Planning a graduation party puts a lot of pressure on parents who know their young adult and friends have high expectations. You want to pick the right theme, food, activities, and grad party venues in Toronto.
To make up for all those years your kid thought you were “uncool,” use these graduation party planning do’s and don’ts to create an epic grad party they’ll never forget.
Do Discuss the Party With Your Grad
You can be sure your graduate will want to be involved in the plans. Discuss who they want to attend, when they think it will work, and also whether others in their group are planning something. You might be surprised that your teen doesn’t want to host, which gets you off the hook!
Don’t Send E-invites Too Late
There are a few reasons that you want to get your E-invites out there. First, you might be competing with other parents wanting to throw a party, and second, summer weekends fill up fast. The sooner you pick an ideal date, the sooner you’ll get guests to commit to attending. A simple solution is to hold the party the night of their graduation. Have a family lunch, and then have a grads-only party later.
Do Set a Budget
Your graduate might have higher expectations for their event than you do. As a result, you could run into budget issues. Set a budget right from the start to avoid disappointment, and then plan accordingly.
Don’t Take Everything on Yourself
Planning a graduation party can be stressful, so don’t hesitate to enlist help. Whether it is your grad, your partner’s, or you are working with a venue, this is an event you’ll want to enjoy as well. Even if you aren’t attending as a guest and instead are more of a “chaperone,” seeing your graduate happy is a very important milestone for parents!
Do Plan Ahead
Make a checklist of everything you need to do and create a calendar to keep yourself on track. From choosing grad party venues in Toronto to arranging the menu and creating a guest list to confirming RSVPs, you want everything to fall into place so you aren’t panicking the day of the event.
Don’t Forget to Tell Your Neighbours
If you’re throwing a house party, make sure you give your neighbours a heads-up. Most will be understanding, knowing this is a major milestone. They will definitely appreciate you letting them know there will likely be some noise that night. Come up with an agreed-upon time to shut down the music, but also let them know the kids will likely want to hang around later than usual to chat.
Do Set Alcohol Rules
Many parents are okay with their graduates indulging in a champagne toast. However, just as many do not allow their under-aged teens to drink at all. Make sure that you set rules for alcohol; if you allow your kid to drink, keep in mind this cannot be a blanket decision made for all guests.
The legal drinking age in Ontario is 19, and you can be held responsible should anything go wrong. Think safe and smart when planning what drinks you’ll serve.
Don’t Overlook the Benefits of Booking a Venue
Although having the party at home is more affordable, you should also consider having the party at a venue instead. You can plan a fun menu since the formal event for graduates is the prom. This is a more casual event where you can arrange a buffet of teen favourites that won’t break the bank.
You also take the burden off your shoulders to set out the food, worry about keeping everyone fed, and cleaning up afterward.
Do Have Fun Décor
Consider some ideas to make a statement that marks the occasion. Collect graduation photos of all the kids attending, and create a grad wall with formal shots and a stream of memories throughout their years of friendship. Have a board set up that guests can sign.
Think about the graduation theme, and include things like streamers and balloons that have the school colours. Or, include your graduate’s favourite colours, cupcakes with grad hats, scroll-themed appetizers, and other items that make it clear this is a graduation party.
Don’t Worry About Cooking Party Food
Serving food to a roomful of picky teens is a lot of work. Instead, hire a caterer, or as mentioned above, hold the party at grad party venues in Toronto, where everything is taken care of for you.
Think fun and casual when planning the menu, and be sure to get the menu approved by your graduate. The last thing you want to do is invest in a spread that no one will enjoy!
Do Let Your Graduate Choose the Playlist
Choosing playlists is easy these days and best left up to your graduate. If the party is at home, let the guests be in charge of the tunes, queuing up music from their phones. If the party is at a venue, make sure your graduate is the one giving the playlist to the DJ.
Some teens dance, and others don’t. If your kid’s friends dance, make sure you clear some space for a dance floor. Otherwise, don’t, as the dance floor will be nothing more than a big, empty space that no one can use!
Don’t Forget to Ask Your Grad if They Want Activities
Graduates are tired and just want time to unwind. Before going overboard with creating activities, ask your graduate what their friends want to do. They might be happy to just kick back and relax, enjoy some fun conversation and music, and indulge in a buffet of food and beverages when they feel hungry.
Their input is all that matters. If you include parents or adult family members, you can consider offering activities for them. Also, something fun like a selfie station might work well if you are renting a venue.
Do Customize Your Party
By customize, we mean make things perfect for your graduate. What do they like? What are their interests? Who are their friends? What are they doing once the summer ends? Are they planning a trip for the summer? What university are they attending in the fall? All of these details can help you throw a customized party that is memorable, intimate, and relevant to your graduate and their friends.