Celebrate with the Class of 2008
- Decide what kind of party you want to throw.
Do you want your event to be casual or formal? Is it going to be sit-down or buffet? Is it going to be geared toward family, friends or both? These are all important questions you need to answer before going any further in your party planning. I personally recommend a more casual affair because your graduate will typically want friends to come, and they may have many parties to attend on the same day. By having a more laid-back party, partygoers will feel more at ease coming and going.
- Figure out where you want to throw the party.
Do you want to hold the party at a restaurant or at home? Do you want it indoors or outdoors? Are you going to cook yourself or have the party catered? Once you figure out these details, you can start planning the fun stuff. See our catering guide for ideas.
- Decide when to throw the party.
Graduation parties can be thrown either before or after the actual day of graduation, typically within one week of the graduation date. Parties thrown on graduation day can be more stressful for both you and the graduate because they may feel rushed or overwhelmed with too much to do in one day. Keep this in mind when you decide on a date for the party.
- Make the guest list.
Make sure your graduate gets to invite who they want to their party. It is important that the party and its guests all mean something to the graduate. If you are having an outdoor party at your home, make sure to invite neighbors to include them in the event.
- Set an approximate budget.
This decision will help drive the others you need to make.
- Details, details, details.
Don’t forget to decorate. Whether minimalist or more expensive, graduation decorations are essential for a graduation party.
- Send out invitations at least two weeks before the party.
Ensure your guests can mark the date and RSVP in time for the event. Whether you send out e-vites online or invitations by mail, make certain that you clearly ask guests to RSVP so you know how many people to expect for the party.
- Order a cake.
No graduation party is complete without a “Congratulations Graduate” cake to share.
Make sure your graduate sends out thank-you notes.
After the party to thank people for their gifts (if they choose to give one), but also for their presence at the party. It is a nice touch to let your guests know you appreciate them.
Graduation Party Quick Tips
- Don’t be offended if not everyone accepts your invitation. Family celebrations often take precedence over other parties after graduation.
- Make sure your graduate’s favorite people are there—it’s their party.
- Have fun in planning the party—it should not be stressful; it should bring you joy.
- Follow these tips and your party will truly be a smash hit. Good luck and enjoy your graduation party!
- If you need help in planning your graduation party or any event, please contact Kathy Biron at Above and Beyond Event Planning, 14805 Pleasant Valley Road in Woodstock, 815-337-0421.
Let Them Worry About Feeding Your Crowd
3917 Main St. in McHenry
Let Plum Garden “carry out your ‘plum’ desires” with their creative Cantonese cuisine.
Crystal Lake Rib House
5111 E. Terra Cotta Ave. in Crystal Lake
With a full, authentic BBQ menu and a fleet of mobile trucks and trailers, the Crystal Lake Rib House offers reliable catering and outdoor pig roasts.
130 Crystal St. in Cary
From appetizers to sandwich trays, salads to entrees, Chicago Eats has a wide assortment of menu items to make your event the perfect occasion.
Classic Events and Catering
217 Front St. in McHenry
Choose your own buffet-style menu, from a Beach Luau to Picnic Cookout.
125 S. State St. in Marengo
If you’re having an early-morning party, Flatlander Market has breakfast catering available. They also offer party trays and favorites such as baked lasagna and chicken cacciatore.
Le Petit Marché
19 North Williams St. in Downtown Crystal Lake
For a cake you’ll never forget talk to Dawn at Le Petit Marché. The choices are endless.
Don’t Forget the Entertainment
Earshot Productions in Crystal Lake 815-477-7709
Electrifying Sounds Mobile DJ Service in Lake in the Hills 847-659-1487
Max Trax in Cary 847-462-1200
Mobile Mix DJ Entertainment in Wonder Lake 815-653-1220
The Music Authority in Huntley 847-669-1234
WFRG Mobile Radio in Fox River Grove 847-639-2257
DC Party Rental in Cary 847-639-8285