have a very happy graduate! What other creative ideas do you have for graduation parties? I'd love for you to share in the comments below!
The Event Planner