Thursday, May 23, 2013

Graduation Weekend Recap

I had originally planned to get this published a few days earlier, but I have spent the last few days writing thank you notes for graduation gifts, and recovering from our grad party. Thanks for bearing with me!

This past weekend, I graduated from Central Catholic High School. The weekend was so eventful and so memorable. The action kicked off on Thursday with the Senior Awards Ceremony and Senior luncheon, Friday my grandparents came into town, Saturday was our graduation party, and Sunday was the actual ceremony. Definitely a busy weekend, but it was very enjoyable and lots of fun!

I thought I'd write a post (more for my own reference and memories) recapping the main events of the weekend.

Thursday: Senior Awards Ceremony and Luncheon

On Thursday, we had a senior Mass, and the awards ceremony and luncheon immediately followed. It was the last time our senior class was in the school building all together. Various academic, service, and athletic awards were given out at the ceremony, as well as recognition for scholarships. After the ceremony, all of the seniors and their parents headed to the cafeteria for a luncheon. The junior class, our senior class adviser, and our principal spoke at the luncheon about our class. I'd be lying if I said I didn't get emotional. We celebrated with cake, and also received our first official "alumni mailing." So weird!

My mom, me, my sister Hannah, and my sister Natalie before the awards ceremony. We are all wearing Lilly Pulitzer, naturally. Hannah's dress is available here.


I sent in this photo to Lilly Pulitzer Madison Avenue's "Throwback Thursday" contest on their Facebook page. (The photo had to feature vintage or previous season Lilly dresses.) About ten minutes after I sent the email, our photo was posted as the contest winner. I was so excited!

There we are on the FB page!

One of many pictures we took with our friends

It was so weird to be addressed as "alumni." I guess that term always makes me think of older people. Nonetheless, I love this pencil sketch of the school that the Alumni Association gave to all the seniors.

Saturday: Our Graduation Party

We held our party on Saturday night, which was actually the night before the ceremony. All of our family was already in town for the weekend, so it worked out really nicely. We invited family, family friends, a few teachers, our high school friends, and classmates. We had a pretty great turnout, and the weather was perfect! It was a great evening!

THE SETTING: We held the party in our backyard. We rented a tent and some tables. For the color scheme, we stuck with blue and gold, our high school colors. It looked really great! 

Here's the tent all set up. As you can see, we alternated the tablecloths with blue and gold overlays. In the middle is a long table that we used for the food.

More details: 
Top: Cake pops! I made cake pops for the celebration. (I use the tutorial from Little Miss Momma) I made yellow cake, and alternated dipping in milk chocolate and white chocolate. I then embellished with blue and gold sprinkles. I printed a little decorative tag with our names and college logos, and attached it to the cellophane bag with ribbon. They were a hit.
Bottom left: Mizzou napkins! Yes my mom bought Mizzou plates and napkins for the cake.
Bottom right: the centerpieces were little fish bowls filled with blue and gold flat stones, water, and a floating flower candle. My mom also bought gold doilies and blue and gold grad confetti.

THE FOOD: The party was catered. It was so much easier not having to worry about food, and we knew the food would be good! Our cleaning lady's son is a professional chef in Chicago, but also caters for private parties. We had him do all the food. He's Mexican, so his specialty is classic Mexican cuisine. The food was OUTSTANDING. Rafael and his assistant spent the day in our kitchen whipping up delicious dishes. The menu included pork, rice, shrimp ceviche, homemade guacamole, Mexican slaw, salsa, and fruit. Naturally, each table was set with its own bowl of chips and salsa as well. I'd be lying if I said I haven't had the leftovers for lunch everyday this week. So good!

(Unfortunately, I didn't get a picture of the  food!)

For dessert, we had the cake pops, and then we had a cake for each of my sisters and I. I had carrot cake with cream cheese frosting with the Mizzou tiger, my sister Hannah had a lemon cake with buttercream frosting with a St. Louis Billiken, and my sister Natalie had a chocolate cake with buttercream frosting with an Iowa Hawkeye. Most of the cake was gone at the end, which was so surprising, and definitely a good thing! I think it was probably because our grad party was one of the first of the season, so people weren't "caked out" yet.

The dessert table! Complete with plates and napkins with our respective school logos. Only my mother would search the Internet for those!

Here we are posing with our cakes. So nicely decorated, and so delicious!

I can't wait to be a Mizzou tiger!

For cards and gifts, we put together this little table. My mom ordered wrapping paper with each of our school mascots, and wrapped a gift box and cut a slit in it. We used these for cards. We also put a small framed wallet senior picture in front of each box in case people didn't know who was going to school where. I originally wasn't going to do any sort of picture collage. Some parties you go to have like three massive photo boards, and I honestly think its overwhelming and kind of tacky. I decided to do a small photo board with a few key pictures, using a tutorial from Pinterest. 

Close up of the board.

Here we are with my little brother before the party. All of us girls wore Lilly, again! Hannah wore the same dress from the awards ceremony (see link above.) Natalie wore the Pearl dress in Shorely Blue Chomp Chomp. I wore a Lilly from last season that I bought on And of course, I wore Ralph Lauren pearls and my Jack Rogers Navajos in Platinum.

We had such an enjoyable evening. It was great to chat and catch up with family and friends, and it was the perfect summer evening. Party was a success!

Sunday: Graduation Day!

Sunday was the actual ceremony. The ceremony wasn't until 5:00, so instead of doing a dinner afterwards, we had brunch on the terrace at the country club with family. It was a beautiful morning, and very enjoyable.

Since I go to Catholic school, the graduation ceremony consisted of a mass with the graduation ceremony afterward. The ceremony went well, except for the fact that it was ungodly hot in the church and one of my classmates fainted. Otherwise, the ceremony was beautiful! It was a very happy moment walking up to the altar to receive my diploma. One of my best friends was the valedictorian, and yes, her amazing speech made me cry. (Good job, Magz!)

My immediate family, both sets of grandparents, my aunt (Mom's twin sister), my nanny Bertie (she's been with us since I was six months old), and my sister's boyfriend came to the ceremony. I was so lucky they could all be there to see me graduate!

After the ceremony, all of the graduates and their families gathered outside the church for pictures. There was cake and punch in the church basement as well.

Receiving my diploma


Throwing up our caps! We did it! (I took this photo from our school's Facebook page.)

Here we are with some of our best friends! McKenna, wearing an adorable green dress from The Limited, is going to study journalism at Indiana University. Neely (4th from left) is going to study international relations at George Mason University. Hannie is on the end, wearing an adorable polka dot dress from TJ Maxx. She is going to Mizzou (yay!) to study business.

Sarah and I. She is going to Eastern Illinois University to study special education. She's going to be so great!

Here we are with our best friend Timmy. We've been best friends since Kindergarten! Timmy is going to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln to study computer engineering in the honors program. He is going to be unbelievably successful!

Isaiah was in our pre-kindergarten class and we used to have play dates with him. That seems like just yesterday! We remained friends in high school. He is going to the University of Notre Dame to major in pre-med.

Here we are with our very stylish friend, Marion (she's wearing a J.Crew dress!). Our families have been great friends for as long as I can remember. Marion is going to Villanova University to study business.

Here's little miss Valedictorian on the left :) Magz is one of our very best friends. Couldn't have made it through the awkward junior high years without her! She is attending the University of Notre Dame in the fall.

Here we are with Bertie. She is basically our second mom. She has been our babysitter/nanny since we were six months old. She has taught me how to sew, and do so many other things. I can't imagine life without her. Love you!

My parents and I. (Loving my mom's seersucker dress and my day's Lilly tie!)

With my Aunt Linda

With my grandma and grandpa Russell. I'm so lucky to have them in my life!

With my grandma and grandpa Woodcock. Love them so much!

Showing off our outfits and our honor cords and caps. Nat and I wore the same thing as we wore to the party. Hannah wore a fun skirt and shirt combo from TJ Maxx.

Hats off!

I love this picture! Inspired by the College Prepster.


Left: (awards ceremony) Vintage Lilly Pulitzer dress, Onex sandals.
Middle: (Sunday brunch) Loft dress (old), BCBGeneration sandals (old), consignment necklace, Longchamp bag.
Right: (party and ceremony) Lilly Pulitzer Dress. (old)

Graduation weekend was so memorable. I am so lucky I was able to spend it with my closest family and friends. My time at CCHS has come to a close, but I will always look back on my time in high school with a smile. I'm so so excited for college!

Did you graduate high school recently? What did you do to celebrate? What did you do for your grad party? What did you wear? Comment away, I want to know!

Stay Stylish. Stay Classy. Be Creative.


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