Who Should Be Invited to My Teen's Graduation Party?

Graduation Party Planner: Managing the Invitation List

Family Cheering New Graduate
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It is time to plan the party for your graduating high school senior and there are many decisions to be made. The invitations should be one of the first items in your graduation party planning. The big question is: Who should get an invite?

Who Should You Invite to a Graduation Party?

The graduation party invitation list will play a role in the rest of your planning. It can be used to set the size of the party you are hosting.

It can determine the venue as well as the amount of food and drink you will need.

There are a number of people that should obviously be on your graduation invite list. Grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and other close family members along with your child's closest friends should certainly get an invitation. Where do you go from there?

What Kind of Graduation Party Do You Want?

The size of the graduation party is going to be different for every family. 

  • Some families like to be very casual and keep the invite list relatively small and manageable. They prefer to invite only the closest friends and family to the house for cake and sandwiches.
  • Many families want to have an open party where many people are invited to stop by for a few minutes throughout the party. As guests cycle in and out, the party remains manageable.
  • Other families like to go all out and invite everyone they know for an elaborate party that is filled with music, dancing, and formal meals.

    The majority of high school graduation parties will fall into one of the first two categories. The families simply want a casual celebration of their graduate's achievement. They also understand that guests may have multiple parties they are attending on the same weekend or day.

    Four Factors in Creating a Graduation Invitation List

    Creating the invitation list will depend on four main factors.

    Who does your teen want to invite?

    It is their shining moment and they need to have a say in who will celebrate it with them. Sure, the final say is yours, but the graduate should have some input.

    Ask your teen to sit down and make two lists. One list will include those friends that they absolutely want to invite to the party. The other should include friends that they would like to invite, but wouldn't mind if that wasn't possible.

    How many teens can you handle at a party?

    If your teen suggests that the whole school stops by, can you supervise that many teenagers? You may not know all of them and some could have been drinking, etc. You do not want to invite so many that it will ruin this moment for your teenager.

    This is where those two separate lists come in handy. When finalizing your list, think about how many teenagers you can actually handle and talk with your teen about narrowing down their personal invite list.

    Remind them that you are paying for the party and that you have to keep a budget in mind as well.

    Compromises can be made and, either way, they will enjoy their party in the end.

    Is the party venue big enough to hold everyone?

    This is a major factor in who you are inviting to the party. If the venue is too small, consider two smaller parties or prioritize your list.

    If the party is at your home, you may need to be more selective on who gets invited. On the other hand, if you are renting a venue or hosting it at a large location like your church, then you may be able to handle a larger invitation list.

    The people who are essential need an invite.

    Inviting extended family and family friends is important, even if they live far away. These are the people who will be there for your teen well into the future. They want to be a part of this big event, even if they can only send a card.

    This is also an important life lesson for your teen. Their high school friends may not be around forever, but their family and long-time friends will be.

    This is the foundation for their invitation lists for every significant life event they will have, from weddings to the birth of a baby. It is important to share these moments with the people who care the most and that your teen understands that.

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