Though most traditional, in-person commencement ceremonies have been canceled this year due to COVID-19, you can still raise a glass for your favorite grad at home.
In conversation with Fox News, two trend and celebration experts from Etsy and Party City shared must-know advice on how to commemorate your special student and cheer on their next chapter, from planning do’s and don’ts to tips for celebrating from a safe social distance.
“While graduations look a little different this year, there are still creative ways to celebrate, both virtually and in-person – the key is to plan ahead,” Dayna Isom Johnson, Etsy Trend Expert, explained, recommending car parades and virtual gatherings as great ways to fête the graduate.
“Invite friends and family to applaud the new graduate with a drive-by party or car parade. One way to make this extra-special is to add festive decorations – like personalized signs or balloons – to your lawn,” Johnson shared.
For virtual get-togethers, she continued, go all-out to make the call memorable by sending guests a proper invite with the date, digital location, theme, and perhaps even a fun dress code.
According to Julie Roehm, Chief Marketing Officer and Chief Experience Officer of Party City, the secret to an awesome graduation celebration “is to have the pomp and circumstance delivered right to your doorstep!”
Whether you spice up the entrance to your home with tons of personalized decorations or classic balloons, Roehm said, a little bit of effort will go a long way to lift your grad’s spirits during this trying time.
When prepping for the big day, Johnson said it’s best to keep the party simple.
“Set the scene. Have fun with decorations – like eye-catching backdrops or banners, props or headbands, colorful confetti and more,” she advised. “Include interactive elements. If hosting a virtual celebration, plan an activity for all of the guests to do together, like DIY cocktails or easy painting projects. Just be sure to send all guests the kits and materials ahead of time.”
One grave mistake party planners shouldn’t make? Leaving it to the last minute.
“Plan as though you are hosting a traditional party and get everything in order ahead of time,” Johnson said. “Also, consider giving your guests enough time to set-up and have a festive celebration.”
If family and friends live far from the grad – or are perhaps spending time apart in the fight against COVID-19 – loved ones can still make the student feel special by surprising them with a video call, sending a thoughtful gift, or even ordering a giant bouquet of balloons to their doorstep on the day of the celebration, Roehm suggested.