Every party planner wants to make sure they put on a fun party that everyone will remember in the future. Whether it’s a graduation party, wedding, company picnic, or outside event, here are some ways that you can make your backyard event more unique and remembered for years to come.
Graduation parties are a way for friends and family to remember all of a person’s achievements up until their graduation and to send them off into the real world. Photos taken over the years are often included at graduation parties but one way to make it more unique is to have a way for others to learn more about the person. One suggestion is to make the photos into some kind of a game. Over select photos, place a question on a piece of paper such as “what sport did so-and-so play in the 2nd grade?” Under the question have a picture of the person playing the sport in a team photo.
One way for your graduate to look back on their graduation party is to have all the attendees sign something whether it’s a book or a stuffed animal complete with a graduation cap, tassel, and diploma. A more personal idea is to purchase a blank puzzle (or a puzzle with a quote or image if you wish) and have attendees sign a piece, write their own quote, or give advice. It’s a fun way for your graduate to remember their classmates for future years to come.
Of course you want to include the school colors into the scheme of things, but make sure it’s personalized someway as well. For my graduation cake, I asked for pink, yellow, and teal frosting with multi-colored sprinkles to match my dress colors; anything to be able to steer away a little from my high school’s black and red (not to mention black frosting on teeth is not very appealing). Not everything has to be school colors and be sure to ask what your graduate prefers. If they have decided to go onto college, you could incorporate those school colors into your color scheme as well.
At a wedding reception, a personal theme with the couple favorite things such as candy, cartoon characters growing up, books, or movies is a wonderful touch. But don’t get too chaotic-select a theme that fits but just use inspirational parts from it so it doesn’t look like a movie set. So if someone likes the movie Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory for example, you can have Wonka themed candy bowls and sweets that have labels such as the Fizzy Lifting Soda, Wonka Bars, and Everlasting Gobstoppers.
To match the era of the 1960s and 1970s of the film, you could include slight touches from that era into decorating your reception. Think of colors from the movie such as Wonka’s velvet purple jacket or how lush the green grass appeared when they first entered the factory and everything in site was completely edible. Decorate your backyard reception with a string of lights in bright colors to match the candy and the era. Play classic backyard games such as ring toss, horseshoes, or bocce ball.
A common theme for backyard events is to have directional printed yard signs to guide attendees if you divide your reception into different areas such as cocktail hour, dancing, dinner, and games. Like the glass elevator that could travel in every single direction you can imagine, you could have a printed life-size elevator with directional “buttons” to tell your guests where to go.
Depending on how big your company is, you may or may not be able to afford a lot for your company picnic. Let’s just assume you want a DIY picnic without a lot of extra, extravagant things such as hiring a professional magician or adding in a ropes course.
Play games to get to know each other in the company; you may have new employees or some may work in different departments and thus never get a chance to meet each other. It might bring you back to the days of orientation and ice breakers but games like 2 Truths & A Lie or I Have Never is a good way for employees to get creative and learn about each other.
If employees have children, be sure to have games for them as well such as a water balloon toss or a scavenger hunt. If there are sidewalks nearby where you are holding your picnic (such as a local park), bring chalk for kids to draw with. Otherwise classic games such as freeze tag and red rover that don’t require anything extra will be sure to keep them entertained as well.
Get more creative with the picnic food than just a traditional barbeque paired with potato salad and a mixed fruit bowl. Have fruit dip with cinnamon or yogurt to pair up with sliced fruits; make mini apple pies a la mode by baking the pies in cupcake tins; and make a Mexican salad with layers of lettuce, tomato, cheese, guacamole, and sour cream.
These are just a couple of ideas to enhance your backyard party. Party planning should be fun and a time to get creative. Try not to get too stressed about it (though it can be hard not to) and brainstorm your ideas.