- By Chris Harmen
- Published 01/18/2011
There is something very special about the day your son or daughter walks across that stage to accept a diploma. All those years of study, homework, projects, sporting events, school dances, and parent-teacher meetings are all about to end. Along with getting ready for college or heading out for a career in the military, our young adults want and deserve a suitably triumphant gathering. As parents, we want it to be a huge success. Creating a checklist is an excellent way to stay organized and minimize stress. Lists are wonderful tools. They can be modified and added to, as new ideas arise, and the sense of satisfaction that comes from crossing completed items off the list helps us to feel in control of the situation. There are many ways to organize a party checklist. Some people use different pages for different aspects of the plan, such as one page for graduation announcements and invitations, another for food and drinks, one for the guest list, and so on. Others prefer a chronological list that helps them make sure tasks are accomplished on time. Graduation Invitations And The Guest List Nothing can be decided until the budget and the guest list are determined. The budget helps keep track of how much money is available to spend on graduation invitations, announcements, food and drink, decorations, and favors. Use one sheet as a shopping list and budget control. The guest list can be on another sheet. All the grad’s close friends should be invited, as well as family members who live nearby. The number of announcements needed to share the good news with everyone else must also be calculated. The size of the budget and guest list help identify how many invitations, place settings, favors, and how much food will be needed. While you are at it, matching thank you cards make a convenient and useful gift for the grad. What, Where, When As with any event, the date, theme, and location must be determined, plus any activities that might be planned. If the checklist is chronological, separate columns can be created for each aspect of the planning process. Another way to organize the checklist is to use different colors for each category or for each deadline. A section for planning activities is also helpful.
Details Depending upon where the event is to be held, checklists include different tasks. A party held at home generally means food preparation or catering. Finger foods and drinks in single serving containers are simple, and most seniors are perfectly happy with pizza. If a hall is rented, there may or may not be food service available. If the party is to be held at a restaurant, food and drinks are generally included. Wherever the party is held, decorations that match the theme of the event make it more festive. Diplomas, caps and gowns, and school colors are common themes. The decorations checklist can include things such as balloons, streamers, and table runners, as well as cups, plates, napkins, and flatware. Party favors can serve double duty as decorations, and there are plenty of online providers of a variety of customizable merchandise that make great party mementos. Designing Unique Graduation Invitations And Announcements Nothing makes a party stand out above the crowd better than unique graduation invitations. Using fun family photographs, custom messages, and personalized touches, graduation invitations and announcements can be created online conveniently and affordably. The photos can create a chronological collage, an elegant portrait, or a school theme to set the stage for the party and give guests an idea of what to expect. Invitations should be sent out four to six weeks before the party date and include what is being celebrated, where, when, and on what date. Graduation announcements, on the other hand, do not have to be sent until after the actual ceremony, giving families time to integrate photos from the actual ceremony into the graduation announcements. These should include the ceremony date, the conferring school, and the title of the degree earned. They should be sent as soon after the event as possible – definitely not more than six months afterward.
Creating a workable checklist will help you organize a successful commencement party. Since most schools significantly limit the number of guests allowed to each student at the actual ceremony, those invitations can feature extra information such as directions and hotel information, since the attendees may be out-of-town relatives. Using family and school photographs and personalized messages to create graduation invitations and announcements will be one way to let your grad, as well as family and friends, know just how proud of them you are!