Graduation is a huge event, and it comes with a litany of details! If you’re a graduate or a parent of a graduating senior, you know all about the things you have to do, but you may not know about all the little things that are easily overlooked. As a senior photographer, well, I’ve seen just about everything when it comes to graduation days. I’ve also watched my own children graduate, and as someone on the other side of it, you really begin to see and notice the details that are so important! Here are some of the main points you will want to think about as you get ready for that summer celebration:
Find your graduation day attire: Obviously, you’ll be sporting your cap and gown, but you’ll also need an outfit to go underneath. When it comes to taking photos, many graduates opt to wear their outfit with their gown unzipped, or remove it during their after-party or dinner. Be sure to try on the entire thing, complete with undergarments and shoes, to make sure it all fits properly. Also, try your cap and gown on, steam it nicely, and have it tailored in the arm length or body length if needed. Once all of this is done, hang it together in a safe place so that you don’t risk losing a shoe or tassel when the day arrives!
Book your vendors for your party: If you’re having a graduation party, your vendors will fill up faster than you could believe (vendors are things like caterers, photographers, invitation printers, florists, etc.) Depending on the size and involvement of the party you are having, you will also need to book your event space ( like a party room or venue), and sometimes, you need to book that as far as 3-6 months in advance. Be sure to check into all of the covid related policies, and whether you’d get a refund if things change before the date of the special day. Most vendors have covid-related refund policies in place that may not be listed on the website, so asking is crucial, and get it in writing before you put down a deposit.
Get your tickets: We mean your plane or travel tickets, but also your graduation tickets! Book travel for those who need it, check with loved ones who are attending, and verify how many people are allowed to attend your ceremony. Again, check the cancellation and refund policies for all travel and attendance tickets. Some graduations require physical tickets, others don’t, so you’ll need to call your school office or refer to your graduation paperwork to find out. If you are only allowed to invite a certain number, tell your loved ones and be upfront about it, so there are no hurt feelings or assumptions made!
Meet with your school counselor: Okay, this seems obvious, but I have heard SO many stories of students who didn’t realize they were missing a few credits to graduate, and had to scramble during their last term to make them up. It NEVER hurts to sit down with your school counselor or advisor and double check that you have met your graduation requirements and are eligible for your diploma. Do this before your last term or semester start, if possible, so you can have time to catch up if anything is missing. Discuss how to get copies of your transcript, because you may need them for scholarship applications and college packets.
Preparing for your graduation day will ensure that you have the day that you’ve dreamed of for so long, without the clouded aspects of things left undone. Don’t let anything ruin what you’ve worked so hard for!