Making the most of one of life’s biggest moments
While the last year has made in-person event planning tough, the future is looking bright. As the calendar turns toward summer, graduation season is upon us again. For graduates who didn’t get a chance to celebrate last summer, as well as a new crop of graduates excitedly waiting for the chance to walk across the stage, graduation party season is rapidly approaching! For one of life’s great achievements, there’s no better time to throw a party to celebrate your graduate. Now all you need to figure out is how to a plan a graduation party.
Fortunately, we can help. Wondering what types of questions should you consider while planning? How do you handle event registration, invitations, and RSVPs? We put together a guide to graduation party planning. With these tips in minds, you can look forward to that big date on the calendar with excitement, not worry!
First step to plan a graduation party? Figure out the size and style of your event
Obviously, the COVID-19 pandemic has made it a bit tougher to throw the all-out bash that many have thrown in the past. But the nice thing about graduation season? The weather! Many graduation party planners can expect weather nice enough to throw an outdoor party, which can let you expand your guest list more than indoor events which may be limited by COVID restrictions.
However, don’t just assume you need to invite everyone. More intimate graduation parties for close friends and families can lower the stress level of planning, and allow your graduate more time to spend with the people who have helped them achieve this milestone. One recommendation? Since it’s your graduate’s chance to celebrate their own achievements, see what they would prefer. It also lets your graduate cap their achievement with a party that fits their own style and expectations.
Speaking of style, one more pre-planning consideration is how formal or informal your event should be. Formal graduation parties can add a quality of sophistication to the big day. But, you may be the type of family that prefers a big barbecue or pool party, with casual attire and a less formal schedule. Whether you are planning with your graduate or planning for them, think about who you are inviting and what makes sense for most people to truly enjoy the experience.
Are there any routines or “must-dos”?
The easy answer is no! When you plan a graduation party, you don’t face many of the traditional challenges and requirements of more etiquette-driven events like weddings or Bar Mitzvahs. If you are looking to create some memorable moments, there are always a few things you could choose to include:
- For big events, consider a greeting line similar to a wedding. This lets your guests get a chance to congratulate the graduate personally, and also lets everyone grab a photo with the honoree.
- Speeches are always nice, but unlike a wedding, don’t feel like you need to include them. A smart move is to consider whether the graduate would appreciate them.
- Gifts should be handled similarly to a wedding. Create a station to collect cards or presents, so your grad can enjoy them after the festivities are over.
- Generally, graduation party hosts should provide catering, but how formal or informal you want that to be (grilling a bunch of hot dogs or bringing in a caterer to do the work for you) is entirely up to you.
If you are looking for some new trends and great ideas for graduation party hosting, there are plenty of inspirations available throughout the web. Look them over, and maybe do so with your grad to let them have a say on what they think would be especially cool or fun.
Handling event registration, invites, and RSVPs
If you are expecting guests outside just close friends and family, choosing an online event registration system is a smart choice. Online event platforms like RSVPify offer the ability to create elegant online invitations, use an array of professional and customizable templates, collect online RSVPs, and communicate with all of your guests through a single app. In these pandemic times, being able to easily access your guest list and communicate changes to guests is even more important than usual.
Online event management can also help you collect important guest information to communicate with vendors, such as:
- Lodging needs, in case you need to reserve a hotel block
- Dietary restrictions or meal preferences for your caterer
- Contact information if needed
- Plus ones to get a better sense for your event attendance
- Song requests for your DJ
- Registries for graduation gifts (especially useful for helping your high school grads get their dorm room set up before they take off in the fall!)