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Planning Your Graduation Party

Planning Your Graduation Party

Good Morning everyone!  As we are about to start into June, I couldn’t help but start to think about school coming to an end and how many people will be celebrating the graduation of a loved one in the upcoming weeks.  I can’t believe I’m even saying this, but my oldest niece will be graduating just next year – how is that even possible???  Now I KNOW I’m getting old!

Since we’ll be needing some great ideas for graduation parties next year, I thought it would be good to start doing some of the research now.

Planning Your Graduation PartyPlanning Your Graduation Party

When planning your graduate’s celebration, you will want to make it very special and personalized…a true celebration of their accomplishments.  And that is why you will find so many different ideas and options for graduation party ideas.  While doing my research, I found a ton of great tips and tricks and I wanted to share them all with you to make your party planning simple and stress-free.  I hope these ideas help you to get inspired for making your graduate’s celebration one of a kind!  So here is my list of tips and tricks that I’ve compiled for Planning your Graduation Party – have fun checking them out!

Graduation Party Tips and Tricks

Budget and Guest List-

  • This is an event that you can plan ahead and start saving in advance since you know the month and year they should be graduating. Starting a savings plan early on will help to lessen the costs.
  • Have your graduate give their input on the guest list and size of the party – they may surprise you and want a much smaller gathering than you had even planned.
  • You’ll need to decide if your graduation party will include family as well as friends from school and other activities like sports and church. You can plan to invite the entire graduating class or keep the guest list limited to a select group.

Choosing your Venue-

  • When choosing where to hold your graduation party, you want to keep in mind the number of guests you are inviting and what your needs will be for food and activities (such as: keeping the food hot or cold, having a pool present, or space for a dance floor and band).
  • You want to factor in a facility that will allow for seating and places to eat for everyone invited so they can stay comfortable.
  • You may want to have an alternate indoor location for bad weather if you are planning an outdoor party


  • You have many options when planning your invitations. You can make them yourself or plan to have them printed somewhere such as a stationary store, VistaPrint, Shutterfly, or Snapfish. If you’re looking to make them yourself, check out these great invitation ideas on Pinterest by clicking here.
  • You can use the theme or colors chosen for decorating your party in your invitations to tie everything together.
  • Consider including a picture of your graduate on your invitation.
  • Make sure your invitations include the date, time, location, driving directions, and RSVP number as well as any specific details your guests will need to know.
  • It’s a good idea to send your invitations out 3 weeks before the date of the party. It will be graduation season and there will most likely be multiple parties around the same time so giving your guests plenty of time to choose your party first will ensure a greater turnout. For your out of town guests, try to give them the date and time as early as possible so they can book their accommodations in advance.

Planning Your Graduation Party


  • Consider choosing a theme for the party like a luau, sports, or maybe an activity your graduate participates in. You can also have a specific color theme throughout the decorations – you could even use their school colors.
  • Make the decorations and centerpieces for your tables fun and unique. Consider using flowers, fruit, or even sparklers for nighttime fun.  You can also personalize them using your party’s theme.
  • Use balloons, banners, and streamers to keep the decorations festive.
  • Include photos of your graduate when decorating. You can have pictures of their accomplishments and plans for the future, or instead use pictures of them growing up to show how far they’ve come.
  • Consider wrapping your napkins around the silverware and tying them to look like diplomas for a fun graduate touch.
  • Help your guests keep track of their drinks by having markers or Sharpies to write their names on their cups, or make creative name tags for their drinks.
  • Keep the fun graduation theme going by making graduate cake or cupcake toppers. This is a great idea shared by
  • You want to have a gift table for your guests to leave their graduation gifts. You may also want to have a greeting card box or basket for graduation cards.  Consider dressing up an old trunk to symbolize your graduate moving to the next chapter of their lives.  I also like this box shaped like a graduation cap shared by nancyscraftspot.
  • Have a guest book for your guests to sign. You can also consider having a way for your guests to give warm wishes or words of advice for your graduate with an advice jar, tree, or plate.  Check out these creative ideas on Pinterest by clicking here.
  • Use chalkboards as decorative signs at your graduation party.
  • Set the mood in the evening with outdoor lighting like lanterns, string lights, or landscaping lighting. Add a fun pop of color by placing glow sticks in bottles of water.
  • Use a kiddie pool with ice for drinks. You can also add glow sticks in with the ice in the evening for a fun pop of color.
  • Have a basket or bucket with sunscreen and bug spray for your guests for an outdoor venue.
  • Have fun creating unique favors for each guest to take home with them. Use bags of candy, small bottles of bubbles, or any other creative idea.  I love these favors shared by

Planning Your Graduation Party


  • You can keep the menu limited to just snacks and dessert, or serve a full meal – either lunch or dinner will work for your graduation party.
  • You can plan to make all of the food yourself, have friends and family help you, or even have the food catered.
  • Consider including some fun treats like a popcorn machine or cotton candy machine.
  • Serve Ice cream floats or have an ice cream sundae bar.
  • If you’re going to have a bonfire or fire pit, you can set up a S’mores bar.
  • Include fun foods that tie to the graduation theme like making diplomas from cannoli or cookies like this idea shared from
  • You will need to determine out how much food to have prepared for your guests. Check out this handy guide from for tips and valuable information.
  • Consider having cupcakes instead of a sheet cake. This will save you the mess and time of cutting individual slices of cake for all of your guests.

Planning Your Graduation Party

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Games and Fun-

  • You can have fun activities planned for your graduate and his friends. Consider hiring a band or DJ, or having a karaoke machine.
  • For an outdoor graduation party, have some lawn games like volleyball and badminton set up for your guests to enjoy.
  • Everyone loves having mementos from a great party, so consider having a photo booth with fun props for your guest to memorialize the occasion. Here’s a great tutorial on making your own DIY photo booth from
  • Create a personalized hashtag for your guests to use when tweeting and posting pictures to make your party go viral.
  • Release paper lanterns or balloons into the air as a symbol of sending your graduate on their way for a new adventure.


  • Have designated bins, cans, or baskets for trash and recycling to make cleanup fast and easy for your guests.
  • Consider hiring younger kids to help clean up as well as serve so that you can enjoy the party as well.
  • If you’re having the food catered, ask them if they include the cleanup as part of the agreement.

Planning Your Graduation Party

I hope you’ve enjoyed these tips and tricks for planning the ultimate graduation party!  I’d love to hear your tips and tricks as well as hear what you did to make your graduation party special, so please share by commenting below.  And don’t forget to share this post on your social media sites so your friends and family can get creative for their parties too!

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