You have waited 13 long years for this day – your child is graduating! And let’s face it, your kid is more concerned with going to all of his friends’ graduation parties than he or she is with helping you plan their own. So here is an easy, quick guide to throwing the graduation party of the decade — the one fiesta your family (and your son or daughter’s friends) will be talking about for months!
The hardest part about any party is planning a theme — every party needs one, and not just for the ladies of the Real Housewives of New Jersey! What better theme for a graduation party than a luau? Graduation is stressful enough for the student, and even more so for the parent. There are so many emotions flying around – excitement, sadness, fear of the future, longing for the past — why add more stress when you can have a fun fiesta?
The one thing every good luau needs is a pig-roast. Yes, it may seem a bit off to have a pig laid out in your yard, but trust me, everybody (well, except for the vegetarians out there) enjoys a good pig roast. You can order one from a butcher but I think you are much better off posting an ad on one of the social media sites. Personally, my family has had several luaus, and each time we called a family friend who worked in the restaurant business and they referred us to an amazing place that prepares the pig, and all you do is have it delivered to your house the morning of your party. No stress, no mess!
The other crucial element of a good luau is tropical drinks. You can go with the real thing and make cocktails for the adults, or you can stick to a fun and flirty buffet of virgin tropical cocktails. This way, you don’t have to worry about all the recent graduates trying to sneak a drink or two, but you also can save a ton of money. You’ll have more fun spending your party budget on fun decorations and good food than alcohol.
If you are going to have a tropical paradise complete with a pig-roast and fruity cocktails, you must have yummy snacks. Keep it simple! I recommend three dips (you can either make them yourself or, save yourself the time and trouble and buy them from the deli counter at your local supermarket.) You can never go wrong with a hearty spinach dip, accompanied by a fresh rye or pumpernickel loaf. I also suggest a simple onion dip for chips and pretzels — it is easy to make, cheap, and everybody likes it. Top it off with a nacho dip and you should be good to go.
And, finally, what’s a good party without decorations? I say, for the sake of your son or daughter who is already feeling the pressure, keep the graduation balloons and banners to a minimum. As much as your child wants the party to be about them, they also want to have fun and not be reminded at every turn that their life as they know it is about to change forever. Splurge on some leis, bright colored balloons, and Hawaiian themed decorations. You can find them at your local party planning store and hang them up in less than a half hour.
The important thing is — relax, have fun, and prepare ahead of time so you can sit back and enjoy. You have worked just as hard as the graduate to get to this day. If you plan and prepare, it will be a breeze! Good food, fun drinks, and a great theme are the keys to an awesome graduation party that the neighbors will be talking about all summer!