Graduation from high school is a special time in your child's life and you may want to throw a party to celebrate this accomplishment. Not only will the party honor him, but your guests may also give gifts that can help him get started on the next stage of his life, whether he is going to college or entering the work force. Still, throwing a high school graduation party is quite the undertaking, so you need to prepare well in advance.
First, you need to decide on a date for the party. If your family or circle of friends has several graduating seniors, you may want to consult with others to be sure that your parties don't overlap. If possible, you want the party to be within a month of graduation, although it doesn't have to be the day or week of graduation.
The next step is to make your guest list. You should invite family members and local friends. Your child may want to invite some of his friends as well. Remember that you'll have to feed everyone that comes to the party, so if funds are limited, keep the guest list small.
You will also need to reserve a location. Depending on the size of your guest list, you may be able to host the party at your home. The warm, late spring weather often allows you to throw a backyard party. If your yard is small, though, you may have to rent a space. If you choose a restaurant, you'll have to rely on them for catering, but if you want to save money, consider a local park, church or temple facilities, or another community center.
It's a good idea to send your invitations early. The graduation season is busy and you will want everyone to know when you're having your party as early as possible. This helps guests plan their schedules. It's also smart to plan the party for a time range, expecting that guests will come and go as their schedules allow. You shouldn't expect everyone to show up at the beginning of the party and stay the whole time.
You will now need to prepare food for the guests. An outdoor party lends itself well to hot dogs and hamburgers on the grill. You'll need to buy all the food and perhaps make a few side dishes. Another idea is to contact a restaurant or catering company to order a few food platters.
Design a cake that fits your child's personality. Bake or order a cake that highlights your child's favorite things from high school or his plans for the future. For example, if he was active in the theater club, you may want to put drama masks on the cake; if he plans on majoring in physics, you may want to adorn the cake with mathematical formulas.
You should decorate on the day of the party. It's easy to purchase graduation-themed party decorations, such as streamers and signs. Choose balloons in his favorite colors or the school's colors. You don't have to go all-out on party decorations, but if you want something personal, you can create a collage of pictures of your child throughout his academic career.