Monday, 20 April 2020

How to plan a graduation party - senior invitations, decor and more!


Graduation season is coming up, and that means it's party time! If you're graduating this year, or you're the parent of a child who's graduating, you might be thinking about hosting a party to celebrate. If that's the case - I say 'do it'! Graduating is such a huge achievement that it definitely deserves a get together, however big or small!

Although planning a graduation party can be really exciting, it can also be a little stressful if you're unprepared. However, a little planning goes a long way, and even if graduation is still a few months away, early action will pave the way for a successful party. Here are a few tips to make the process easier.

1. Float a date and make a guest list


Don't nail down a date just yet, as it may change with your venue's availability, but make sure to look at your availability and perhaps the availability of those who are closest to you, to make sure that the most important people in your circle will be able to make the date of the party.

After you've done this, make a list of who you would like to be at this special event with you. Perhaps you'd like an intimate gathering, or a big party with all of your friends and family. Just be aware that, the larger the guest list, the larger the venue will have to be...

2. Find a venue


Will you host the gathering at your house? Or maybe at a restaurant or community centre? The location of your party is your starting point, so it's important to get it right.

The venue will affect your guests. Ask yourself:
- Is it accessible by public transport for those without cars?
- Is there parking for those with cars?
- Is it too far for some guests to travel?
- Is it in a location where there are taxis available for those who want to drink?
- Is it big enough for the amount of people I want to invite?
- Does it have the facilities I require? (E.g. dancefloor, bar, tables, etc.)

Once you've got a venue in mind, give them a call and book in a date for the party. You may need to pay a deposit upon booking; this depends on the venue.

Of course, if you're hosting it at your home, availability will depend entirely upon your schedule. But if this is the case, ask yourself:
- Do I have enough space for X-amount of people?
- Are there enough places for my guests to sit?
- Is there table space for food and drink?
- Is my bathroom accessible to X-amount of people?
- Will I care if my home gets dirty? (accidents do happen - I've been at more than one party where red wine was spilled on the floor or furniture)
- Will the party cause discord with my neighbours?

3. Book event staff


This is optional, depending on budget. However, if you do have the budget, book your event staff once you've got a date for your party secured. Event staff include:
- DJ/band
- Any other entertainment
- Caterer
- Bar staff
- Photographer

If you want to DIY certain elements to save money, you could try the following alternatives:
- Create a playlist to play through a bluetooth or smart speaker on the night
- Make homemade food or ask guests to bring a dish
- Buy drinks from the supermarket or ask guests to BYOB
- Flex your photography skills, or ask a friend to be a photographer for the night. Alternatively, ask people to take their own photos and share them via a unique hashtag.


4. Design your invitations


An amazing party deserves amazing senior invitations, so get those creative juices flowing! There are so many personalisable, pre-made designs online - so if you're not a graphic designer, don't worry.

In terms of design, I think it's a really nice touch to add a photo of the graduate-to-be to the invitation. This turns it from a simple invitation into a beautiful keepsake that you can look back on in years to come.

However, if you're a little camera shy, you could go use a stock image (my favourite website for free stock images is Unsplash) or you can go for a minimalist look without any images at all.

Details to put on your invitation:
- The name of the graduate-to-be
- Venue address
- Date and time
- Parking/hotel details (if any)
- Dress code
- RSVP date and contact details

5. Choose your decor


Now that you've got most of the planning out of the way, now's the chance to have some fun with your decor! Would you want to go full on with a theme for your party? Or maybe just go for something classic and elegant? It's completely up to you to decide the vibe of your decor. However, if you need inspiration, Pinterest is an excellent tool. Here are some of my favourite 'party decor' pins:

credit: marthastewart.com
wolesin.com
houseandhome.com
minteventdesign.com

6. Send out thank you cards


Once your successful party is done and dusted, it's a nice touch to send out a thank you card to anyone who attended. Even though you've put in all the effort to planning an executing an unforgettable event, don't forget that your guests have also put in the effort to get dressed up, make travel arrangements and maybe even bring gifts or food and drink, so a thank you card is just a small gesture to round off the party process once it's all over.

Just like the invitations, your thank you cards would look beautiful with a photo to personalise them (perhaps even one taken on the night!).


Did this post inspire or help you? Please comment below to let me know, so that I can make more useful content for you in future!

This post was sponsored by basicinvite.com, a really useful website for creating your own invitations. They have countless designs available for customisation, including unlimited colour combinations. Plus, you can order a custom printed sample to see how your invite looks in real life before you place your order! Visit basicinvite.com to create your invitations and use code 15FF51 for 15% off sitewide!



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