Graduation is a bridge to the next stage of life. Whether it’s an 8 th grader who is moving on to high school, a high schooler getting ready to spread their wings, or a college grad preparing to start their career, it’s a HUGE milestone and one that should be celebrated! But just because the guest of honor has worked hard to earn his or her degree or diploma, it doesn’t mean you should be stressed about the graduation party. While graduation ceremonies and parties are undoubtedly looking a bit different these days, we’ve put together this guide to help you plan your event from start to finish. With just a little creativity, your party can earn an A+!
Stay updated on your local state restrictions on outdoor and indoor gatherings and you should always promote a safe social distance of 6 feet.
Where you hold your event depends on two things:
1) Backyard accommodations
2) If your state has reopened parks, restaurants and event venues
If you have a large guest list, it might make sense to look into a nearby park or an event space if available. Then, bring in your own food, beverages, and decorations. If you are located in an area where businesses are starting to open back up, you could also rent out a space and work with the venue on the menu and see what you can do in terms of decorations like balloons or banners, and little details like beverages, activities, music, centerpieces, and more.
On the other hand, a smaller family party might be perfectly accommodated in your home! However, this will mean you’re 100% in charge of set up, decorations, and clean up – and often the clean-up is the worst part of throwing a party. Mozaik offers a full assortment of heavy-duty premium plastic plates, drinkware, serving trays and bowls, and utensils that offer an upscale presentation, but can be easily disposed of when the guests have left, cutting down on your post-event responsibilities.
If you have friends and family around the country or don’t feel comfortable hosting guests, having a virtual party can be both creative and fun! Selecting a platform is your first decision. Zoom is great to accommodate a lot of people and is easy to use. Google hangout, group Facetimes, and Instagram’s latest video chat feature are other options. Go big on decorations for the backdrop of this virtual party to make it more special for the graduate!
Since you’re throwing a graduation party, it’s actually OK for “graduation” to be the theme all on its own! Keep it simple with a set of mylar balloons that capture the commencement year and a “Congratulations!” banner. Another option would be to find out the school colors and/or mascot of the graduate’s new college (or high school) and then run with it. Think balloons, streamers, banners, etc. Once you decide on party décor, find a variety of paper goods (shoppable by color!) on the Mozaik website. Consider decorating with pictures of the graduate – first-day-of-school snapshots, photos from sports and other activities are all really thoughtful, personal touches that go perfectly with the graduation theme. Having a game or trivia contest to keep your friends and family entertained is fun too. A virtual "Who Knows the Graduate Best" or "Guess the Celebrity Graduate" are easy and sure to be memorable!
Sips and Bites
When planning what to serve at your party, you’ll need to decide whether you’d prefer to keep the party casual with small plates, make it a little formal with a sit down meal, or allow guests to help themselves to a buffet featuring hot and/or cold food items. Keep beverages simple with soda, beer and/or wine, and bottled water (we love this idea for Graduation Cap Bottle Toppers).
For lighter fare, we love the idea of a “brain food” theme – think smoked salmon (see below for adorable Smoked Salmon Diploma Rolls), broccoli cheddar mini quiches and mixed nuts. You could also create a menu of the graduate’s favorites – if they like Italian, do a buffet of Italian entrees like sausage and peppers, chicken parm, baked ziti, etc. or maybe he or she likes a good old-fashioned backyard BBQ – burgers, hot dogs, BBQ chicken… add a few sides and you’re done!
You can also cater your party with your graduate’s favorite local restaurant as so many local businesses are relying on our support more than ever.
Whatever kind of food you decide to serve at your party, incorporate it into the graduation theme with little details. A few of our favorite ideas:
Since a graduation party is all about celebrating the beginning of a new chapter for the graduate, sending him or her off with some new memories is a great way to celebrate the occasion. Some fun, thoughtful ideas include:
Graduation Themed Photo Station : Set up an area in the party space for fun photo ops. Download a photo booth app like Simple Booth or Pocket Booth and set up a phone or tablet on a tripod. Use the mylar number balloons to create a background for the photo, and lay out some on-themed props.
Memory Jars : Give family and friends a strip of paper and ask them to write down a favorite memory about the graduate. Put the strips into a mason jar and give it to the graduate as a memento. Alternatively you can put together a scrapbook where you ask family and friends to write down their best advice or tips for starting high school, college, grad school, etc. and write their advice next to a photo of them with the graduate.
#Hashtag: Include tent cards with a hashtag that is personalized to their graduation party so friends and family can share their photos on social media and it will make it easy for you to find and save these memories!
Oh, the Places You’ll Go! : Invite friends and family to sign a copy of “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!” by Dr. Seuss so the graduate can go back and read them later.
Congratulations to the new grad!