Graduation parties

<p>Now that we have the college selection process completed it's time to think about hs graduation. I want to plan a backyard graduation party for my D. Party planning is not my strong suit! (I break into a cold sweat just thinking about it) Does anybody have any tips to share? I am thinking it will be extended family as well as my daughter's friends. This probably adds up to about sixty guests. Her graduation is on a Sunday at two o'clock. It most likely would end at about four. Is that too late to start a party, or should I go with the day before? I really want it that weekend for various reasons. Any tips would be appreciated!</p>

<p>My one cousin and I graduated together, and our parents decided to throw us a "suprise" graduation party together - on our other cousins birthday. They told us it was an outdoor party for his 13th birthday. GRR. The funny thing was, i was with when we were buying all the supplies for it.. because I thought it was for him. Then all my friends start showing up.. :)</p>

<p>I believe my party started around 4. We had the pool open and we did some grilling outside. We also had some music playing and it was pretty much just like a picnic. It was a lot of fun. I don't think i'm having anything for graduating college - but i know i won't fall for the birthday party thing again :)</p>

<p>It probably isn't too late in the day as long as your D doesn't want to hang out a lot after the ceremony and take pictures, etc. But you have to be super organized or enlist a friend to open up your house, take out the food or meet the caterer if you're going that route. One thing we have done in the past is invited the extended family for an Open House the first part of the party in your case - say 4-7pm (though of course they can stay longer if they wish) and then invite the firends from 7 til midnight or whatever time works for you. That way D can spend time graciously with extended family and not be pulled away by her friends who will obviously be all excited and want to relive the just completed graduation. You also spread out the guests (not sure how big your backyard is but rain does happen) so it's not too crowded, Plus if relatives want to meet D's friends, they can just stay longer and join in the fun after having spent their quality time with her. It's like having two parties in one.</p>

<p>here after graduation parties are carefully scripted
We just had an auction at my daughters public school to benefit seniors so that the combo gown/graduation party would be manageable for all.
At the big high schools- kids are often taken away on buses to a secret location or where they have a party inc food and music till dawn.
very controlled in & out
My older daughters class was much smaller and after graduation the parents had charterd a boat to cruise around then they walked up the hill to a classmates at about 5 and slept for a few hours till their parents picked them up after we made them breakfast
So we had our family party it seems like the week or so before
it was a combo 18th bd- 10th bd graduation from high school- graduation from elementary school for both of my girls- whose bds are a day apart.
I would let your daughter decide what she wants to do right after graduation if her school doesn't have anything planned.</p>

<p>I love graduation party threads!</p>

<p>Burlmom, don't know about you, but I would not be able to enjoy the graduation itself, if I knew that 60 people were going to descend on my house almost at the end of the ceremony. I would probably do it the day before, or after.</p>

<p>A few things to think about:</p>

<p>(1) are you doing a cook-out, and having simple grilled foods?
(2) or are you having it partly to mostly catered?
(3) will you have helpers with heating, serving, re-filling etc.?
(4) what kinds of beverages?
(5) decorations, balloons, school colors etc.
(6) music and other noise.</p>

<p>In past years, the CC "caterer du jour " has always been Costco :p</p>

<p>Our S graduation ceremony is Sunday evening at 8;30. With 350 kids in his class, it's going to take a while. We've pretty much decided on a party Saturday night. After talking to several friends that have had kids graduate already, the party seems to be more for the parents than the kids. There are always multiple parties they want to go to that pull them away from the house. What we came up with was a group of parents getting together to plan a joint affair at a local facility where we can all hang out and the kids can come and go as they please.</p>

<p>Yes Costco and lets not forget Judy's meatballs.</p>

<p>Ahh yes, the meatballs! My only regret is that I didn't prepare more. They were devoured by all.</p>

<p>Our local schools usually organize a post-graduation trip to a surprise location for after graduation (all the seniors get on a bus after graduation). Consequently, most parties happen the weekend before. There's usually a lot of competition for seniors' attention--visiting family, etc.--the day of graduation; I'd consider the day after or the day before, which also simplifies logistics.</p>

<p>I know people worry a lot about the food for these parties, but no one is there for the food, so it really is okay to just serve hotdogs or pizza or whatever is easiest, with chips and so on. Costco food is certainly popular for parties around here (personally, I think their cake tastes like lard) (literally, for figuratively).</p>

<p>And remember to have fun.</p>

<p>When S graduated from HS four years ago, the family just went out to a very fancy restaurant, and then we took a trip to St. John for a week which is what S really wanted--time in the sun with lots of time to sleep! This year, we'll do something similar but with a twist for D. The family vacation will be in Santa Barbara and Santa Monica the week before S's college graduation. My in-laws and my family will be housed in a Santa Monica penthouse suite graduation weekend, so we'll throw a party the night before the big day on the deck attached to the suite--overlooking the Pacific. I'm planning on inviting all of our extended family from both sides as well as friends who served as our son's support network during his college years. S was planning on inviting all the students in his department (about 200), but we'll have to stop partying in time for the grandparents (and parents) to hit the sack. Plus, I'm afraid the noise factor might antagonize the establishment. Fortunately, younger SIL lives nearby so she can provide tips on where to pick up some good food.</p>

<p>In my opinion, it may be too hectic to have the party right after the graduation. Why not have the party the day before the graduation, or even the weekeend before or after?</p>

<p>Burlmom,
The year before my daughter graduated I had observed one of her friends that had just graduated was at loose ends right after the ceremony and I decided that it would be fun to have a graduation party for my daughter the next year immediately following the ceremony. My plan was that it would be very casual and geared more towards friends then family and adult friends since we don't have much family in the area.</p>

<p>That was a mistake! Turns out that the majority of her friends had already made plans of going out with their family right after the ceremony and spending the evening with them. While a couple of dozen kids did come over, it just wasn't as nice as if we had held off or had it early. The other reason it was a mistake was that I was stressed the day before and on the graduation day instead of enjoying it. We rushed home after the ceremony to prepare for people and instead, most of the kids were having a nice family dinner and didn't come until almost 8:00. </p>

<p>If we do a party for our junior son, we'll go the traditional route and have the party sometime within the month of graduation like everyone else and invite more adults. The kids tend to come in clusters of two's and three's and then leave as a pack to go on to the next party.</p>

<p>We are having an open house type grad party for our S the day following his graduation in May. I would LOVE to see menus that other moms have used for similar grad parties. Kissy, we'll definitely do meatballs. :) What else would be good???? I will be mainly using Sam's as my caterer. There will probably be about 30 to 40 people in attendance - have not gotten as far as making a guest list yet. Thanks everyone! Tabby</p>

<p>Since our HS graduation usually falls on a Sunday, we decided on a Friday evening open house- casual, outdoors. That way, most of the family visitors were already in town and friends were all free to come, esp. since the majority of our local parties are held immediately before or after graduation. </p>

<p>We hired a local outfit do the grilling, and I tried to stick to finger foods as much as possible. I remember serving mini corn on the cobs and, of course, the meatballs, too :) I can't, for the life of me, remember what else we served except that the desserts were all gone by the end of the party, too- cookies, bars, and mini-cheesecakes. </p>

<p>I've also heard horror stories in the past about high schoolers showing up drunk or getting into the adults' booze supply, so we enlisted a friend to "tend bar" and keep an eye on the kids. Luckily for us, we had no problems.</p>

<p>we didn't have any liquor- I had lots of finger food- pita with hummus & baba ganoush , veggies with dip- fruit with dip, spicy chicken wings and marinated tofu- nachos- fresh lemonade, water , coffee & tea ( just to annoy my sister) and a virgin punch.
we did have a big birthday cake that I ordered from a bakery.</p>

<p>It was after graduation now that i think about it- their birthdays probably fell on memorial day weekend- always a hectic time and I think I had the party after my older graduted but before the younger one was out for the summer</p>

<p>I am more stressed about this than the college decision at the moment (well at least 20% of the time I am). Here is the problem. My son has 2 best friends. It is quite unusual in expatriate circles, the boys have been best friends since first grade. Also, these boys' moms are my 2 best friends. Can you see the problem emerging? </p>

<p>In spite of our interwovenness and deep friendship, we are not in agreement about the party we had hoped to have together. Specifically, my S and H definitely are not feeling the party that the ladies are planning. I am more flexible, but agree with my H that this party is for my S, and he should have more say-so than he does....My H, independent of S's feelings, also is not happy....The other 2 H like the party as it is being developed- </p>

<p>My dilemma is not menu selection, yet...it is how to tell these women that our much hoped for joint event is just not going to gel....this is lose/lose for me..</p>

<p>Fortunately the college choice appears to be win/win!!!</p>

<p>I'm planning a graduation party for my d two days after graduation. 40-50 people, will use the house and the garage. Too hot in florida for outdoors. Will "hide" the garage with plastic ($12.00 for 100 feet at party store-typically used as tablecloths), or fabric if I can find some cheap (no luck yet :(), and rent round table and chairs for the garage.</p>

<p>Have menu plan started - will share, discuss, swap ideas </p>

<p>One good suggestion - on partybanners.com, you can get a great custom made 5 foot banner, many different designs available, for $29.95 includes grommets and shipping. I've searched ALL the websites, and this is a great deal for the quality (I had a banner from them for her sweet sixteen as well).</p>

<p>I've also got some party decorating ideas to share if anyone is interested. I would LOVE to get an open discussion going on this topic!</p>

<p>Robyrm, can you get more details so perhaps we can offer help/advice?</p>