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How to Survive a Graduation Party

Posted by Julie on June 5, 2016 in About Me, encouragement, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons |

I’d love to title this post how to survive releasing two books, a wedding and a grad party, but I fell apart in the middle of it physically, spiritually, well, in just about every way.

I had a wise friend (and a 2015 graduate) give me tips on graduation, specifically, the party, and here’s what we did. We didn’t just survive, but had a great time.


  1. We had our party the day before actual graduation. It was a risk because it was Memorial Day weekend, but we had two things going for us: family was in town for graduation anyway, and we were so early into party season we avoided grad party burnout. I think our guests did as well.


2.   We had a basket of envelopes for guests to write their mailing address on. Our wise friend said she had not done this, and it took her a lot of time to track addresses down. Our graduate wrote a personal note asking for the addresses so he could write a personal thanks.


Pinterest and Dollar Tree helped us survive graduation.

3. Three words. Dollar Tree/Pinterest. Pinterest gave us the idea to hand out favors of Nerds and Smarties, LOL. Make sure you physically hand them out. We left them on the gift table and no one had any. Pinterest also gave us the idea of the grad hat card box. My mom made it and it was a huge hit.

Dollar Tree was like Christmas for my husband. When I ordered the balloons, he couldn’t believe it. “You ordered them for $1 each?” “And they fill them with helium?” Yes and Yes. They also had all the tablecloths, decorations and was across the street from our party when we needed something fast. Sam’s provided a lot of the paper products. It was a sundae bar, so it was easy to serve and clean up.

We also didn’t have it at the house. We live 30 minutes from church and our friend said it is easier to have it at a place on church property. It’s not far for people to travel and you don’t have to worry about your house. I never thought we’d be as busy as we were, so this worked so well. It was a modest fee and they did all the set up and take down.

We provided disc golf, bocce, and we were loaned corn hole for outdoor fun. Our son loves board games, so the centerpieces were board games on every table with a placeholder of his pictures through the years with trivia about him on the back, all laminated.

I’m the worst with decorations but I had a lot of help hanging things. Pinterest to the rescue with making the balloons fancy. We printed pictures of our grad through the years and stapled them to the balloon strings. It really looked festive. Make sure your paper isn’t too heavy, though.

That’s it. Soak it in and enjoy. It’s a huge achievement and you want to remember it.

I’d love to hear how your graduation went.


Julie Arduini, author and speaker_edited

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