High school graduation rates have hit an all-time high of 84 percent! Not only are the future generations getting smarter, more of them are throwing graduation parties. This is a celebration that can only compare to, say, a Bar mitzvah or Quinceanera party.
The ultimate coming-of-age story is just beginning, so we have to figure out how to have a memorable send-off. It has to be lit, unique, all-inclusive, and stay under budget, for most high schoolers. This little guide should help you get your bearings together and keep you from being stressed out during the big day.
It’s time to get your Martha Stewart on so here are the top ten ways you can throw an unforgettable graduation party!
1. Know the Location
Don’t decide on having your graduation party in some lame conference room of a hotel at the last minute. Plan the type of setting that you want from the beginning. Do you want it to be an intimate, moody, club-like setting with strobe lights and fog machines?
What about having your graduation party underneath the stars in the backyard? Maybe the front yard with a block party setup for more guests? This is something you’ll want to decide early on so you can start to visualize your theme, graduation decorations, and so forth.
2. Decide on a Date and Time
The earlier you finalize when you want to have your graduation party, the easier it will be to start planning. Because there will be a lot of other students throwing parties, make sure you get your date out early. We’re not saying that you have to compete with them, just don’t be the last notice to go out.
Pay attention to holidays, birthdays, and other important dates that might interfere. The earlier you can pin down your party date, the less you’ll have to deal with rental shortages and inflated prices.
We don’t recommend holding the party on the same day as when you receive your high school diploma. This is when a lot of students want to spend time with the family.
3. Nail the Budget
Unless you’re one of the few high schoolers out there that will be throwing or attending the most lavish graduation parties, you need to budget smartly.
Sit down and start doing some math (let’s see if that studying paid off!) and estimate costs. Give yourself a maximum occupancy, how much it will cost for supplies, and catering. Don’t forget to add up the little things like flyers, paper invitationals, decorations, and party favors.
4. Have a Theme
Do you want to throw an unforgettable party or just a regular party? Well, you need to have a theme that will immediately resonate with your peers. Some of the most popular themes are based on the best TV shows of all time.
Try not to pick anything too recent, it needs to have a few seasons aired, at least. Classic movies work, too, just don’t beat a dead horse, like Star Wars or The Godfather, for example.
5. Food and Drinks
Your party will be pretty lame with just chips and punch, so budget for a decent caterer. You can try to match the menu with the theme, but your primary concern is flavor and longevity. A lot of times, catered food goes bad quick or runs out too quickly.
You can take the safe route and cater subs from Publix. Otherwise, get with the caterer and choose the most satisfying and easy to prepare hot foods.
6. Games and Entertainment
Having a DJ and a dancefloor are a given. Try to figure out little party games that people can play when they arrive. It’s a great ice-breaker and will discourage the dreaded “wall hugging” of genders/cliques.
7. Get Your Friends and Family
Always have plenty of hands on deck when planning a party. Your friends and family should be helping you plan because it’s easy to get frustrated. Ideally, see if you can get some hook-ups with friends or family. Even if it’s just some stationary or photography, every little bit helps.
8. Have a Guest Book
Guest books are often better than the pictures taken at graduation parties. It can be easy to believe your party was a bust because it doesn’t seem like a lot of people showed up. A lot of students will party-hop, so a guestbook can be their way of leaving their mark.
You can get a lot of great advice and insight into how your party went.
9. Give a Speech
Schedule a time to make a speech on your time at the high school and what you’re looking forward to. It shouldn’t be longer than 30 seconds to avoid interrupting the party vibe. Have a few friends do theirs and then end on a high note with a call for celebration.
This is a great way to make your party more than just aesthetics and dancing. People will remember this moment and feel accomplished.
10. Do a Time Capsule
Okay, this might sound very extra, but it can be a really cool and memorable moment at your party. Have everyone bring a little memento that signifies their time in high school. It can be an old phone, a piece of clothing, a letter, a book, or whatever.
Get a sturdy box, a Tupperware container, or glass jar and bury them in a specific place. The burial can happen that same night with the party leftovers. This time capsule is the ultimate class reunion event. You’ll be semi-famous for coming up with this idea.
Throw the Best Graduation Party
Getting your high school diploma is a big deal. Don’t let anyone try to rain on your parade, this is your moment to let go. If you’re having trouble finding inspiration, sites like Curiosity Human are a good place to go.
Curiosity Human proves that we don’t stop being curious as we grow older. Just browsing really fancy limos can be therapeutic when planning a graduation party. Have fun with your planning and don’t feel like you need to spend a lot of money to throw a great party.