Category: News


Graduation is not the end, rather it is the beginning – Orrin Hatch

And here we are at the beginning of yet another graduation season. Any parent who has a high school or college graduate in 2015 has already had thoughts of graduation run through his or her mind. To throw a party or not to throw a party? That is the question.

To throw a party, one must decide how much he or she is willing to spend or how much a graduation party should cost. The food will more than likely eat up (no pun intended) over 50 percent of the budget. And then beverages–whether you do alcohol for adults or just soft drinks, they add to the cost. Invitations can be a minimal expense, or they can be as elaborate as you would like them to be. My son’s high school grad party card was simple. He really wanted nothing more.

We took one of his graduation pictures and had a 5×7 color card/invite made at Costco. I think 100 cards cost me approximately $30. My daughter’s card was a little more involved and cost much more. We had a tri-folded card with a baby picture on the front and when you opened it up, her graduation picture was in the center. The two flaps had the party info printed on them. These days, the main expense for invites is the postage involved in mailing them out. Decorations for the party are essentials that help make the occasion a success. Balloons and confetti can be simple and festive. Or you can create a themed party that can cost so much more when you tie in all the aspects of your theme to food, beverages, invites, favors, etc.

My advice: Keep it simple and dare to be different, but never lose sight of who the party is for. Most boys, like my son, couldn’t care less about all the frills or themes of the event. In fact, my son was not all that happy to be the center of attention. He is graduating with his Masters in just a few short weeks, and although his mother would love nothing more than to throw another party, he is just lukewarm about the idea. It’s more about his accomplishment for me and not so much about the gifts or anything else. Girls tend to be a little more invested in the party themes and festivities. My daughter was all about it and wanted to be involved in many aspects of the planning.

Whatever your family decides, the best advice I can share is always have conversation about a Weather Plan B if your event is planned for the outdoors. The more prepared you are for inclement weather, the less stressed you will be when you have to flip the switch from Plan A to Plan B. Planning to keep the food in your home or garage as opposed to outside under a tent will take some stress off. If your party is planned for indoors, having throw rugs near all the entrances will help keep your carpet and floors from becoming trashed or slippery.

Attached is a Graduation Checklist I have put together for your review. Whether you keep it simple or add some of the ideas from this list to make it more elaborate, enjoy your day and plan to have someone help you with food and beverage refills. This way, you can enjoy your company.

High School Graduation Checklist

As the season approaches, here are some things to think about and a timeline for your reference.

Invitations/thank-you cards/return address labels/stamps/save-the-date cards

Graduation gift box

Tents/tables/chairs/linen rentals

Plates, napkins, silverware, cups

Sign in board or book


Yard signs/banners/balloons

Décor signs for buffet tables

Graduation scrapbooks/photo posters/photo boards/slideshow

Easels for senior pictures

Gifts & cards for graduate and friends

6 Months Before Graduation Party – January

      Select a place and book it (home, restaurant or facility)

If home, check for repairs, upgrade paint, etc.

Select date, time and duration of party

Begin an invite list

Look for pictures for picture boards

Start assembling scrapbooks and collecting memorabilia

Set a budget

Decide if you want music/band

Reserve tents, tables, chairs and linen if home party

Decide what kind of food you would like to serve

Contact Nino Salvaggio’s Party Planner

Nino's PartySubsA

8 – 10 Weeks Before – March/April

      Order invitations – include RSVP date/order thank-you cards

Purchase decorations & other supplies

Purchase plates, napkins, silverware & cups (double fork count for dessert)

Order specialty napkins, etc.

Finish guest list and addresses

Buy stamps for invitations and thank-you cards

Make a list of guests from out of town/reserve hotel accommodations

Purchase graduation cards for graduate and friends

Finish scrapbooks & photo boards

Call Nino Salvaggio’s to place your beverage order

3-4 Weeks Before – May

      Mail invitations

If house party, get lawn and yard ready

Prepare house

Plan for party outfits

Buy batteries for camera

Call Nino Salvaggio’s to order your cake & pastries

Nino's PartyPlusPlatter

Week of Party – June

      Gather coolers, crock pots, etc.

Confirm rental equipment and deliveries

Shop for last-minute supplies

Call Nino Salvaggio’s to order flowers and balloons

Day Before Graduation Party

      Set up tables & decorate

Set out scrapbooks and photo boards (if they are going indoors)

Gather coolers and label with products to go inside them

Get trash cans and recyclable containers ready with signs

Nino's CookieBrowniePlatte

Day of Graduation Party

      Pick up cake

Pick up flowers and balloons

Pick up ice for coolers

Put up signs, banners, photo boards

Take pets to a neighbor’s house

Open the door for Nino Salvaggio’s delivery to bring in food

Members Only

The best rewards program in the metro! Join the club and save money EVERY time you shop.

Join Now