Friday, June 22, 2012

{Entertaining} Vintage Picnic Graduation Party

The big fat graduation post is finally here!
 No more sneak peeks or project posts like this one and this one....
There's the cooler that started it all (see that tartan red Skotch Kooler in the background from this thrifting trip?  I also found her little sister (thermos) recently at another thrift store.
Here she is, the graduate!
There are lots and lots of photos of the day so I'll try and keep the words to a minimum.
I think they are pretty self explanatory.
Like this Lawn Twister game.
The color scheme was red and white with a few pops of aqua.

We also added some vintage touches.

We decorated the yard with red and white gingham pennants from Oriental Trading Company.
Even the deck got some.

We rented a tent for our side yard along with some tables, chairs and tablecloths.  I ordered 24 inch balloons and had them filled at Party City.  They made a big impact.


I decorated the tables with flowers, candles, mini buckets filled with candy (from the dollar bin at Target) and bubbles.
I loved how the flower arrangements came out.  Each 'vase' got a different treatment of burlap and ribbon.  We used daisies, Queen Ann's Lace, baby's breath and red roses.  We borrowed two additional tents and long tables and used these patchwork vinyl tablecloths that I found at Joanne's.
I made this banner out of her school portraits, converted to black and white and mounted on card stock.
The bar was set up in the garage. This surface worked out a perfectly for all of our beverages and kept them out of the sun.  We served wine, beer, Italian sodas, iced tea, lemonade, soda, water and the signature drink was Blackberry Mojito punch.
I don't have any photos of it from the party but it looked like this and
was served in this dispenser.

As the guests arrived we asked them to write the graduate a message on a Jenga block, like a guest book.  I also had her high school scrapbook on the table for everyone to look through.

Then we subjected them to a photo booth.  The set up was a shower curtain from Target hung on the garage door and a old school desk my friend snagged for me at the thrift store for $10.  

We used lines from the speech "Wear Sunscreen" by Mary Schmich as words of advice to the graduate.
 The only other prop was this OLD globe that I've had for years from a yard sale.
 Cute, right?
Group shots were more of challenge (this was the 'good' shot of the bunch.)
Onto the food!
For appetizers we served:
Caprese skewers, homemade pico de gallo & guacamole (Pioneer Woman's recipe), wasabi peas, cherries in my nowfamous thrifted colander, hummus & pita chips, veggies & dip, spinach dip and two huge tomato pies.
We also used these cardboard fast food style trays for all of the food.  They added a fun touch!
Guests arriving...and socializing...
We also served dinner :
Assorted sandwiches, vegetarian wraps, Spicy Thai Noodles, Black Bean, Corn & Avocado salad with cilantro lime dressing (pinned here), Chick Fil-A nuggets, deviled eggs and watermelon on a stick.

Things got a little a lot hectic at this point and I could only snap a few quick photos of the food.

Later we set out a sweets table.
We used the same backdrop from the photo booth.
Confession: I didn't make ANY of it. 
My daughters made all of the treats from cupcakes to cookies, to cake pops and  s'mores on a stick.  I bought everything else.
We had beautiful weather and the volleyball net got some use.
The lights and tiki torches were lit.
The fire pits kept us toasty as the sun went down.
We gave out mini pies as favors. 
I did make these and thought they looked pretty cute.
Maybe this should have been a two-part post but we are finally at the END! Phew, I'm tired!!
P.S. I made all of the labels and signs on
More deets to follow...check them out here and here.

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Pam - @diy Design Fanatic said...

What a great party! I loved everything! The sweet floral arrangements were perfect and the photo booth looked like fun! It's awesome that your daughter made all the desserts! Graduation is a bittersweet time...

SuZeFashion said...

What a fun celebration! I love how you kept the theme going throughout. The vintage pieces were perfect, giving it a nostalgic touch. The food and drinks looked delicious. It was evident that the guests had fun in the photo booth. Thanks for sharing with a detailed account.

Katie said...

This all looks amazing! The table with the type writer and all of the coolers is so cool. I love how you did the photo booth with the desk and the signs!

S'mores on a stick?! Those sound delicious!

That is so sweet that you had her high school scrapbook out for everyone to look through. And the guest book Jenga is so cool! I love that idea!

Jim said...

Congratulations to the Graduate!
You did good at the 'Entertaining,' Heather. It looks like everyone was enjoying the celebration.

The FOOD was overflowing. At first I thought it would be all fruit but then the sandwiches and desert came out. That all looked good too.

anitamombanita said...

Seriously?! Next time I have a party can I invite you do throw it all together for me?!!! That was amazing.

Congrats to the grad and all of you who helped her get where she is now!!

Little Miss Alizzi said...

Wow such a great idea for a graduation party! I especially love the photo banner..GENIUS!
I'm a new follower of yours..such a great blog =D

Judie said...

Your photos are just FABULOUS, but the real winner is "lawn twister." What a clever idea!!! Congrats to the grad!!!

Simply Simplisticated said...

What awesome creativity! I want to come to your paties! lol You nailed everything so beautifully!Love the vintage feel such a relaxing atmosphere!Great lawn games:)You did a wonderful job:) Deidre~

Cathy said...

Every picture is a work of art. The decorations are to die for and that buffet looks so inviting!

Bliss said...

There was nothing out there when I googled Graduation Parties, or nothing that I liked. I LOVE everything you did. The photo both, most excellent. What a great keepsake. The whole thing turned out so nice, I'm glad I followed along with you waiting for it to arrive. The end result of all your work was so worth it.


Kristen Whitby said...

This party is absolutely incredible! I love EVERY deatail!!


Oh my goodness, what a fabulous party!! You are one creative mama!! I think you created an incredible and memorable graduation party for your lovely daughter! I love the food, the baner with the girls pictures. all the decoration and the icing..a garden party al-fresco! Everyone seems like thair having a ball. Thank you for coming over to visit me.

Mama Hen said...

These pictures are magnificent! It looks like a beautiful party! I love the pies to go! That is such a cute idea! It looks like a really great time! Have a good night!

Mama Hen

Mama Hen said...

Congratulations to the graduate! :) What an amazing time in life!

Mama Hen

Emily Meyers said...

Hey there! I found you via the hop and I’m your newest adoring follower! Maybe you could follow back? Also I’d just love for you to come check out a giveaway I’m having that ends tomorrow!! Hope to see you there!

Thanks so much!
Xo, Emily

Unknown said...

Wow! And my neighbor calls me Martha. What a fun and super creative event. I love it all and have pinned the photo banner to my photography display board, a few other pics to my entertaining board, etc. Thanks for sharing and I'll reference this post for my next party. di @ (my follow pinterest button is on my blog)

Allyson Bossie said...

wow how creative! I love everything you did! Such a talent you have

I am following you back via GFC as MyW1ldcrazylife. Thanks for following me today

Unknown said...

Wow what great pictures, that looks awesome!

chateau chic said...

Congratulations to your graduate! Another great milestone. What a fun, fun party you planned for your daughter. The food looks awesome!
Mary Alice

dee dee said...

All your hard work really paid off! Looks like fun was had by all! /such yummy food and love the photo booth!
dee dee

Ann @ Corner of Plaid and Paisley said...

very cute! Love the vintage bike and typewriter! Lots of attention to details. Looks like fun!

Ann @ Corner of Plaid and Paisley said...

Very cute!! Love the vintage bike and typewriter. Great attention to details. Thanks for sharing all your great pictures.

The Poet said...

WoW1 What a great party! So creative and the food looked delicious. My favorite photo was the vintage typewriter. Very nicely done! Thanks for sharing.

Emotions Of Poetry

Laurel@ChippingwithCharm said... many fun details!! Lots of inspiration here :) Laurel

Susanne said...

That looks like quite the festive party - wonderfully decorated and the food looks yummy! Congrats to the grad!

Magical Mystical Teacher said...

I can tell you all had a fabulous celebration!

Locked Red Door

Christie said...

I would like to be in your family! I LOVE this party! I have 10, 9 and 6 year olds, but these are some wonderful ideas for any party! Coming over from WOW us Wed and new follower! Christie at Three Pixie Lane

Christie said...

I take that back! I am already a follower! Pinned this, too! Christie

★Carol★ said...

Now here's a party that I wish I had been invited to! I remember that colander you found, and you put it to good use, holding those cherries. This was no ordinary party, but one filled with charm!
Happy REDnesday,

Unknown said...

Wow! What a lucky person to have a party like that!

Creations By Cindy said...

What a lovely party! Love it all! You outdone yourself girl! Feel like I was there! Hugs and blessings, Cindy

Marty@A Stroll Thru Life said...

Congrats to the graduate and what a fabulous party. Your decor is just way too cute. I love the vintage items. The lawn games are such fun. Thanks tons for joining TTT. Hugs, marty

Diann said...

You TOTALLY rocked this party! What a fabulous setting. You really did so many cute things here that I can't even name them all! I want to be invited to your next party! LOL Thanks for sharing at TTF and have a fantastic day!

Handy Man, Crafty Woman said...

Wow, everything looks great! I love all of this. So pretty! esp the desserts.

annies home said...

love it so stylish and pretty with a vintage feel of celebration and pride looks like a great get together

come see us at

Liz @ Quirky Vistas said...

Well, if that wasn't one heck of a party, I don't know what would be. I just loved it all. You are quite the hostess and a wonderful mom to do all that for your daughter. I'm sure the memories will stick with her for a very long time!

The Charm of Home said...

How cute!!! Love it! Especially the photo banner! I am going to cry thinking about mine growing up that quick! Thank you for joining me at Home Sweet Home!

Epic said...

Wow!!! What a wonderful graduation party! You went all out and I'm sure your 'baby' must be as proud of you as you are of her! I'm popping by to visit from Katherine's linky!

Katherines Corner said...

what a wonderful celebration.Congrats to your sweet graduate too. I love the school portrait photo banner! Everything looks so wonderful, great attention to detail. Thank you for sharing at the Thursday Favorite Things hop today xo

Jenny said...




What an incredible party. I am infatuated with all the ideas...the Jenga came is super cool and the tartan banners and, and, and...


You are an excellent, excellent party planner!

Thanks for sharing this.

You've given me a lot of fuel for future parties.


PS. Your little pie favors look delectable!

Unknown said...

Awww... I really love the down to earth feel of this party and all of the lovingly placed touches. Congrats to your graduate.

Following ya now from the Favorite Things Hop. We're riding the wave of life at one little adventure at a time and I'd love it if you'd join us for the sweet ride. And this Saturday we'll be peeking in to another sweet blogger's beach bag and launching our SUMMER Beach BAG Give away... I hope you'll join us.


Terrie Mathison said...

Visiting from A to Z party.

WOW WHAT A PARTY!!! Unbelievable details and it all looked fantastic! Loved the theme, just everything!

Congrats to the Grad too!

Natasha in Oz said...

You sure do know how to throw an amazing party! Thanks for sharing these wonderful ideas and memories with us. Congratulations again to your beautiful graduate!

Thanks so much also for sharing this post at my Say G'day Saturday linky party!

This week's linky is now live and I am very excited to invite you to a Social media linky party that I will be hosting on July 14. The details are all at the blog if you would like to join in.

Best wishes for a wonderful weekend,
Natasha in Oz

Debbie@Mountain Breaths said...

Congratulations to the graduate! What a way to celebrate! Love all the details.

Jim said...

Great post.
Sydney - City and Suburbs

Kim, USA said...

Wow awesome party you have. Love it!


Life in Rehab said...

I can't imagine it being chilly in June! And there's the recipe I needed! Heather, truly, you are a hostess we should all emulate- this soiree is perfection.

Congratulations to your lovely oldest!

Coloring Outside the Lines said...

Looks like an amazing party for the graduate- Congratulations to her!

Auro @ Add that Xtra in the Ordinary said...

What an amazing party,with so much of fun and inspiring detailing just loved them all....loved that typewriter and those scrabble letters strewn carelessly.I am your newest follower,would love it if you would drop at mine.


Unknown said...

Wow, what a fabulous graduation party! That typewriter guestlist are truly one-of-a-kind. I love it.

Cheers xxx
Graduation Invitations

Unknown said...

really nice blog post! Picnic is really a very good idea for organizing the graduation party! Thanks for these wonderful pictures too!
party favors for graduation

Jessica @ Barefoot by the Sea said...

I LOVE this theme and all the sweet details! Your parties are the best and those favors? Beyond cute!

Carla from The River said...

I pinned ideas. :-) I like the banner you did of her school photos. Well done!
I also love the pies. Sweet treat.
The entire party is AMAZING!!! I need to live closer to you for sure. :-)

Unknown said...

This picnic graduation party really looks best. It’s a great theme idea and want to have similar ideas for my younger sister’s graduation party at one of event space. It will be really best to have picnic themed party. She will definitely like it.

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