Graduation season is here and there is no better way to celebrate your loved one’s achievements than by throwing them an epic party! Our brother graduates from Howard University next and our family has already started planning for his graduation. If the thought of planning an epic grad party breaks you into a cold sweat, no worries! We have compiled a list nine tips to make your party planning fun and worry free!
I can’t advise this enough. Nothing will stress you out more than trying to plan something at the last minute. No matter the scale of the party you should give yourself at least 1 month’s time to get everything arranged. Now of course the bigger/ fancier the bash, the more planning that is needed. When planning, some of the first decisions that you will need to make are when, where, and how the party will happen. Which leads us into tip #2…….
Pick a theme
Now I love a theme, but I realize that everyone doesn’t share my enthusiasm. If themed parties aren’t for you or your grad, then the theme of Class of 2017 is entirely appropriate. If you do decide to get a little creative, have a brainstorming session and find a theme that works for you and your grad. There are really no limits to this. It can be a taco themed grad bash, pool party, beach party, backyard BBQ, game night… the sky is truly the limit! Whatever you choose just be sure to have fun with it!
Set a budget..(and try to stick with it)
I find budgets to be the least fun part of party planning, but probably the most necessary. We all want to be able to show our friends and fam the time of their lives, but you shouldn’t max out an account to do so. When determining your budget you’ll need to decide how many people you want to invite, where the party will be held, what kind of food will be served, what your decor will be, ect. This is where knowing your party theme will be helpful, especially when it comes to food and decor.
If you are trying to find a way to cut costs don’t forget about Dollar Stores! They have a great selection of grad decor this time of year and you can usually get it for around a buck. Target is also a great place to shop, especially their seasonal aisle. Everything there is usually $5 or less and always on trend!
Make Your Reservations
The fun thing about graduations is that they involve large groups of people…which can also be a stresser. This is particularly true if your party requires any kind of reservation, i.e. restaurant, hotel, caterer, party rentals, the list goes on. If you will be needing any of these items place your reservations, early. Chances are you aren’t the only person who will be celebrating a graduation on that date and if you wait, you may end up spending more $$ or find everything to be booked (sadface).
Gather Your Team
Teamwork makes the dream work. It is nearly impossible to have a successful event without enlisting the help of others. No matter the scale of your party, you should not try to undergo it alone. Don’t hesitate to ask friends and family to pitch in and help with the cooking, set up, break down, whatever you need. While this party is a celebration for your grad, it is also a celebration of all the work and love that you provided to get them to where they are! Make sure that the party is one that you can enjoy too!
I always recommend to start your shopping early for a party. Depending on the event I may start buying items months in advance. Now you may not need start buying things in Feb. for a May graduation, but you also shouldn’t wait until the days before either. Things like party decor, can always be bought in advance. Certain groceries like meat, frozen items, and non perishables can be too. Shopping early can save you money and time, and lessens the chance that you will forget to purchase a necessary item.
As any good chef knows, prepping is key! Same for party planning. The more you get done ahead of time, the happier you’ll be. If any of your decor needs to be assembled, try to knock that out the weekend before. If you can set up the house the night before, get it done. Any cooking that can be done ahead of time, will save you so much time and energy the day of the party. This is where your dream team can come in too! Make use of all the extra help you can get!
Make a list and check it twice!
Never underestimate the power of a list. I always make a last minute list of things that need to be done the day before the party and the day of. This can include food pickup, guest pickup, food prep, ect. Usually on the day of a party I still have to pickup cake and balloons and that is always something I have written down somewhere so that I don’t get too busy and forget. Don’t be shy about delegating tasks to others either. If your husband can pick up the cake while you set up the house, let him do it! Don’t overwork yourself.
This is probably the most important tip of them all. You don’t want to turn into a Gradzilla throughout the planning process and lose sight of what this day is truly about. It’s a celebration and you should have fun and celebrate! If something gets forgotten or doesn’t work out the way you planned, don’t let that ruin the day. As long as your grad has a great time, the guests are happy, and you are having fun, then the party was an an EPIC success!!!