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Now that your high school graduation is on the horizon, you probably feel like throwing a grad party! Congratulations! If you’re looking to host one, here are some tips to make sure it’s great.

Plan Ahead

One of the biggest aspects of throwing a grad party, or any party really, is planning ahead. However, when it comes to grad party, the date is extremely important. Your friends may be throwing their own and you won’t want to schedule it on the same day. Get together with these people and ask if they’re planning parties and when. You may actually even want to consider hosting a party together with a best friend or a group of friends.

You’ll also want to think about who you’re inviting. Your friends, family, and teachers you’re close to may be on the list, but you might also want to consider inviting your neighbors or your parents’ close friends. Make sure you include an RSVP by date on the invitations because you’ll need it for the next steps.

Another aspect that’s big in the planning is the “where.” Many grads host them right in their home, but if you have quite a few people going or you have a type of venue in mind, you may want to consider other places.

Get The Supplies

Once you know who is coming, when it’s happening, and the where, it’s time to start thinking about what you’ll need to actually throw the party. Start with a budget. Even on a small budget you can throw a great party, but remember to be realistic with your estimates.

First, create a menu. What type of meals will you be serving? Do you have anyone attending who has allergies or dietary restrictions? Remember snacks, drinks, and desserts as well.

Also consider the decoration and things to do at the party. Do you want banners? Balloons? Games? You may want to get everyone to sign your yearbook or have a jar where people can place school memories of you. When it comes to the décor, you may even want to choose items that match your school’s colors.

Many students create boards that highlight their lives up until graduation—showing pictures with friends, award ribbons, pamphlets from plays or concerts, etc. Others set up silly photo booths with props for friends and families. There are countless ways to personalize your party and make it “you.”

For example, if you were really into band during high school, you could decorate the space with music notes. You could get a music-themed cake or cupcakes. You could play recordings of your solos or concerts.

The “After Party” – What To Do

Not every guest will bring a present or card for you; they’re happy to attend the event and celebrate your accomplishment with you! But many guests will bring gifts. Oftentimes, this is cash, checks, bonds, or something you may need during college.

When it comes to the money, stash it away. This cash will come in extremely handy during the next four years of your life. Even if financial aid, your parents, or scholarships are covering most of your tuition, you can use this money to take out less financial aid, buy books, get food, or use for your leisure time while at the school (going out for dinner, heading to the movie theater, etc.). It can also be useful in the event of an emergency, so don’t spend it as soon as you get it. Put it in your savings account for a rainy day.

The main part of planning your grad party is making sure to get everything in order ahead of time. With plenty of time, you can ensure your grad party isn’t on the same date as another, you’ll have all the items you need, and your guests will have a great time.

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