Going away to college for the first time is an exciting experience for all students. A great way to celebrate this transition is with a fabulous farewell party. If you’d like to learn more on how to send the college-bound guest of honour off in style, check out the 6 tips below!
1. First Step…The Guest List
One of the most important steps is solidifying who’s invited. It also helps to determine early on whether this is going to be an intimate gathering or an extravagant shindig. Start out by listing friends, family members, and colleagues who just have to be there. The sooner the guest list is finalized, the sooner you can determine other party features like where to host the party and how much food is needed. Keep in mind that this could be the last time that the student will see their loved ones for a while so make the guest list count!
2. Send Me Your Location
The next important step is deciding where to host the party. Since you’ve already gotten your guest list in order, you’ll be able to select an appropriate venue that can accommodate all of your guests. Any venue can be transformed into a party space, but avoid trying to schedule the event at the guest of honour’s home since they might still be in the midst of packing.
Weather permitting, an outdoor party at a local park or beach could be a fantastic, low-cost option for an off-to-school gathering (especially if they have picnic tables, seating, and restrooms available). At Bahamia Rental, we offer a range of tenting options for all of your outdoor event needs, so check out our catalogue if you’re interested in taking the party outside.
You could also contact the student’s favourite restaurant, lounge, or entertainment complex to see if they have any party rooms available. It isn’t uncommon for these kinds of event spaces to let you decorate the space as you please. The team at Bahamia Rental can help you get those details in order with our unique selection of decor.
3. What’s the Theme?
It’s easy to get confused or overwhelmed when it’s time to start planning the actual party details. And we get it—there are unlimited possibilities! Having a solid party theme can help keep you focussed and all of the details cohesive. The following college-based themes are sure to inspire.
A state, city, or country theme is perfect for someone who is moving to a different place for school. Places with strong identities like Texas, New York City, and England make planning the food, music, and decor a breeze. If the student will be studying somewhere with less of a well-known culture or history, don’t eliminate it as an option just yet. Do a bit of research first—you might find out some interesting and inspirational facts!
Is the student an athlete or are they going to a school or city with an excellent sports team? Maybe an athletic theme is the way to go. Win over guests with sporty decor and bites (soccer ball cookies, anyone?). Don’t forget to plan some sports-inspired games and activities to tie the theme into the festivities.
If the student is going off to study in an exciting field, consider making their course of study the party theme. It’s possible to find inspiration in any field of study or major. Get some insight from the student on what it is that they will be learning about. Do your own research as well if you find yourself getting stuck. If they haven’t chosen a major as yet, you could make the party theme about their favourite things or what they want to be when they “grow up”.
4. Food, Glorious Food!
If you’re planning a more formal affair, a sit-down dinner could be an appropriate fit. Food stations are a great way to feed guests at a more casual event. Stations also allow guests to try a lot of different food options. This event could be the perfect opportunity to explore your typical college foods and elevate them—think gourmet cheeseburgers or a fancy salad bar. And remember, it’s always better to have more food than anticipated—you want to make sure everyone is happy and fed.
If your guest list is made up of only adults who drink, you could probably get away with serving cocktails exclusively. However, if you’ve got guests who don’t drink or the person going off to college isn’t legal as yet, mocktails are a yummy alternative. Have some fun with the drink menu because this is another great way to highlight the party’s theme.
5. No Junk in this Trunk
If you’re looking to host a party where gifts are strongly encouraged, a trunk party is a great option for you. A trunk party is a modern spin on the way students used to travel to college. Back in the day, college-bound students would use trunks to transport their belongings. At a trunk party, invited guests are encouraged to bring useful gifts like college supplies which are placed in a designated trunk. The gifts don’t have to be physical either. If the student has a gift registry set up, guests can buy their gifts from that list.
6. Keep ‘Em Entertained
Schedule personalised and theme-related activities for your guests to participate in to keep the energy of the event elevated. This gathering is also the perfect time to capture some long-lasting memories. Perhaps you could set up a photo booth with loads of props for the guests to have fun with. Selfie stations have gone glam and are a cool party feature that will have your guests Instagram-ready.
Try not to stress if things don’t run as smoothly as hoped. It’s important to focus on the guest of honour’s appreciation for all of the thought and effort put into celebrating their previous accolades and their new journey. And if you’re the one heading off to college for the first time, there’s no rule saying that you can’t throw your own send off party! If you’re ready to start planning a heartfelt, personalised “goodbye”, contact the capable team at Bahamia Rental today!
Are you or someone you know going off to college for the first time this Fall? How do you plan on celebrating this?