Putting together a graduation party on a budget? Try these ideas for decorations and party set-up.
Pick a color scheme. School colors perhaps? These colors can tie through from your graduation party invitation to your mailbox sign. One mom even planted her spring flowers to match the theme. Now that is planning ahead! Once you have a color scheme, look for party ware that will coordinate.
- Arrange your own flowers. Using flowers in your color scheme, set up a few vases to add here and there. Watch out for tall vases on outdoor tables. Wind is not your friend.
- Make a card box for the gifts people bring. It can be a shoebox, or basket. We had especially memorable ones because we gave the younger cousins photos of the graduate through the years and had them decorate the box for us. Nothing like that little kid touch!
- Set up a display showcasing the diploma and awards. You can also include mementos and photos from the past, like old jerseys, trophies or badges earned. A memorable display included a clothesline extended across the wall with team shirts from T-ball through the present strung across it.
- Prepare to show a slide show of photos through the years including the graduate with various family members and friends. Try to include the people invited to the party. Let this slide show play on a computer placed centrally. If this is complex for your computer skills, ask a 15-year-old! They could have a looping slide show running from your folder of photos in half-an-hour.
- Provide your guests with a simple poster to sign with a personal message. Hang a sharpie conveniently with the poster. Get the ball rolling with a light-hearted piece of advice for the graduate, and your guests will follow suit with their own jokes and best wishes. At this graduation party, there were four grads, making the signing even more fun. Put your signs up at eye level, or your guests will have to kneel to sign, like this cooperative party guest.
- Dress up your tables with simple use of color. If you are going for maximum impact for less money, consider using a colorful paper runner, and matching confetti or candy scattered about. Outdoor parties like this one always end up with spilled vases unless they are low and weighted.
- June is one of the most beautiful months, so outdoors is a great option for your gathering. If you choose a sunny yard for the party, offer some shade.
- If you family is like mine, you have pre-party tension. Before this translates to arguments and ruins your day, plan for a prep-party. Invite very close friends or siblings to come over the day before the party for a simple cookout. During this barbecue, you can set up for the party, prepare food, arrange flowers, and share a glass of wine. Work done with friends is never work.
- Delegate. List some tasks go give to husbands or teens who are not sure how to help: set up coolers of beverages, chop veggies, get out yard games, sweep walks, get out some kid toys if children will attend, wipe off outdoor furniture, weed the flower beds, set up the display area, food table, gift/card area, punchbowl and cake table. If you have a master list for the party, you can mark some items in advance which can be handled well by various members of your family. Knowing their responsibilities in advance makes it all run so much smoother.
Happy Graduation Day!