Celebrating Dads & Grads

With June just around the corner, the abundance of summer parties is about to kick off with celebrations for two of our favorite groups of people: dads and grads. Read on for some tips for how to plan a memorable Father’s Day get-together or graduation celebration for those special people in your life!

Guest List

To start with, you’ll need to figure out how many people you’ll be hosting. For Father’s Day celebrations, determine which family members you would like to include since some people prefer to keep things simple with immediate family, and others want to get everyone together to help celebrate Grandpa… Then, find out who is actually able to attend. On the other hand, figuring out the guest list for graduation parties may be a little more challenging as you consider inviting people from all aspects of the graduate’s life! This may mean including immediate and extended family, family friends, friends from school, as well as friends from activities or other affiliations, etc.

Venue

Next, decide where you’re going to host the event. For a small get-together to celebrate Father’s Day with immediate family, something low-key at home can be a great option! For bigger Father’s Day parties with extended family to help Grandpa celebrate, a larger venue like a private room in a restaurant or a clubhouse may be the better way to go, depending on how many people are able to attend. Similarly, graduation parties can be held at private residences or in more public venues like restaurants, clubhouses, or alternative rental facilities. Keep in mind how many people you’ll need to accommodate, as well as any activities you plan to incorporate to make sure you’ll have enough space. Like the idea of keeping things simpler at home, but not sure if it’ll be too crowded? Consider renting a tent and tables and chairs to allow for both inside and outside socializing.

Decorations

Decorations are a fun way to give your event an extra level of personalization. While you don’t need to redecorate for a Father’s Day celebration, incorporating pictures of Dad with his kids and/or grandkids, or small tributes to his favorite things (think: a golf ball-themed cake for the golf enthusiast, etc.), are ways to make the special day that much more memorable! For graduation parties, including a hanging line with progressive school photos of the graduate from each grade, and/or decorate with colors and themed paraphernalia from their chosen school or profession can add a little extra spirit and excitement for what’s to come!

Activities

While great food and great company are certainly enough to keep the party going, activities are a fun way to take the celebration to another level. For the sports-loving Dad, try a pick-up game of his favorite sport to start a new family tradition, or go head to head in a round of bocce ball before digging into the cake. For graduates, hire or DIY a photo booth for you and your guests to enjoy (Bonus! With this idea you can throw together a photo book with all of the pictures taken at the party for a great keepsake!). Corn hole, ladder golf, Bocce ball, giant Jenga, etc. are other fun ways to entertain the guests and promote mingling!

Menu

When thinking about Father’s Day, most people think of the classic All-American barbeque. There’s nothing quite like grilling out on a nice summer day, surrounded by your favorite people! For those that want to mix it up a bit, consider tailoring your menu to Dad’s favorite cuisine. From an Italian feast with sausage and peppers, Grandma’s lasagna and a side Caesar salad, or Mexican fiesta with grilled chicken quesadillas, black bean and corn salad, and seven-layer dip, to the timeless surf-and-turf with grilled veggies, there’s something exciting for everyone!

Similar menus can be used for graduation parties, with appropriately themed items made especially for the celebration, such as miniature Reese’s cups on a stick with chocolate squares on top for “graduation caps,” a bowl of Ring Pops for “class rings,” and tuxedo chocolate- covered strawberries wearing chocolate square graduation caps… the possibilities are endless! One more thing to consider when it comes to your graduation party menu is that some guests may have several parties to attend that day. Depending on the time of the party, and if you anticipate people coming and going in an open house fashion, you may be able to get by with mostly heavy hors d’oeuvres and drinks and desserts, especially if the party isn’t during a major mealtime. However, if your party spans the lunch or dinner hours, you’ll want to make sure you have enough options for those who are planning to celebrate with your grad all day!

Using these tips as a starting point for planning your celebration can help to make sure everything goes seamlessly. Keep in mind that June is a busy time of year for fellow grads and their families, so you’ll want to choose your date and time carefully, and start planning as early as possible to make sure any vendors you may be planning to use are available. No matter how big a production you are planning, the lucky dad or grad in your life will be thrilled to celebrate in style with a bash for all family and friends to remember!

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