A VELA Graduation: VELA themed grad party

A VELA Graduation: VELA themed grad party

Would you believe me if I said I made my college, lifelong friends through a VELA hijab? Bonding over a hijab may sound silly, but someone recognizing that I would look beautiful in a woven hijab rather than a chiffon scarf – one that I was constantly struggling with whether it be in the middle of lab and having to recenter it, risking breaking my sterile bubble or in the middle of our conversations, flipping one side back over my shoulder only for it to fall again. 

For my first birthday in college, these same friends recognized my desire for change and gave me their favorite VELAs. The buttery soft feel changed my comfort in hijab, forever. Not only did we bond over our newfound appreciation for hijabs that would stay perfectly on our heads, but it became exciting to pair our outfits with them. Whether it was our twinning outfits to class, or our ballgowns to galas, our new hijabs were the definition of perfect. As we spent our time on campus and at events, we soon became known as the VELA girls. Though we laughed at this nickname at first, it happily stuck as people recognized our hijabs, something new in our city, and would ask for our recommendations and why we had chosen to wear the signature VELA modal material. 

However as our college years came to a close, I left behind gorgeous girls who had the same story as me, soon matching with their friends by also becoming VELA girls. Graduating with the same girls who gave me a new outlook on hijabs, and who showed me there are multiple styles, ways, and comfort levels to it only ensured our decision to make our graduation party VELA-centered. 

1. Dressing Up

The most important part of any party is the outfits. Being graduates, we wanted a classic but diverse look. Thus, we chose white dresses that celebrated each of our personalities. Being someone who adores lace, I chose an all-lace maxi dress that complimented the shape of the other dresses my friends chose to wear. For instance, some of us chose to wear linen ball gown dresses, while others complimented our style with a simple silk and beaded maxi dress, while others chose a more fitted crochet dress. All of these dresses voiced the embodiments of our personality, which perfectly illustrated our choice of hijabs as well. 

As you may guess, we all wanted to wear our favorite Truffle Mushroom hijab. But to allow for dimension and lack of repetitiveness, we opted against that and decided to choose a variety of colors, as any VELA hijab looks good against white. One of us decided to wear Deep Berry, a hijab that reflected our school colors, while another decided to wear Spice Vanilla, a hue that perfectly matched the undertones in her dress, while I decided to match the lining off my lace dress with my hijab, which as luck would have it, was Truffle Mushroom! The variety in our chosen hijabs allowed us to all complement one another in our joint pictures and graduation party. 

2. First Impressions Count

Keeping our VELA nickname alive, we decided to present our welcome sign with a picture of all of us in our favorite hijabs, some matching while others purely complimenting. With various poses, directions, and levels, we were able to create a picture that perfectly showcased all of our chosen hijabs aesthetically and creatively. The entrance sign is your guest’s first impression of your party, so make it count! 

3. The Ultimate Prize 

As limited edition as we all know VELA to be, we decided to center our main entertainment with posters of superlatives questions with the prize being a VELA hijab. This promoted both relatability and involvement in the game. Centering our superlatives around niche personality questions proved both entertaining and beneficial, but including a question about which one of us owned the most VELAs had the entire party rushing to vote. Taking note of who got the most questions right and testing them at the end of the final tally allowed the winner to be placed. 

Now and then when we noticed new people coming in, we took it as an opportunity to remind the entire party about the prize, one that we knew they all sought after. This proved efficient as it allowed everyone to notice the game, something they may have missed given all the other elements our party contained. 

4. A Joint Appreciation 

The last, and my favorite way we included the hijabs we were known for bringing onto our campus into our graduation party was by encouraging everyone to wear their own. We decided against a specific theme, as we wanted to see everyone's personalities showcased beautifully on them. Lending a helping hand and asking our guests to dress up in their favorite summer dresses with us, and the most prized VELA hijabs allowed everyone to feel beautiful and gave a new definition to a perfect 10. 

Tying into decorations, we wanted every smile, hijab style, and everyone's beautiful looks to be documented. Knowing everyone is in their digital camera era, we placed all our cameras in a designated spot, with a framed decorative label that promoted the idea of taking pictures on those cameras. We also noted a promise to send all the pictures they took over the next few days so they'd be able to keep their memories. Additionally, we thought it only fitting to include a mirror in this picture station, as after dancing and talking to new and old people, touch-ups are a must. It was a perfect touch that elevated the station that much more, allowing for an additional convenience that also shows your party that you are thinking about them. 

5. Seamless Decorations 

While our outfits remained classic, we wanted our decorations to complement them seamlessly. Planning a joint graduation meant accommodating a range of tastes—some of my friends prefer minimalism, while I lean towards maximalism. Striking a balance was essential. We opted against a dominating backdrop, aiming instead to let the beautiful dresses of our guests shine without being overshadowed. We chose a classic beige background, which paired perfectly with both white and colorful dresses, and accented it with a balloon arch in our school colors.

I think many of us can relate to this: our school colors weren't the most attractive. Instead of sticking with a single, slightly unappealing shade of purple, we opted for a range of purple tones in various shapes and sizes, complemented by white and gold accents. This approach broke up the strong hue and added dimension and visual interest to the entire arch and backdrop. Because we wanted the backdrop to glow in simplicity, we decided to place the balloon arch on the sides rather than at the top and all around. This allowed for a slight burst of color instead of an overbearing amount. 

Since this was a more casual party, we wanted the food to reflect that vibe. So, we chose an array of finger foods and desserts. Embracing a maximalist aesthetic, we filled the kitchen island with a variety of charcuterie boards, samosas, sliders, egg rolls, and tabbouleh, alongside an assortment of desserts like cakesicles, Biscoff dessert cups, pudding, baklava, apple pies, strawberry cake dessert cups, and pasta. Each item was served individually, either in its own cup with mini utensils or in its wafer, making it easy for guests to pick up their food and go. To add more color and dimension, we used stands of varying heights and shapes. For instance, some burgers had colorful picks, and all the desserts were displayed on tiers to stand out from the entrees. This arrangement created a truly maximalist and delightful look.

Our Red Bull table bar was by far my favorite element in our entire kitchen station. Our custom drinks with our names incorporated as the titles put an additional personal and creative touch to the party. Framing our drink menu made it not only picture-worthy, but a perfect keepsake for us to have for years to come. A candy station paired perfectly with our Red Bull station and was used! Some chose to eat the candies on their own, while others dropped Sour Patch Kids or Swedish Gummies, and even the edible glitter into their drinks, elevating their drink that much more. 

Adding a second personal touch, we printed out stickers with our friend group’s “logo” and placed them onto the cups used for the drinks. Creating a design on Canva was as easy as it is said to be! Making it perfectly minimalistic was the right choice as it complimented the intricate and colorful concoctions of everyone's drinks. Everyone was excited to take pictures both of and with the cups. It was a small but notable element that elevated an idea, that much more!

Our last element of decoration was a sentimental one. We decided to be creative and multipurpose one of the backdrops and instead tie a string around it to hang pictures of our college years throughout it. This proved to be extremely useful in covering the not-so-pretty parts of the venue as well, a win-win situation.  A trip down memory lane is essential for any graduation party. 

As you can see, VELA is more than just a brand for us; it became a symbol of our friendship, growth, and shared experiences. It’s incredible to think that something as simple as a hijab could bring so much joy, connection and growth into our lives. As we celebrated our graduation, each VELA hijab worn by my friends and me represented the unique bonds we formed over the years, the challenges we overcame together, and the beauty of our shared journey. 

Our graduation party was not just a celebration of academic achievements but a tribute to the friendships that made our college years unforgettable. The thoughtful touches, from the personalized drinks to the collective appreciation for VELA hijabs, showcased how deeply intertwined our lives had become. As we move forward into new chapters of our lives, the memories of our time as the VELA girls will always hold a special place in our hearts. VELA may have been our starting point, but the friendships and memories we created together are what truly made our college experience beautiful and enduring.


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