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Planning the Perfect Graduation Open House

Updated: Sep 30, 2021

throwing hats at graduation

Graduation is an exciting time. The hard work has been completed, tests have been taken, papers turned in, and presentations have been given. Now is the time to celebrate!

In many ways, a graduation is not just an accomplishment for the graduate, but the whole family. Parents, grandparents, siblings, aunts and uncles have helped to get the graduate across the podium, so everyone should get to enjoy the moment and the celebration. But with so much to plan, the stress and worry can be overwhelming. Whether you are planning a small intimate party for just close family and friends and a large affair, you want your party to go off without a hitch. Hiring a party planner is the perfect way to eliminate stress and increase the fun.

May and June are popular months for high school open houses as graduations usually take place between Memorial Day and Father’s Day. It is typical to hold an open house one to two weeks before or after the graduation ceremony. Weekends are the most popular days for an open house with Saturday and Sunday mid-afternoon being the most popular. Be sure to send out invitations several weeks ahead of time so guests can plan.

chips with two different salsas and a bowl of jalapenos
Finger foods are always a great option!

Food is an essential part of an open house and hosts should keep in mind that people will be coming and going throughout the open house - which typically last between three to five hours. Also, there is a high probability that your open house will not be the only one your guests are going to that day (especially if you are inviting classmates and teachers). Finger foods and small portions will encourage your guests to eat at your party but still have room if they are planning on heading to another open house later.

Your aunt’s potato salad may be the favorite at every family function but asking her to make enough for 200 guests may not be the best idea. Hiring a caterer to feed your guests is a way to take the stress and worry about food off your shoulders. Pick something your graduate likes but is also pleasing to a variety of guests from toddlers to grandparents. Don’t forget the sweet treats too!

For a large gathering, having the proper amount or tables and seating is important. If your open house will be taking place for several hours and you are inviting a large group, renting tables and chairs early will ensure your guests have somewhere comfortable to sit and feel welcome to stay.

Event hall filled with tables and chairs
Always have enough seats!

High school graduation open houses are notorious for showcasing the graduate’s life from birth. Displays of pictures, awards, and memorabilia from the past 18 plus years help guests connect with the honoree or recall a special memory they shared. Personal touches such as scrapbooks or memory boards allow your graduate to be celebrated in a way he or she truly deserves.

Between the reservations, the food, and creating unique and personal displays it can be easy to become overwhelmed or worse yet not enjoy the open house once it arrives. That is why hiring a party planner to handle the details can be the best choice for any graduation party.

Party planners can arrange reservations for the tables, chairs and tents (if the open house is outdoors). They can work with the caterer, handle the beverages and make sure there is plenty of ice! Then you can spend your time on your graduate and enjoy seeing all your family and friends as they help you celebrate this milestone.

Special life events like graduations, retirements, baby showers and weddings deserve to be celebrated in a special way. Party planners take the pressure off and allow everyone at the event to enjoy themselves and fully commemorate the occasion.


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