It’s that time of year when all of the new grads are celebrating with graduation parties. Whether he or she is heading off to College or landing their first job after College, show your child how proud you are by celebrating their accomplishments with them. Marking the occasion with a party is a great way for friends and family to say “Congratulations.”
There are many parties going on at the same time of year when there is a graduation so make sure to check around and see who has already planned dates already and start from there when selecting your own date. Typically the party dates are held during summer months from June to August, before college students start back to school. Locations vary from your own home, to parks and event venues. If your intention is to be outside for the party, make sure you have plans for shelter or have an alternate rain date.
Make it Yours
Balloons and banners are very common. You can have these custom printed with the graduates name and the school and year they graduated from. Check with your local office supply store such as Staples or print shop such as FastSigns to print these for you. It is often popular to use the color palate of the school they graduated from or the school they will be attending for the party colors.
Another fun way to personalize your graduate’s party is by monogramming their name or initials and graduation year. There are several ways you can do this. If the party is outdoors at your home, make a stencil and spray paint on or near the walk way for all your guests to see. If your party is indoors, the monogram can be displayed on a wall on a banner, vinyl decal or by the use of lighting projection in the colors of the school they are attending or in the colors of their graduating school. It is more advantageous to put this on the wall at an indoor location rather than on a floor because the image will be obscured once people start walking and dancing on it. If it is on the wall, it will always be in view.
Showcase your graduate
Graduation marks a milestone achievement and then next phase of life.
To visually showcase the stepping stones to the achievement, incorporate a photo montage. This can be done either digitally or in printed format. If creating digitally, there are many software programs that you can use to easily create a photo montage. We like Picasa for that. Generally, 100 photos is good and if setting to music for a “performance style” presentation, select about 3 separate songs to set as background music to the montage. Any longer and you will lose the attention and interest of your guests.
If creating a “print version” you can showcase photos in a variety of ways. We suggest making collages on foam core boards or in large poster frames and setting them on easels. You can also enlarge single photos to poster size and effectively make a gallery of large photos to walk through.
Select photos from all phases of his/her life from birth, through “firsts” at all ages. Incorporate photos of family and friends who will be in attendance. Everyone loves to seem themselves with the guest of honor.
Keep it entertaining
At every event, people want to be entertained. Kids (even the big kids) want to have some fun. If your party is outdoors, consider getting inflatable games that all guests will love. Bungee racing, bungee basketball, bungee bull riding, or even sumo wrestling all on inflatables would be fun and a game for all to remember.
Music is always a great way to keep guests entertained. Is your graduate or one of their friends in a garage band? Consider having them perform at the party. Guests always love local entertainment, so even if the band isn’t the graduate or friend, consider bringing in a local band or DJ that your graduate likes.
A great stationary activity for all ages involves a photo booth. You can either bring in a professional photo booth or use your own digital camera and printer. Have each guest visit the photo booth area and get their picture taken. Once the picture is printed have guests add subtitles with stickers and have everyone vote on their favorites in categories you pick ahead of time.
Graduation entertainment is a great way to have everyone interact easily and to have a great time. Plan some entertainment that everyone can enjoy.
Think outside the box and have a piece of décor that no one else will have. A current trend in events is chalk board art. An artist can draw images or words on a chalkboard which adds whimsy and can even be considered a throwback to drawing on the chalkboard at school before the smartboard was created. If you want to add an interactive element, place additional blank chalkboards and chalks around and let people draw, write messages or play fun games like hangman or tic tack tow with other party guests.
Is your graduation party going to run into the night? Lighting is always very important for parties. Of course, you need it for function, but don’t forget to use is for décor as well. We suggest a different idea that incorporates the use of balloons. Make these magical lights that will impress not only your guests but yourself as well! Take a balloon and fill with water, be sure not to put too much water in these balloons. Once the water is in the balloon, drop a light stick in it. Take multiple balloons and put it all in a white mesh stocking.
As Dr. Seuss said, “Oh the places you’ll go, Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting. So, get on your way!” Congratulations to all of the Graduates of 2014!
Yanko Design http://www.yankodesign.com/2007/12/14/light-sock-it/
Green Wedding Planner Blog http://www.greenweddingplannerblog.com/20-off-printable-chalkboard-birthday-art-posters-free-8%C3%9710
Work In Progress Kits http://wipkits.blogspot.com/2012/05/graduation-decor.html