It’s that time of year again when high school seniors reach the rite of passage known as High School Graduation! I remember my high school graduation well. I can still feel the emotions and excitement bubbling up as if it were yesterday.
As a parent of a high school senior, my feelings are bittersweet. From pride to the mixed emotions of sending my baby bird out into the real world to woo-hoo, we did it!!
Regardless of how your emotions are playing out, it’s definitely time to celebrate. And the team of BellinghamSTYLE and Amy Slusher Photos are here to help create an event worthy of your hard working graduate (not to mention the years of your own support in reaching this milestone)!
Setting the Scene
This is always my favorite part of planning any kind of party! Deciding on a theme or color scheme for the decor. For a graduation party, the obvious choice is letting the school colors set the scene. On top of that, you can go old school with crepe paper streamers and poms or go more sophisticated with metallic accents.
Party decorations come in many shapes and sizes, so have fun with mixing and matching your favorites. Here are some festive ideas:
- Banners are a great way to set the stage and welcome guests. The “CONGRATS” below, is one of my favorites! There are so many banner styles to choose from!
- Balloons, balloons, balloons! There are sooooo many ways to incorporate balloons into your decor. From creating a balloon garland for your entry way or photo booth to a balloon bouquet with an assortment of helium balloons. The banner (shown below) combines both banners and balloons.
- Colorful streamers draped across the entry way or above your dessert buffet.
- Decorate your entry way table or fireplace mantle with high school memorabilia, color coordinated glassybabies, flowers, pom-poms, etc.
- And don’t forget to add pictures of your favorite graduate!
When hosting a graduation party, there are several options to consider. Ranging from a simple open house to a full on sit down dinner. Chances are that you and your guests will be invited to multiple graduation parties. So, a great way to work around this is to have an open house. Better yet, combine several graduates into one big open house.
If you are planning to have a late afternoon/early evening open house, then it really makes sense to serve more than just sweets. In addition, as the host/hostess, you will be busy entertaining your guests and visiting with friends. So, it’s important to plan for this. Here are some things to help make the evening flow more smoothly for you:
- Having a potluck style buffet is a great way for everyone to feel like they are contributing and when each family brings a separate dish, there tends to be the right amount of food.
- If you want to provide the food yourself, go for a taco bar. It’s super easy and affordable. Plus, it’s an easy set up for grazing.
- And there is always the catering route. For one of my milestone birthdays, we commissioned a local business, Mediterranean Specialties. The food was fresh and amazing and was a total hit! In addition, Mediterranean Specialties delivered the food and recommended a couple of servers to help with the food and dirty dishes.
Whether or not you plan on having ‘regular’ food, you definitely want to have some sweets for your guests. I love the dessert buffets that are currently trending, as they combine treats and decor, two of my favorite things!! Here are a few ideas for your dessert buffet:
- Personalized sugar cookies. You can make some yourself (such as the ones I did above….I’m still working on my decorating skills!) or you can hire a professional, like Bellingham’s own cookie celebrity, Morgan G. Cookies. The link will take you to her Instagram page and you can see for yourself how talented Morgan truly is!!
- Cupcakes using liners that coordinate with your color scheme. We even made a serving platter that resembles a graduation cap. Cupcakes are super easy to make yourself, but if you are short on time, there are a number of wonderful local bakers that specialize in cupcakes and can even customize colors and flavors for you!
- Colorful candies is a variety clear vessels and jars add to the decor and whimsy of your celebration. Plus, kids of all ages will love sticking their hands in the candy jars!
Honor the Graduate
Create a fun way for the guests and other high school graduates to reminisce about all of the good times they shared. And don’t forget to set up a designated place for cards and well wishes. Here are a few suggestions:
- decorated box for cards
- jar for good wishes
- frame mat for signing
- picture collage/photo boards
- graduation wreath
Memories past, present and future!
Strike a Pose
For the graduates, this is the end of an era. Many will be heading off in different directions, and who knows when they will all be together again. This is the perfect opportunity to immortalize this rite of passage with amazing photos!
Setting up a photo booth with fun and creative props provides the perfect setting for individual and group photos. By having a professional photographer, like Amy Slusher Photography, then you have someone on hand to capture the perfect and framable moments.
Time to Celebrate!
Now that the mood is set, the space is decorated, the food is ready and the guests have arrived, it’s time to party!
Looking for help in decorating, catering, photographing, etc. for your graduation party or any celebration? We’d love to help!! Send us a message via our Contact page.