It has been said that “Education is the most powerful weapon we can use to change the world.” (Nelson Mandela) But as important as an education is, graduation is really just the beginning for the next world-changing generation!
Your special graduate has earned their tassel and deserves to be launched onto their future path with a personalized celebration that is on trend and on budget.
We know you want to recognize their accomplishments, but before you start to plan anything- check in with them. Let them kick around ideas- WITH you- and discover how they want to celebrate. Putting your heads together will ensure that their big send-off will be one that is memorable and meaningful for you all.
With that said, it can be tough to come up with alternative ways to honor their achievement, so here are three suggestions to get you thinking:
- The Classic – A Graduation Party
- A Dream Experience
- A Significant Gift
Graduation Party Planning Tips
So, you’ve decided to launch your special graduate with a party! Now, narrow that down a little so that your party plan reflects your graduate’s wishes and personality. Do they want an extravaganza or an intimate gathering of friends and family? What’s the budget?
Answers to those questions can also help you decide on a theme, decor, food, and location.
A quick look at Pinterest can help you both gather ideas. Remember you can add a checklist and notes to your boards on Pinterest now too. Boards can be shared just between you and your graduate or open it up to their friends so they can all collaborate.
Make Your Basic Plan:
- Size – number attending
Low Profile or a Total Blowout?
A small get together can be as simple and easy as sending out the invites and making a reservation at their favorite restaurant. This is a fun yet commonsensical way for them to spend time with all the special people in their lives as they prepare for whatever lies ahead. Your low-key graduate will thank you for not making a huge fuss. Also, your party clean-up is completely painless!
BUT your extroverted graduate will be thrilled to help plan an unforgettable party!
Keep them on budget by planning a backyard blowout with a potluck, or a simple open house.
Get creative with the party food. Set up a taco bar and a donut board or save yourself some time and let a local restaurant or food truck cater. See our resource lists for some incredible local options and suggestions with reasonable pricing and menu options galore!
A backyard party can include games like horseshoes or cornhole, and favorite hobbies such as paintball. Or plan less messy endeavors like dancing and a fun photo booth with dress-up items for the perfect selfies or an instant camera so guests can print out their own party favors.
Throw a themed party and decorate with vintage items from an awesome era such as the 70’s, 80’s or 90’s. We love fun stores like The Station, MAshed-Up and Mix Tape that carry retro items and even retro snacks you can use to create unique centerpieces and party favors.
Your theme can be based on the graduate’s college major. If they are moving on to college, use banners and decorations in their soon-to-be school colors.
Set up a display table and include a “Wisdom Jar” where guests can write their advice for the graduate. Create a scrapbook or put together a video with memories of your graduate- this may be your last chance to be a parental embarrassment for a while
Graduation Party Venues
We’ve already mentioned the benefits of small gatherings at a favorite restaurant. Lucky us, we have some great options for this type of meeting space in Davie County.The 801 Southern Kitchen & Pancake House, Hampton Inn, La Carreta, Venezia Italian Family Restaurant or The Crumb Box from Maddie Cakes Bakery all offer a simple way to execute a fabulous small party with catering options right on site.
Alternatively, renting a larger party venue is a wonderful option since you don’t have to limit the noise level for restaurant customers or your neighbors. Your grad and their squad can dance the night away. If your grad is totally caszh, they will love a fun barn venue like this one at The Farmhouse at Gemini Branch, or the Farmington Community & Event Center.
Davie County has a lot of choices you may not even know about so check the resources listed on our website here:
Count on these places being busy at this time of the year and reserve your space right away.
A Dream Experience
If your grad has a travel goal, this may be the time to take the money you would have spent on a huge party and give it to them to make their dream come true. Maybe they yearn to hit the beach, skydive, hike the Blue Ridge Parkway, ride some whitewater rapids, or bike the Virginia Creeper Trail. Whether they imagine a simple road trip with friends or a grand European tour, your dreamer will never forget how you supported their ambitions!
Maybe their dreams are closer to home and you can make them come true with a day of disc golf in Farmington, art or pottery classes, or even hanging out at the Cognition Makerspace and creating together. If you are near-by, come visit one of our great attractions.
If your child is heading off to college, this is the perfect time to build your relationship and spend time with them doing the things they love. Commemorate the occasion with customized T’s like the one’s from Ma & Me Accessories. Just add a good friend or two, and you’ve engineered an exploit they will never forget!
If gas prices curtail plans to hit the road, don’t forget there are often great places to visit and stay that are right in your hometown.
A Significant Gift
A gift doesn’t have to be expensive to be significant. What makes a memorable gift special is the thought that goes into it. The first 18 years have flown by and you want to make your graduation gift something that shows you know and appreciate the young adult in your life.
A really clever gift idea that has recently come to our attention are Memory Bears. These are created with a garment that means something to your graduate- what an extraordinary way to personalize a gift! Contact Denise at Memory Lane Boutique. She will customize a gift from their winning team jersey, a prom dress, or the shirt they always steal from Dad’s closet.
Fine jewelry such as a timepiece, or a birthstone ring that is of a quality they will keep forever is a thoughtful and long lasting gift. Take a look at what they have locally at Davie Jewelers, or Foster’s Jewelers. Etsy has some fine handcrafted and unique pieces that could be just what you are looking for!
What about equipment for a favorite hobby or sport – something they want but wouldn’t buy for themselves? Membership in a club, archery or shooting sports equipment, or even a signature series disc to improve their disc golf game!
There is a list of recreation stores on our website in case you are not sure where to get these or want some advice before buying. The proprietors are knowledgeable and can help you keep an out-of-the-ordinary gift like this a secret!
Unquestionably, utilitarian gifts are still significant. A new laptop, ipad or phone allows them to use their personal funds for educational costs, trade schools, or moving and boarding costs. Of course a lot of people will give your graduate the always practical gift of cash. Don’t forget to be there for them to help them plan how to use it wisely and to write out all those “Thank You” notes!
Quick Graduation Reminders
- Plan Ahead – It Will Save You $$$
- DIY Where You Can
- Let The Grads Help Plan AND Organize
- Get Invites Out Early
- Reserve Lodgings for Out of Town Family
- Or Point Them To Local Campgrounds and Airports
- Let Neighbors Know About Your Backyard Bash
- What Ever You Decide to Do – Keep it Simple
- Rent or Borrow Extra Chairs and Tables
- Let Them Create a Great Playlist
- Plan a Couple of Casual Activities
- Above All, Don’t Stress – It Will Still Be Fun Even If It’s Not Perfect!
- Don’t forget the ICE
So cheers, and hats off to all our grads! We hope you will remember the triumphs and challenges of the past and let them be the foundation for future learning and growth.
“Be the change you want to see in the world” ~ Arleen Lorrance
Davie County Resources
Food Truck Fun 🚚
Cakes & Catering
Decor and More
- Card My Yard – Outdoor Celebration Signs
- Sign Gypsies– Davie – Outdoor Signs
- D’s Cloud Bounce Party Rentals
- Nic-Nuc Creations- Event Rentals – Also Centerpieces & Balloon Bouquets
Favors & Graduation Gifts
- Ma & Me Accessories – Personalized Gifts, T-shirts and More
- MAshed Up All Things Nostalgic! – Decor, Gifts, Favors
- Mix Tape – Vintage and Retro Styles, Decor, Favors, Gifts
- The Station General Store – Gifts, Favors & Candy
- Memory Lane Boutique – Handcrafted Memory Bears & More
- Bizzy Beez – Gifts & Jewelry
- Lydia Jaynes – Gifts & Decor