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Celebrate Your Graduate... Later! Host a College Send-Off!

College send-off parties are a fun way to create lasting memories with friends and family before moving away and starting this new chapter. They're a great way to celebrate the end of summer, but they can also be a lot of work for those hosting them. The Balmoral House is happy to be able to offer these College send-off parties this year.

As our lives continue to be postponed, it does not mean we should not celebrate our milestones! Typically June can become full of Graduation Open Houses and commemorating the end of High School careers. With uncertainties this year, we want to offer an alternative – celebrate with a College Send-Off during the end of July or August!

While a College Send-Off Party is not a new idea, it is one that we expect will gain popularity this year! The Balmoral House staff is still working to ensure that all events scheduled after the stay at home restrictions are lifted are fully planned and prepared once we are allowed to reopen our doors.

How a College Send-Off Is Different from a Graduation Open House

Most Graduation Open Houses and occur as soon as classes are completed or graduation is help. However, a College Send-Off occurs at the end of Summer, before the graduate begins their next adventure. Timing is the only real difference. The details of the event are purely up to your preference.

How to Host A College Send-Off

You can send out invitations, either in the mail or via e-vite, to let people know about the party. Since the graduate is the main attraction, you don’t have to decorate as elaborately or plan a lot of entertainment.

Here are some things to consider during your planning:

· Beginning and ending times: Make sure that when you write out the invitation, you’re specific about when people may arrive and when the party is over. Even if you’re hosting a casual open house style party, you need to be precise, or you might have a difficult time getting folks to leave.

· Themes: You can have a school focused theme, or there are lots of fun & festive themes you can choose to help decide decorations and activities for your party!

· Decorations: A collegiate centerpiece and a festive tablecloth, along with some streamers or balloons are all you need for decorations.

· Refreshments: Serve mostly finger foods and a couple of beverage options. Setting up food stations with the guest of honor’s favorites can be fun. Or you can serve a meal for a more formal event. Whether or not you choose to offer alcohol is up to you, but it does need to be provided by The Balmoral House. Many people enjoy celebrating such joyous events with champagne toast or full bar if you event will have more adult guests than graduate friends.

· Games and entertainment: Most people attending will want to give well wishes to the graduate, so you don’t have to plan any special activities. The Balmoral House can provide some outdoor lawn games, and some guests enjoy having a DJ to provide music and serve as an emcee if you plan to have toasts or want to direct guests throughout the party.

Expectations for Guests

If you’ve been invited to a College Send-Off party, the hosts probably have very few expectations, other than the opportunity to share congratulations with their recent graduate.

This is a wonderful opportunity to bring a gift to send with the graduate. Since this is their first time living away from home, items for a dorm or first apartment are always helpful.

Here are some great gifts to bring to a College Send-Off:

· A personalized keepsake from High School memories.

· A sweatshirt or blanket to the college they are attending.

· A gift basket filled with handy toiletries, laundry detergent, and other household items that will come in handy

· A gift card to a favorite restaurant, because one cannot exist on ramen or dorm meal plans alone.

It’s Not When You Celebrate, It’s That You Celebrate

The College Send-Off Party may or may not have been your original plan, but now more than ever it is important to make plans and celebrate our life milestones. What better way to celebrate when this crisis is over than the start of a new life beginning! The Balmoral House looks forward to working with you to make a plan for the most joyous event for your friends and family.

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