A college graduation party celebrates the culmination of several years of study. Parties should be tailored to best fit with the graduate's desires, whether loud, simple, extravagant, tacky or tasteful. As party expenses tend to add up quickly, create a budget to avoid overextending yourself. Also, remember that graduation parties occur in May or June, so party-related items may be out of stock. To avoid losing an ideal location, reserve a party venue early.
Party fundamentals include food, entertainment and alcoholic drinks. Figure out how many guests will be invited.
Next, determine a venue--will the party be held at a residential home, restaurant or party hall? While all party guests will not drink alcoholic beverages, you should still include alcohol in the menu. Will the party be large or is a small dinner with close friends and family preferred? What about an extended happy hour with appetizers and drinks? Explore websites such as www.graduationparty.com, for party tips about decorations, entertainment and invitations.
To invite college friends, use social networking websites. To invite noncollege friends and family members, especially out-of-towners, create custom invitations, such as through www.graduationcardsshop.com.
Also, consider entertainment--will you have a DJ, a band or a singer? Check out www.gigmasters.com, for local contacts.
Like birthday celebrations, graduation parties can have themes, too. First, determine if the party will be a surprise, meaning that the graduate's friends need to be recruited to help plan the party. While not including the graduate in the planning allows hosts to make more decisions, hosts must work harder to keep the party a secret.
Themes should incorporate a graduate's major, hobby or interests. For example, if a recent graduate will embark on an anthropology career, a party theme could include a dinosaur cake or scary bones. A music graduate's party should plug in a karaoke machine, post pictures of the graduate's favorite artists or play the graduate's own compositions.
To add humor, create a slideshow of childhood photos of the graduate and have the slideshow play during the party.
A party does not have to focus on only one student. You can be more efficient by gathering a group of friends for a major celebration. As a result, party expenses will be spread across multiple families instead of only one, which decreases the party cost per student.
Even if individual family parties prevail, graduates and their friends should organize some type of outing or party before graduation-related school activities begin, such as a quick road trip or final house party.