Graduating from high school or university is a big deal and you deserve to celebrate it. Even though these years were fun while meeting new people, self-improving and learning more about your interests, they were also tiresome. Some days you had to study for hours and say no to your friends when invited to a party or just to hang out. But because of that you are now here and everybody is proud of you. It is time to take a break and organize an unforgettable bash!
Choosing an appropriate venue is probably the most important thing you need to decide on. But, before you do that, let’s take into consideration a few more things:
- How long should a party last?
It all depends what kind of a party you choose to host and also on which day of the week party is scheduled. If it is a working day maybe some people would not be able to stay for long. Also, this is the time when a lot of graduates are going to host a party. That is why there is an option of an open house style party where guest can come at any time convenient for them. This way you don’t have to worry if there is another party on the same day as yours.
- What to wear at a party?
Again, this depends on the party setting.
If the party is formal, for men it is appropriate to wear a tie and a blazer, or some nice suit. Don’t forget a formal pair of shoes. For women, it is best to choose semi-formal or formal dress or skirt and an elegant blouse.
On the other hand, if you are hosting a backyard party or something less formal, you can wear anything, from a floral dress to a t-shirt and a pair of jeans. Ether way, choose something you feel most comfortable in.
- What is the average cost of the graduation party?
In a nationwide survey conducted by Graduation Party, $985 was the average amount spent on graduation parties. This price can be lower or higher depending on your wishes. Things that affect the price are the chosen venue, guest number, your choice of food and drinks, decorations, music, photographer, etc.
Best way to save money is to:
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- co-host a party
- have an open house party or a simple house party
- cut down your guest list
Tips for guests
- Do you bring a gift to a graduation party?
If you are attending the party it is always nice to bring something. For high school graduation you can spend around $25 and for college graduation a bit more, around $50. Close friends and family members can spend even more, of course- if possible.
You can always choose to give a graduate a money envelope if it is easier for you and you are not sure what to buy. Sometimes a graduate already has a plan to buy something and, in this way, you can help them raise money for that. Be sure to buy a graduation card where you can write your best wishes. Some traditional gifts are also flowers, wine, chocolate, gift cards, jewelry, etc.
When buying a gift
- How close you are with the honoree – If this person is a family member or a very close friend your gift should be more thoughtful and special.
- The type of graduation they are celebrating – Is it a high school or college graduation, or something else? Gifts might differ depending on that.
- The needs of the graduate – If the graduate is going to college next, or starting a new work, or maybe planning to travel, you can take these things into consideration and see what they might find useful.
Before you choose a perfect venue, you should consider:
Your budget – Budget plays a big role when deciding on how to celebrate your graduation. Discuss with your parents about your options. Set a budget limit and stick to it. If you are a creative type there are many DIY decorations you can make yourself, as well as food ideas. Home party is always the cheapest option, but it can be quite fun if you make it that way.
Guest number – How many people are you inviting? If you have a large group of friends and as well all your family members, consider some rental halls or outdoor venues where all of them can fit in. For smaller number of people there are many more options and you can create a more intimate event.
Venue availability – Many people are planning their graduation party at this time period, so be smart and start planning early. If you find a perfect venue don’t wait for too long, book it on time!
Home Sweet Home
This is often the first choice people come up with. It is most certainly cheaper than renting a venue and you can feel more comfortable. If you have a large backyard that also gives you a lot of opportunities.
If you are interested in a more relaxed option you can organize an open house party with a broad time frame, and your guests can come whenever they are able to. This is great if you don’t have that much space to welcome everyone at the same time. Also, you can order or make some finger foods and bring some drinks and you don’t have to bother with preparing complete meals.
But, if you want this to be more formal, you can organize a dinner party. Most likely you will not have space for too many guests.
Whatever you choose, home gives you the freedom to decide on the party duration, decorations, food, budget, etc.
If you wan to organize lunch or dinner for a limited number of people, restaurant is also an option. You can book a few tables at your favorite place and have a blast for a few hours. This is an easier option than home, because you won’t have to worry about cooking, cleaning up and decorating the place. But it will be more expensive.
You have many friends and you have to invite them all? Also, all your family members? Then you need a larger space and that is a rental hall. Research what rental halls are available in your city and see what they offer. There is an option to rent just the venue and others offer other services also, like catering service, decorations and music. Choose the best place according to you budget and how much organization you are willing to take up on yourself.
If you are lucky to have a beautiful weather on the day you are planning you party than you can have it outside. Guests love being outdoors on a hot sunny day and enjoy the breeze. The first option, that we already mentioned is a backyard party. You can organize a BBQ and have everyone preparing and sharing some delicious food. Backyard parties create a familiar family vibe and everyone will feel like they are home.
If you don’t have a backyard, or you are not able to have your party there, you can go to a local park or a beach. These options are also budget-friendly.
You just wish to go out dancing with your close group of friends? You can just take them to a nightclub and order a few drinks. You can enjoy some good music or if you are brave enough, go for a karaoke night!
There are many places where you can rent a boat, whether you live by the seaside or a river. You can rent a boat or a yacht for a day and organize you party there. This is a really special and memorable way to celebrate. You can bring food and drinks, play some music and have a panoramic view of the city at the same time.
If you are not interested in partying that much you can have a spa day with your friends. Book a massage, facial, manicure or pedicure and just enjoy the day in the manner you wish to.
For your graduation party you can do whatever you wish to. You can choose your favorite activity and bring you friends to try it, or try something new to mark this milestone in your life. Some of our ideas are:
- Amusement park
- Horse ranch
- Escape room
- Skateboarding park
- Rock climbing
A joint graduation party
Don’t forget that there is an option to have a shared party with your friends. If you have a close group of friends that are also graduating you can organize a shared event. This is a lot more fun and it also gives you an option to rent a great venue at a lower price. An average cost can be around $400, depending on a venue and the number of families involved.
At a formal party you can just have a lunch or dinner, drink something and chat. But if you wish to make your party more interesting you will have to incorporate some games and activities:
Dance competition – If you have a crew that loves to dance than you’ll have to see who is the best. Organize a competition and eliminate couples until you have just one left.
Talent show – You can tell your friends to bring a musical instrument or just come up with a unique idea to show their talent. That can be singing, dancing, do some stand-up comedy or whatever they like.
Photo booth – Find a perfect spot, decorate it and buy or make some photo booth props. You can also have a DIY photo booth frame. In this way you will have many fun and silly memories after the party with you loved ones.
Neon party – Buy UV reacting pens and paint and tell your friends to wear white or fluorescent clothes. You can get creative, draw on each other and have a super unique party.
Record a video – Each of you can say something to the camera and your friends can also prepare a sweet message that you will have forever.
Floating lanterns – You know that movies or beautiful pictures where a group of people releases floating lanterns and they all make a wish. You can do the same thing at your party! Create a fairytale moment that you and your friends will always remember.
Limbo – Did you use to play this when you were younger? That doesn’t mean you still can’t do it! Find a limbo stick, play some great music and there you have it.
Karaoke – Even if you are not going out, you can organize a karaoke night at home. Sing your favorite songs with your friends and maybe you’ll discover that some of you have a hidden singing talent.
Outdoor sports activities – If you and your friends enjoy sports and you are having your party outside, you can bring a ball and play some football, volleyball, badminton, or whatever you find interesting.
Food stations – Even though this is not exactly an activity it will, for sure, make your party much more fun. Having a few food stations with different dishes, such as pasta station, burrito station and ice-cream station, will get your guests moving around and enjoying food even more.
Party theme – If you wish your party to be a bit different you can create a party theme and tell your guests to dress in that manner. For example, if you choose cheerleaders and jocks theme, boys can wear their sports gears and girls can bring their pom-poms.
Don’t forget that the main point of this party is for you to enjoy yourself. You did a lot of hard work and you deserve to relax. There are many more delightful things coming up for you in the future. Be proud of yourself and have fun!