On May 15th we had a Graduation Celebration for our daughter who was graduating from High school the next day. While it was a great reception it was also a lot of work, but I wanted to share a few things with you about this special day. It was a success and a perfect way to celebrate all of Liz’s accomplishments. Here are some of my tips to help you make your next reception a success.
- Consider the location first. We have a fairly large house and yard, but since we have bigger extended families and were inviting lots of friends we opted to have it at a community building that is in a park. We paid for the enclosed shelter house so we had electricity, hot water and of course were inside in case of bad weather. It was fairly cheap as well which was nice and after our deposit is returned it was less than $30 for about 8 hours.
Pick a theme and K.I.S.S (Keep it simple silly) we went with the obvious choice which was a “graduate” themed inspired party with a rustic feel. This way everything tied together nicely and I could use the items at home after the reception was over.
- Plan your menu around what the graduate wants but refer back to rule #1…K.I.S.S (Keep it simple silly) We did pulled pork sandwiches, baked beans, chips, pasta salad, cupcakes and drinks. As you can see we stuck to the “rustic and Liz inspired” decorations with the help from Your Cover.
- Send out your invitations in plenty of time we sent them out about three weeks before the event. The fine folks at Shutterfly have a huge selection and ours were perfect for Liz.
- Decorations were picked up at Oriental Trading, Your Cover and our local dollar store for disposable items. Then I ordered a few things for the photo booth on
Amazon. We also added lots of “Liz” inspired things such as her scholarships, awards, lettermans jacket, FFA jacket and pictures through the years.
- For the guest book we did two different stations if you will including Jenga games and Liz’s bible. The Jenga game we used ours from home and bought the glass piece at a local garage sale and then placed fine tip sharpie markers by them. She hand wrote the message on the sign but we finally found our printable so we went with both options.
- The Bible was a gift from our church and she wanted to implement it into the reception. I was surprised to read through it with the inspiring notes that guests left. It was a very unique way to help the graduate to remember what is always by her side even when she isn’t at church.
- Cover the tables in table cloths for easy cleaning, and we added some burlap for the items on the table. We included personalized votive cups from Oriental Trading as well as buckets with napkins in them. This way if extra was needed they were a reach away for everyone which came in handy a couple of times.
- Kids Table- We had a kids table set up with printable coloring sheets, ink pens and bubbles for the kids to play with in case the weather was bad that day. It was a nice addition to the party and there were even some grown ups that enjoyed the “kids” section.
- But the thing that tied it all together was the wall of Liz as we called it. She had all of her scholarships and awards spread out on the table, her pictures in frames (which were given to grandparents, aunts/uncles) and loose pictures for people to pick up and take home with them. But then we added pictures from pre-school to her senior year on the ladder for all to enjoy. It was actually a fun conversation piece several times for guests, which is always fun. Also included on the wall of Liz was that adorable big E that actually lit up and her graduation hat!
That’s it! We pulled it off with the help from family and friends, just remember to K.I.S.S (Keep it simple silly) and enjoy the guests. I promise everyone will have fun and it will go off without a hitch (and if they happen just roll with it.) It’s a day to remember for both you and the graduate. It seems like just yesterday she was born, just remember to enjoy all of the memories of life because they grow up way to quickly!
What is your favorite part of our Graduation Reception?