Planning a Graduation Party
Planning a Graduation Party
Graduating from high school or college is a great accomplishment that should definitely be celebrated. Having a graduation party for your recent graduate marks the milestones in his/her life and celebrates what is to come in the future. Graduation party planning can be daunting if you don’t plan ahead for the perfect graduation celebration. Prepare yourself with graduation party ideas and brainstorm with your graduate to find out their expectations. Before you begin planning anything, know your budget. A graduation party can easily spiral out of control if you don’t try to keep to a set budget.


Step 1. Choose a Theme

Celebrate your recent graduate with a graduation theme that best represents them and the graduating class. Choosing a party theme is an easy and cost efficient way to plan a graduation party. This prevents you from going overboard with graduation party signs and decorations that don’t “fit” the party. Once you decide on a theme, planning your food, decorations, invitations and music will be much easier.

Have a Red Carpet Party so your graduate and their guests can feel like celebrities while they celebrate their great accomplishment. Create graduation backdrops for a true “red carpet” experience, and finish with a photo of the graduates holding an award statue. Another great idea is a Future Graduation Party, which will celebrate the graduate’s college or career choice. Decorate with college graduation banners from their future university, and use custom signs to represent what they will be in the future. A “Celebrate the Years” theme can be very memorable for the graduate and family. Show how the graduate has grown by decorating with childhood pictures and old class photos. Graduation signs with nostalgic photos can be hung around the party and signed by guests with shared memories.


Step 2. Select a Date

Prepare your guest list and check around to make sure you don’t plan your party at the same time as other friends. Get the word out fast so other graduates can plan to attend. You can also co-host with other parents. This helps to reduce the number of parties graduates are trying to attend and also helps cut costs while still having fun.


Step 3. Find a Location

Choose a party location that fits your graduation party theme. Outdoor pavilions and picnic spots are great for a BBQ themed graduation party or a graduation luau. Graduate banners help mark your outdoor party for a more private experience. Many restaurants, hotels and recreation centers will allow you to rent a party room for an indoor graduation party and will typically even provide the tables and chairs. However, make your reservations far in advance to ensure you get the location you want. Graduation season is a busy time, and many venues may begin to book up early. If you decide to rent party supplies, tables, or chairs, do so when you book your venue to ensure you can reserve everything you need.


Step 4. Invite Guests

Once you have all the party details determined, order all of your decorations and start working on your invitations. Guests should receive their invitations at least 3-4 weeks before the party to ensure they have enough notice and can plan to attend. Be specific with your party times and give a timeline of events if you have multiple activities planned, as guests may be attending multiple parties. If you would like the guests to participate in the theme, be sure to leave them instructions on what to wear or what to bring.


Step 5. Plan the Menu

Once you have an idea of how many guests will be attending, you can start to plan your graduation party menu. When choosing graduation party food, consider the time of the event, the theme, and how you will serve the food. Most graduation parties have finger foods and appetizers. If you choose to serve a full meal, consider a buffet-style menu. Contact your graduate’s favorite restaurants for catering options, or comprise your own fabulous home-cooked graduation party menu.


Step 6. Organize the Entertainment

Have your graduate help with graduation party entertainment ideas. Graduation party games, music, and entertainment should focus on the graduate’s interests. Many party rental companies can provide you with a fun variety of games, including sumo wrestling suits, inflatable bungee games, and karaoke machines. You can also put together a few outdoor games like volleyball and horseshoes. The graduation party should be a social and fun event.


Step 7. Confirm Last-Minute Details

The day before they party, confirm all of your reservations, and begin the decorating process. Display graduation yard signs in front of your location, hang graduation party banners, and start to prepare any snacks or meals you can leave in the fridge overnight. Assemble the graduation favors, graduation centerpieces, and a table for the graduation gifts. Place a graduation card box on the table next to the gifts. Prepare as much as you can, as the next day will be very busy.


Step 8. Attend the Party

Enjoy this milestone in your graduate’s life. Watch as they throw their caps in the air in celebration of their accomplishments and take a deep breath. Your graduate is growing up! Have fun at the graduation party and make the most of the time that you and your graduate will get to spend with family and friends.
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