Several months ago my friend, Amanda, asked me to help her plan a graduation party for her husband, Steve, who recently received his Master’s Degree in Acoustical Engineering.
I was really excited at the prospect of helping with this project because this was the first graduation party I’ve ever planned and this was also one of the few times I’ve planned a boy party. What does that mean, ‘boy party’? Well, most of the parties I’ve planned are for my girlfriends – a purple themed ice cream party, an Alice in Wonderland brunch, a Queen of Hearts party, a Hello Kitty party, etc… (and one day I may feel like posting those since they were pretty intense planning wise). But this time I wanted to avoid any and all “girliness.”
I came up with a color scheme of chocolate brown and cream. Amanda promptly mentioned that maybe we should include the color of Steve’s alma mater, so we added burnt orange to the mix. (whoops, my bad) My goal was to mix the look of a classy, sophisticated party (one you might imagine professors attending) with a fun college frat party feel (think Animal House).
It took me a while to figure out how to meld the two, but it started coming together with the design of the invitation. I used the wording to convey the lightheartedness of the party and the design to make it look sophisticated. I designed a phrenology brain that included things Steve liked and labeled it “Smartypants.” I used that along with a specific font throughout the paper items to help convey the theme.
Here are some images of the invitation. Amanda came up with the design for the liners and we spent an evening printing and putting everything together. (click the pics to see details):
I don’t want this post to get too long (too late), so I’ll just list out some of the things I made for the party:
- Dark brown cake stands
- Typewriter guest book (I bought a vintage typewriter and had everyone type out their congrats and wishes to Steve. Amanda and I found cheap, wooden letter trays and labeled them “In” and “Out” so that people would grab paper from the “In” box and when finished with their congrats, put the filled out paper into the “Out” box)
- Congratulations banners and mini banners. I found an old ruined dictionary and used pages from it to print out congratulation letters. I hand cut them into pennants that I then attached to hand cut burnt orange pennants. I made a mini one for the cake stands.
- Signs for the photobooth, drinks, food, bathrooms, etc…
- Mini pennant signs on bamboo sticks.
- Lantern and tissue paper poms for the entryway. (unfortunately we didn’t get photos).
- I found a really cool, old school looking bell at a thrift store that I made everyone use for beer pong. Every time someone scored, they had to ring the bell. I don’t know why, but it really amused me.
- Amanda and I put together a photo booth using my photo printer and a camera we borrowed from our friend, B. She made most of the props and I supplemented with things like a chalk board, apple, nerd glasses, a pocket protector, and our other friend, E, let us borrow her top hat, bowler hat, and monocle.
- I also insisted that we put cheese curls in the chex mix (because they are effin’ delicious and also orange) and it was apparently revolutionary. Of all the things I did, that was the one I got complimented on the most. Go figure.
Enough with the talk. Here are some photos from the party (if you like something, click it):