One of the most important aspects of planning a graduation party for your senior is to ask a simple question: What do they want? Many parents overlook this critical step in the process and start planning a party based on their preferences. Start by getting feedback from your senior. They might just want a few of their close friends to come over, versus a full-blown party.

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Next comes the budget. You need to set a budget for what you are willing to spend for this party, as things start to add up quickly. You need to consider invitations, venue, food and drink options, tent rentals, concession machine rentals, thank you note cards, gifts, decorations, and possibly interactive inflatables for younger children.

Once you have an idea of who to invite, it is time to consider invitations. There are many options when it comes to invitations. Consider doing some research online to compare various options and prices. If you opt for a smaller party, consider sending out a graduation invitation to family and friends to let them know the details. A quick search online can lead you to many great choices.

Once you decide on who you want to invite and your budget is set, the next step is to consider the venue. There are a variety of options you can consider, such as a backyard BBQ for a smaller crowd, or possibly finding a park or event center for a larger crowd. Some important things to consider with the venue selection include seating options, making sure you have enough tables and chairs, and knowing the weather forecast ahead of time.

Next, you need to consider your food and drink options. This will largely depend on your budget. If you are having a small backyard BBQ, give your senior a few options of their favorite foods and plan to cook one those. Another option to consider, if your budget allows, is to have the event catered. A lot of people stress out when it comes to food because they want to make sure all their guests are satisfied; however, your guests are there for your senior and not the food. Whatever you decide to serve will be fine. You could go as simple as having snacks and desserts to a full-blown catered meal with concession machine rentals. Either way, your guests will not mind.

Consider having decorations for the party as well. This includes basic items such as tablecloths, napkins, cups, plates, and silverware. Again, search online for graduation supplies, as these are readily available. Some creative ideas include having inflatable signs for the yard, various pictures of your senior on tabletops throughout the venue, and having a slideshow of pictures from your senior’s childhood through now.

Another important item to consider when planning a graduation party is to consider who will be helping you. Don’t be shy to ask for help from friends and family. The last thing you want to do is be too stressed out to enjoy your senior’s party. Have a list prepared for everything that needs to be done and start delegating responsibilities to ease your stress levels. For example, maybe someone oversees the tent rentals, another oversees drinks, someone else oversees refilling the food, and another oversees recording the gifts received.

Depending on the size of your party and your budget, you might want to consider planning some fun activities, such as a photo booth. If younger children will be present, you might want to consider renting interactive inflatables. There are many different types, from bounce houses to obstacle courses. For the older crowd, consider cornhole, volleyball, or horseshoes. While most people will likely sit and chat, having these options available will be a nice added touch.

The most important thing to remember on this special day is to have fun and enjoy yourself. Don’t beat yourself up about what you may have forgotten. Sit back, relax, and enjoy this special day. By following the tips above you will be well on your way to planning a successful graduation party for your senior.

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