Many types of graduation parties are possible, but a basic checklist will cover the necessities for any graduation celebration. Whether you're having a small or large celebration, use a graduation party checklist to avoid last-minute chaos. Doing so creates a relaxed and comfortable party environment, as you'll know you haven't forgotten anything in preparation.
For a more casual party setting, grill hamburgers, hot dogs and serve side dishes. Potato salad, coleslaw, corn and baked beans nicely complement any cookout. Grilled shrimp skewers offer another alternative for an appetizer or main course. For a formal graduation party, consider serving chicken Parmesan or grilled steaks with garlic mashed potatoes. Marinate the steaks in your favorite Italian dressing the night before the party for an intense flavor boost. Have a budget-friendly graduation party by hosting a potluck-style dinner, with guests bringing a dish to share. Confirm each guest is bringing something different, so that you don't end up with two of the same dish.
In addition to the usual tea and soft drinks, consider serving a sparkling punch. No matter what style of party you're hosting, sparkling punch adds a "grown-up" feel for party guests.
Drape streamers in school colors across the room. Helium balloons in school colors provide a festive decoration for graduation parties. Grocery stores and party stores sell graduation-themed plates, napkins and cups. For a formal centerpiece, choose flowers in the school's colors and place in a vase of water. Place the vase in the center of each round table or space several vases of flowers down the length of a rectangular table. Fill smaller vases or glass bowls with water and add floating tea lights. Light the candles just before the meal is served. The light from the candles will shine upon the flowers, creating a festive ambience at the party.
Decorate the cake with activities that the high school graduate has enjoyed through school. Alternatively, decorate it with words of encouragement. If the graduate doesn't like cake, consider serving cupcakes, brownies, cookies or other sweet pastries. Homemade cobblers and pies, served with scoops of vanilla ice cream, make for easy and delicious desserts at any graduation party.
Place several disposable cameras on the tables. Encourage guests to take pictures throughout the party. Develop the pictures and send copies to guests via email or regular mail.
Rent a snow cone, cotton candy or popcorn machine for a fun party activity. You can also purchase one of these machines at a craft or specialty store.
Fill clear plastic gift bags with any type of candy and tie with a colorful ribbon (matching the party or school's colors). Candy manufacturers offer candies personalized with names, phrases and colors. For smaller graduation parties, consider sending home a picture of party guests. Gather everyone around for a group picture at the start of the party. Upload the picture to your computer and print it out on photo quality paper. Insert the picture in a frame and give to guests as they are leaving. Craft stores offer inexpensive frames that you can personalize.
Send personalized graduation party invitations through email or regular mail. Some websites specialize in sending out free e-vites (festive invitations sent by email) for events such as graduation parties.
- Photo Credit happy graduate image by Leticia Wilson from Fotolia.com Taccoships and dip image by Yvonne Bogdanski from Fotolia.com drink umbrellas image by Jennifer Altman from Fotolia.com Colour Streamers image by Peter Jarvis from Fotolia.com cakes in bakery display image by nextrecord from Fotolia.com popcorn image by PaulPaladin from Fotolia.com
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