It is officially the graduation season when the school year is about to end. Everyone is ready to celebrate the academic accomplishments of the graduates of the current year. “Graduation” can happen at many different ages or stages, from kindergarten- trade school- college. Most commonly celebrated are high school and college. Read on and get some great budget-friendly tips for planning a graduation party on a budget.
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Invites for Graduation Party Planning
Snail mail is beginning to be a thing of the past.
Some people still like to be traditional and send mail the old fashioned way- through the post office. At graduation time some people follow tradition and send out “Graduation Announcements”. When I did this I included one of my Senior portraits as well as invites to my party! Two things with one stamp!
Email Announcements and Invites are more common today.
There are several apps out there that let you email themed and decorated emails with invitations. The guests can respond quickly and get all the information they will need right in their email to save. A lot of people prefer this. It is a lot harder to lose an email than a piece of snail mail. The list of people you would have to notify who don’t have email grows smaller and smaller every day. Very budget and time-friendly.
Facebook is another great way to send out party invites.
This is my favorite way to send out party invitations. You set up an invite with a photo or theme, type in all the information and send it out to a list of people from your “friends” list. It is so quick and easy. The only downside is that there are almost always a few people not on FB whom I need to send the invitation to. I usually screenshot the page and send it out in a text. Very budget and time-friendly!
Who is the party for? Don’t forget to gear the celebration toward the graduate. Pick and theme based around their interests, what they specialize in, and what they can look forward to in the future.
Who to invite? If you want a large gathering it will take some work to make it fit the budget. It will be easier to have a smaller intimate gathering. Again think about the Graduate here and what they would prefer. Who helped support them on their way to this achievement and deserves to celebrate as well!
Having a party on a small budget means hosting it somewhere free! Home is always my first consideration. Since graduation parties tend to be near the summer it can be nice to have them with pool access or at the very least in an outside setting. Many parks have pavilions available for rent and some even for free. Just be sure to look up all rules and regulations that will follow if you choose to host it at a park pavilion. Another idea that is fun but will take the budget to the next level is having the party at a favorite restaurant.
Graduation party is a time to eat, drink and be merry! Many people bring gifts for the graduates. The party will be a focus on the graduate and his/her accomplishments.
You can decorate with congratulatory signs, photos of the time past and hints to what the future will bring!
Check out this post I created here with DIY vs. Buy Graduation Decorations. I don’t have to tell you- depending on the size of your craft stash, DIY will be very friendly to your budget but time-consuming.
Don’t forget to have some cute graduation themed plates, cups, and utensils for eating all the party food!
People love to eat and drink. If you choose to host the party at a restaurant this will be easy. They will guide you in what to choose from their menu/catering options. If you choose to host the party at home and are willing to cook the possibilities are as endless as your budget. Check out this post about The Best Foods to Make for a Large Crowd on a budget. Another option, if your guests are willing is to ask everyone to bring a side dish to share! You cook the main meat dish and provide a cake, while the guests help out potluck style!
Here are some beautiful graduation cake ideas from my Friend over @FarmHouse Bakery.
If you have a home with a pool or access to a projector screen you have this budget thing made. Entertainment will be easy! If the party is at home or in a park with outdoor space yard games are an excellent idea! Ladder ball, corn hole, volleyball, horseshoes, etc. If you have these great- if not then see if any of your wonderful guests have them available to borrow. My guests will just enjoy spending time celebrating, talking and eating. I love the idea of having a signature/ advice book available for everyone to write some encouraging words to the new graduate. Here are some cool options for buying these online. Of course, you could DIY your own as well- check out my blog on Graduation Decorations DIY or Buy.
Gifts for the Graduate
Many people like to bring gifts for the graduate. Cards are especially popular. Soon I will be including a follow-up post with some great ideas for high school and college graduates.
How to Graduation party plan :
How to set up the party? Just use whatever space you have available to you. Food table/s, gift, and card table, places for people to sit, eat and talk, etc. If you are having a larger party it will be nice to have it outside where you have the space for games and movement. Just pick the start time and the end time. Invite your guests and have a good time. Keep the food and drink flowing and enjoy the accomplishments of your graduate!
Graduation Party Planning is not something that everyone does. I was surprised recently how a few people don’t think they are important. It takes all kinds of people to make the world go around! I love any reason to have a party. The accomplishments of someones academic or trade school career are an awesome reason to celebrate! This blog should have provided you with some great ideas for graduation party planning on a budget!
I am a mom of two sweet kiddos. One boy who is 6 and one girl who is 3. Before kids, I was a Kindergarten teacher who loved to entertain and plan parties. I still love to entertain, now I just do so on a busy mom budget. Follow me for all the party tips, tricks, and hacks you can imagine!