For those sentimental moms and dads out there, a “Then And Now” themed graduation party is sure to bring about all the emotions and pride that result from raising a child from birth to graduation. This is definitely one of the most important life achievements, for both parents and graduates, and it definitely calls for celebration. Nothing could be more poignant than throwing a party that shows how much the entire journey means to you, and planning a big party doesn’t have to be difficult.
The first thing you’ll need are some graduation invitations that show the transition from then to now. You’ve got a ton of pictures, of course, but those will come into good use at the party. For now, pick out your favorite baby or childhood picture, and your favorite senior photo, and get to work on an invitation. Whether it’s fun or classy, it’s sure to bring a smile to everyone’s face.
Next on the list is some great decor. Now you’ll want to get all of those photos out. This party is all about your graduate, so there’s no way to display too many. An inexpensive way to deck out the place is to get some twine, some clothespins, and a bunch of prints of your little one. Tack the strings up across a wall or large window and hang the prints chronologically. Presto! Instant class. You can also use photos to create a number, kind of like this 50th birthday collage, except with your graduate’s graduation year.
Photo by Daisy S. Rosalis of Simplicity Relished.From KoKo Shakespeare on Pinterest.
For an outdoor party, you can also create adorable and elegant hanging strings with colored paper and ribbon. Or, string them around a tree for a fun trip that will only make your guests a little dizzy. Either way you go, a mountain of photos is the best way to decorate this party!
From Cindy Bolinger on Pinterest.
Some other great ideas are centerpieces that show your grad’s transformation, which are super simple to DIY, and you can add a number of things like flowers, candy, or even balloons to match their personality.
Games and activities are always welcome at any party. You could create a timeline quiz with a true or false (or multiple choice) question and feature a major memory, event, or achievement for each year of your child’s life. This will be fun for all of your guests, especially if you add prizes for the most right answers!
A great way to include your guests in the nostalgia is to ask them to bring a photo of them as a baby as well as one of them now (or take polaroid snapshots at the event.) Gather all of the photos and randomly place all the baby pictures on one poster board and all of the adult pictures on another. Number the baby photos and letter the adult ones, then ask each guest to try and match them! The reveal is always the funnest part of this game, no prizes necessary.
You can also ask your guests to bring a photo of them with the graduate, from any point in their life. Use a large canvas or corkboard and have each guest attach their picture along with an inspirational note for the grad’s future. This is a fun party activity that is also a special parting gift for your graduate.
I hope these party ideas are as much fun as they are touching. Your guests will enjoy all of the wonderful photos, and your graduate will really appreciate the thought. When it comes to this special and momentous occasion, there’s really no way you can over-do it.
By AJ Earley
AJ Earley is a personal chef, freelance writer, DIY junkie, and root beer float enthusiast from Boise, Idaho. The only thing she likes more than a party is a good party. You can contact AJ Earley on Twitter.