As much as we may not like it, kids grow up—and yours is graduating high school! (Where has the time gone?!) All that hard work, late-night studying, and extracurriculars have paid off, and your son or daughter will soon be strutting across that stage to accept a well-earned diploma.
An accomplishment like this deserves to be celebrated. If you’re a particularly enthusiastic party planner, this is your chance to break out the balloons, go over the top with treats, and send out some beautiful invitations! But you can still throw a lovely grad party for your little—or not-so-little—graduate even if you’re not known for your epic bashes. From picking the perfect venue to finding the right stationery and thank-you cards, here’s how to do it.
Check with Your Grad
Your child is likely at a pivotal point in life, either preparing to embark on a college journey or to enter the workforce. It’s an emotional time for the entire family, and your kiddo could be feeling anything from eagerness to get out into the “real world” to reluctance to leave behind the high school years. In the midst of graduation preparations, remember that this celebration is for your child. Unless you’re planning a surprise party, make things collaborative by having him or her help you pick out a location and theme, as well as set the guest list. You may find yourselves growing closer after a little time spent putting your heads together to plan!
Set a Grad Party Budget
It’s easy to get carried away with spending, particularly for such a joyful and exciting event. Whether you’re aiming for a small get-together or an extravagant gathering, set your budget and stick to it! Consider your available funds and how much you’re willing to spend—that should be your upper limit. If everything goes according to plan, you’ll come in at or even under your budget.
If you’re worried about going a little overboard on decorations or catering, have a trusted friend look over your plan and talk through each expense. He or she will be able to keep you on track, making sure that you don’t emerge from a party planning frenzy only to leap straight to buyer’s remorse.
Pick the Place
Don’t panic if your dream venue is booked—you’re probably competing with all of the other parents of soon-to-be grads looking to book a spot, so you very well may not get your first choice. Don’t let that put a damper on the fun. Find an alternate place, get busy with decorations, and send out those invites. With the right decor and some careful planning, you can transform any location into the perfect setting for a graduation party. The beach? Picturesque. A nice restaurant? Endlessly classy. Your backyard? Sentimental and cost-effective!
Nail Grad Party Etiquette
Who, exactly, should you invite to a graduation party? Graduates will have their own list of essential invites to send, from childhood friends to favorite neighbors, so you’re in charge of seeing the big picture. It’s always better to err on the side of caution when it comes to these sensitive occasions, so go ahead and invite that great-aunt in California your family only ever sees for Christmas. If you don’t want to go so far as to invite someone you know won’t be able to attend, you can send out graduation announcements, complete with a picture of your stellar student!
As far as grad party etiquette goes on the part of guests, they’re likely to bring some kind of monetary or sentimental gift for the grad. Those who can’t make it may even send a token in the mail. These gifts can be answered with a sweet thank-you note signed by your graduate, which will let the gift givers know that their presents have been received and are much appreciated. If your grad is struggling with what to write to a distant relative, take our advice and keep the message warm and simple.
Send Physical Invites
Once the guest list is set, it’s time to get the word out. Sending a real invitation in place of a text or email may seem old-fashioned, but we can’t think of a better way to share the news of this special occasion than with an invitation penned on gorgeous stationery! If you want to create a more formal atmosphere, consider investing in some printed address labels featuring the iconic cap and tassel to give your envelopes that extra bit of class.
The perfect grad party invitation doesn’t need to be expensive to look good. Sometimes, handwritten is the way to go! At Artistic Direct, we offer high-quality stationery featuring a wide range of designs, from soft watercolors to vibrant landscapes, so you’ll be able to find exactly what you’re looking for to match the theme of the party. Once you’ve picked out your invitations, you can get started letting guests know what to expect by including all of the relevant information—date, time, location and address, and dress code.
Find the Stationery of Your Dreams with Artistic Direct
We’re proud of our gorgeous products here at Artistic Direct, but we’re even more proud that they’ve helped mark so many special occasions, from baby showers to birthdays. We can’t wait to be a part of your next celebration. Feel free to browse our offerings—you may just stumble on the perfect address label for your wedding or the happiest change of address postcard you can imagine.