Do’s and Don’ts of Hosting a Graduation Party in Chicago IL

Graduations represent years of tough grind and willpower and are the perfect opportunity to celebrate one’s accomplishments, hopes for the future life, and the beginning of a new chapter. The graduate looks forward to having a good turnout and sharing an amazing experience with friends and family.

A lot of pressure comes with planning the big day to make sure everything runs smoothly. To make the graduation party worth remembering, proper planning is paramount. We share tips and tricks to create an unforgettable moment the grad will cherish forever.

Plan Ahead

Planning a graduation party is involving and there is much to be considered ahead of time. For a start, pick a date when people will be available to attend. It is important to choose a convenient date to ensure a good turnout since many graduating classmates from the same school will be having their parties too.

Plan the free list and send out the invitations early to allow people to set their dates and plan to attend. Remember to include an RSVP option with the invite to allow you to prepare the menu, enough seating, food spread, and drinks for the party. Also set up a delicious menu and different forms of entertainment for the guests on time. This gives you ample time to plan, budget, and organize with vendors such as caterers and equipment rental companies.

Inform the Neighbors

If you’re expecting a large group of people, it is respectful to inform the neighbors ahead of the occasion because of the potential noise the party may cause, alongside other inconveniences such as limited street parking during the event. Inform them of the approximate time the party will start and end. This courtesy will keep good relations with the neighbors and prevent repercussions such as imposed fines for keeping noise levels beyond acceptable levels.

Set the Stage

Set up a special entrance table with decorations to wow the guests as they walk into the party. This could be a setup that provides a central location for invitees to leave gifts and well wishes for the grad as they walk in.  You do not have to spend a fortune to have this entryway set up. A collection of balloons and memorabilia for the graduate would be perfect.

Get Extra Chairs and Tables

If you are hosting the graduation party at your home, you will need extra chairs and tables to accommodate your expected and unexpected guests. People will need to sit down, relax, eat, and drink as they chat. The furniture could be borrowed if you’re working within a budget, or hired from party companies all in one place.

Hire Catering professionals

Technically, it is possible to prepare all the food for the graduation party, but it will not be easy. Hiring a catering team will ease the uphill task of preparing delicious food for a large group of people and allow you to focus on enjoying the party. The caterer should be able to prepare amazing edibles and serve the food while cleaning up after the visitors finish eating.

Create an awesome Playlist

Music sets the mood and provides a chance to let loose. What better way to enjoy the graduation party than with an epic playlist and some dancing? Play your graduate’s favorite songs that also aligned with the chosen party theme. If it is within budget, hire a DJ or band that can play entertaining music for the party. Also, set up a dance area for friends and family to enjoy dancing.

Customize your party

The graduation party should be centered around the grad. Choose a creative style, decor, and themes personalized to the grad to make the graduation party more fun and stand out from the rest of the parties. Be sure to keep in mind the dynamic between friends and family and maximize time with both groups by setting different timings for each team.

Plan an activity

Spice up your graduation party with entertainment activities like fun ice-breakers, games, or trivia quizzes. Games make for a budget-friendly activity that will make it enjoyable while forming a bonding session. Consider the guest demographics, venue, and weather in mind while ideating the entertainment activities.


Don’t send announcements before the ceremony

The graduation ceremony is where the awarding of the diploma by the educational institution occurs. An invitation to the graduation party should be sent out after the event happens to avoid confusing people on whether they are invited to the ceremony as well. This avoids guests being turned away at the main event because the ceremony is only reserved for card holders.

Gift Etiquette

Though bringing gifts is a meaningful gesture, do not require your guests to bring presents. If someone opts to bring gifts, this should be considered good fortune and not an entitlement. Reassure guests who do not bring gifts that it was not necessary, and ensure they understand that you are grateful they attended the party.

It is also essential that the gifts are not opened at the graduation party to avoid embarrassing those who express regret for not bringing presents. Don’t forget to thank those who made the effort to bring a gift using party favors and thank you notes for each gift that was received. Customize the notes depending on who brought the gift and your relationship.

Do not go Over Budget

There is no need to serve expensive food, use overly priced décor and equipment items or go beyond budget on the drink selection. Instead, seek service providers such as caterers that offer food service and equipment hire as a package. Request for simple foods and snacks that are pocket friendly.

The Best Events Caterers in Chicago, Illinois

Are you planning or having a graduation party and looking for caterers in Chicago, Illinois? We’ve got you covered. At Corky’s Catering, we understand just what your party’s requirements are and make it our business to meet your needs. We provide next-level catering services and cuisine mix at affordable prices that leave a lasting impression.

We also cater to beverage service, event planning, equipment rentals, venue provision, photography, and entertainment services. Don’t leave this celebration planning to just anyone, call us at (630) 526-6418 or fill out our easy contact form and we’ll get back to you within 24 hours.

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