November 12, 2008,
E.M. asks from Sherman Oaks, CA on November 01, 2008
Help! I Need Graduation Ideas for Husband Receiving His Doctoral Degree
So my husband's been in school the entire 8+ years of our marriage and he's finally graduating in December with his Doctor of Chiropractic degree!!! He's the first on both sides of our family to attend any post graduate college. I've never been to a celebration for a post graduate degree as they finally enter the work place after so many years of school. So I have no idea what I'm getting into here.
What I do know is that around the time he graduated from high school, his oldest sister was getting married so that took over all family attention and he didn't feel like anyone really acknowledged his accomplishment (he's #5 of 7 kids from broken home, dad left when he was 8 but has been present here and there as important things happened). He says he doesn't want to be the "center" of attention but I can't see that happening as he and I both have family flocking to town for the occasion. (when he received his BS degree we had a small informal summer pool party at his dad's house.)
So far I have secured a friend's house as a celebration location. It's a Sat morning ceremony so I figure we'll have a late afternoon/evening party providing dinner to all out of town guests and invite some of our local friends to come join in too. So we could have 40-60 people there.
Food's not the issue, but what do we do? Someone suggested making a slide show of his childhood pictures, I'd kind of like to gather memories from many of his long time friends and put together a little memory book compiling them. But anyway, what is appropriate to do at a gathering like this??? There will be kids present, but mostly adults, half from out of town and half local that would mostly know each other.
C.A. answers from Los Angeles on November 03, 2008
Get him his very own white "doctor coat" and have it embroidered with his name "Dr John Doe, DC". Then wrap it up very pretty and give it to him at the party or when you are alone.
N.S. answers from Los Angeles on November 02, 2008
The key thing is to acknowledge the fact that he has achieved such a huge goal. (Sounds like you've contributed a lot to his success, too, so congratulations to both of you!) A dinner party is a nice idea; a lunch party would be, too, if that's easier for you. Dinner for 40-60 is expensive, so I'm wondering if you want to make this a pot luck-- at least asking several close friends and nearby family to pitch in by bringing desserts or appetizers. Re what you should do to make it special, the very fact that you're all gathered together to celebrate his achievement makes it special. But beyond that, a slide show would be lovely as would a few speeches that would allow people a time to applaud and acknowledge him. How about making a short speech yourself, and also asking his best friend and a sibling or parent to do so, kind of like at a wedding? The rest of the time, just let people hang out and enjoy being with each other, and don't worry about the planning as long as there's plenty of food to eat. In case you're tempted to make this some sort of blowout extravaganza, remember that one key to having a good time is your being sane, cheerful and organized--and you don't want to drive yourself nuts over the details here while you're working an outside job and taking care of the kids in addition to planning the party. Because if you're not having fun, well, you know what they say, "if mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy."
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J.T. answers from Los Angeles on November 02, 2008
Congratulations!! I can't help with the party ideas but I can help with the memory book part! I am a personal publishing consultant and Storybooking is what I do! I can help you put together a wonderful, professional storybook for your husband. If you go to www.storybookingmadeeasy.com you will see all the products we have available. And the quality is top notch--we will even be in Oprah's magazine as one of her favorite things. As a fellow Mamasource mom you can receive a 10% discount on your first purchase! Good luck to you in whatever you decide to do!!
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M.G. answers from Los Angeles on November 03, 2008
Congrats to both you and your husband for accomplishing your dreams!!
Video would be great!
Have a gathering of his closest friends... don't forget his family (special guest who flew in too)
Maybe a person who he has not seen... keep it a surprise.
I would have the gathering last for at least 3-4 hours.
This can be a mingle party... liquor or no liquor...
you can also choose to have 1 special liquor drink in the first hour then just serve sodas and beer...it's less expensive than alcohol.
later, why not have a poker table or bring suits for the jaccuzi?
Renting casino tables would be a nice something "to do" use play money with some
small prizes to claim at the end. The party rental company will give you ideas on that.
Where do you live? we are party planners and can help! ###-###-#### I am happy to give you ideas.
Best of luck,
J.S. answers from Los Angeles on November 02, 2008
Congrats to both of you! :) Well, I think something key is to make sure that you and maybe a few of your close family member s serve as host/hostesses together. Since there will be people from out of town who don't know those who know each other who are local, it's really important to have people mingling and introducing others, do you know what I mean? You want to be realxed and enjoying the party with your husband, so that's why I say enlist someone else, maybe a few people, you know, who are outgoing and good conversationalists amd get them to interact with the guests and introduce people to make them feel more comfortable. Really if these are all adults, they should be fine introducing themselves and making conversation with anybody, but sometimes that's hard. The slide show sounds nice, but I wonder if you could discuss it first with your husband. If he doesn't want to be the center of attention, a slide show doesn't take that wish into account at all. Of course, the party is for him and his achievement and thus he WILL be the center of attention, but I think you may want to rethink the slide show, unless he agrees to it. I like the idea, but I'm thinking about what your husband said, you know? You could have people write in a guest book-type thing and there they could leave well wishes and congratulations, or maybe you could have nice little pieces of paper on which people could do this and then you could compile them and use them in your memory/scrapbook. I agree that you could ask someone in the family to give a little speech and it's very nice for you to give a speech, acknowledging his advanced degree and thanking all of the guests for coming. Really, I think you don't have to have a big production, you'll have food (that's key, it keeps people busy) and you've got to have some music and then just let people do whatever they want: dance, mingle, relax. It's a celebration and it should be a time for you and your husband to enjoy being around your friends and family to celebrate HIM! No one is coming for the entertainment, they are coming to share in the pride and joy you feel! Try to keep that in mind. Everyone there loves you guys and wants the party to be fun, so it will be! I know it's tempting to plan things to do and all of that, and that can be very nice, too, but I hope you don't get stuck in the "what to do" and then can't enjoy the party as much. Good luck; I know it will be a wonderful time!
L.E. answers from Los Angeles on November 02, 2008
All of the ideas you mentioned sound fine. For my relatives and friends who have received doctorates, parties at homes and restaurants have been thrown.
Congratulations to your husband, you and your children for making it!
S.M. answers from Los Angeles on November 02, 2008
Does your husband know that there is out of town family coming to his graduation? If he does, then you should definitely confirm the idea of a slide show only make the show more of a family slideshow. For my dad's 75th birthday (didn't want to be center of attention either) we did a slideshow, but was more family inclusive than exclusive photos of him. Everyone enjoyed it and dad loved seeing family photos he hadn't seen in 30+ years. If you haven't discussed any of your planning ideas with your husband, than you are running the risk of not complying with his request to not be the center of attention. I agree that this is a very big accomplishment, especially while raising a family, but you need to do one of two things; Talk to your husband and help him work out his feelings about not wanting to be center of attention for such a momentous event or keep it a simple dinner and let the purpose of the celebration be known by the decor and no activities that will make your husband uneasy. Personally, I would talk to my husband, actually I did he didn't used to like birthday parties for himself because he didn't like the attention. Since this talk we have celebrated 16 birthdays for him, he's ok with celebrations now. Congratulations to you and your husband that is a wonderful accomplish ment. All the best to your family and his future career.
M.Z. answers from Reno on November 03, 2008
I don't think you need any party plans beyond what you have. This isn't a birthday, you don't play games to celebrate finishing school. Maybe some little things for the kids to do, but the adults should be fine mingling and talking.
J.S. answers from Los Angeles on November 03, 2008
kareoke is always fun if people are brave...get a Dj for dancing