Welcome back to Good Day D.C.! It’s graduation season, and I couldn’t be more excited to share some fabulous ideas to make your celebrations unforgettable. Whether you’re planning a high school or college graduation party, there’s no need to break the bank. With a little creativity and some budget-friendly tips, you can throw a memorable bash. Let’s dive in!

Theme and Color Scheme

One of the first decisions to make is the theme. Are you celebrating a high school graduation or a college one? And if it’s high school, does the graduate want their high school colors or their new college? For my niece’s graduation, she’s headed to Christopher Newport University, so we went with a college theme using blue and gray including tablecloths, paper products, cups, silverware, serving ware, and even dessert! It was all things CNU!

Budget-Friendly Decorations

Dollar Store Finds

As I’ve shown in earlier segments, I love a good dollar store find. For disposable items like plates and napkins, I always head to the dollar store. It’s cost-effective since these items are used for just one night and then thrown away. You can find great deals and stick to your budget. It was easy to find everything I needed in her new college colors – blue and gray!

Spandex Tablecloths

One of my favorite finds are spandex tablecloths for tables. These are not only stylish but also practical as they prevent spills and accidents. They have pockets at the corners where you put the table legs in so the tablecloths aren’t blowing around. It gives you a nice clean look. They’re available online on platforms like Amazon, and you can reuse them for future events. Just toss them in the wash and you’re good to go!

Mason Jar Centerpieces

Sticking with the color theme, mason jars are fabulous and allow for versatile decorations. Colored beads can be put in them and I found some lovely blue hydrangeas at the grocery store and used them as vases with 2024 ties I found on Amazon to add the graduation theme. They’re great for adding a pop of color to your tables. Depending on where you live, see what’s blooming outside and if there are wildflowers you can use in your vases.

Planning Ahead

It’s important to plan ahead for your grad party, especially for popular items. I started gathering supplies/paper products about two weeks in advance to ensure I had everything I needed without the last-minute rush and the dollar store being sold out of my color. This is especially important if you are going with the high school theme because everyone in town is going to want these too. Prepping ahead allows you to enjoy the process and have peace of mind leading up to the big day.

Fun and Interactive Ideas

Advice Jar

An advice jar is a fun and sentimental addition to any graduation party. We used my daughter’s jar for this purpose. Guests can write down their advice or well-wishes and drop them into the jar. Just make sure the paper folds easily to keep the messages private. Grandma might not want to see what your child’s 18-year-old friend has for advice (ha!). You can get a clear jar at Hobby Lobby and apply a chalkboard label and write their name on it and that way you could re-use it if you want. You can also use a simple basket and sticky notes for this.

Personalized Photo Album

A local woman created a beautiful custom notebook with my niece’s name on it that we used that as a photo album. We set up a Polaroid camera and let guests take pictures throughout the party. They can then tape their photos into the album and write a note, creating a personalized keepsake full of memories from the graduation party.

Sweet Treats and Snacks

Custom Cookies

I found a wonderful vendor on Etsy who made custom cookies themed for Christopher Newport University. Personalized cookies are a fun and tasty way to celebrate, and they can be customized to fit any theme. She did the college name, mascot, and graduation date. They were fabulous!

Custom M&Ms

Another sweet treat idea is custom M&Ms. You can order them with graduation-themed designs or colors that match your theme. When my son graduated, we even had M&Ms with his face on them. Popping his face in our mouths proved to be a little creepy and so I prefer the more universally appealing ones like graduation caps and then the school colors.

Donut Wall

For guests with dietary restrictions, consider a donut wall. My niece has several allergies, so we opted for donuts she can enjoy. These are easy to set up, and you can find donut walls on Amazon. It’s a simple yet fun way to cater to everyone’s needs and they look really good!

Creative Gift Box

A DIY gift box for cards is a great addition. We took a simple shoe box, wrapped it in college-themed wrapping paper, and cut a slit in the top for guests to drop their cards. It’s reminiscent of elementary school Valentine’s Day boxes and adds a touch of nostalgia.

Embracing a New Chapter

Besides planning parties, I also host the podcast “Living Ageless and Bold,” aimed at women over 50 who are embarking on new chapters in their lives. The podcast is in the top 5% globally, which I’m incredibly proud of.

Advice for Women Over 50

For women over 50, my advice is simple: do what you believe in and are passionate about. Now is the perfect time to pursue your dreams, whether you’ve raised your kids or spent years in the corporate world. This is your time to shine.

Inspiration for Younger Women

Younger women can also find inspiration in our podcast. Many listeners in their 20’s and 30s feel reassured by hearing stories of women starting over later in life. It’s never too late to pursue new opportunities and reinvent yourself.

Wrap up!

Graduation is a time of celebration and new beginnings. With these party ideas, you can throw a fantastic party that’s both memorable and budget-friendly. Congratulations to all the graduates out there, including my niece. Here’s to new adventures and endless possibilities!

For more inspiration and ideas, be sure to check out my podcast, “Living Ageless and Bold.” It’s filled with stories and advice to help you live your best life, no matter your age.

See the full episode here:

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Join our community at www.LivingAgelessandBold.com

See all of our podcasts at https://christinadaves.com/living-ageless-podcast/

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