How to Plan a Graduation Party to Remember

Carolina Jacobs

Oct 4, 2021
how to plan a graduation party

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Graduating is a monumental moment in a student’s life! It represents their educational achievements. Planning a party for your graduate may seem a little daunting, though. So here are some tips on how to plan a graduation party that all your guests will enjoy.

1. Start Planning Early

You need time to prepare for the event. There are multiple things to consider, from the food to the entertainment. Thinking about these things ahead of time allows you to relax in the days leading up to the event.

One of the first things to figure out is the date and time of the party. If you don’t end up having it at home, determine an alternative location. Here are some things to ask yourself when choosing the perfect venue:


  • Will your venue work for any type of weather?
  • What is your budget?
  • What is the venue’s capacity?
  • Does the venue offer food or drink?
  • Is there enough parking for guests?

2. Pick a Style and Theme

You want your party to have a unified theme. This will also help you plan out your decorations. You can go fancy by asking people to dress up and decorating with formal place settings and china. You might even want to incorporate some floral arrangements.

Another option is to keep it laid back and have guests come in comfortable clothing and decorate with simple balloons and banners. A Hawaiian Luau is a fun way to create a more tropical vibe. Have people come dressed in grass skirts or lays, for example.

3. Create a Budget

Creating a budget is a crucial step when planning a graduation party. It can help you figure out how much you want to spend on the event. Consider all the different expenses. Here are some of the things you may spend money on:

  • Invitations
  • Decorations
  • Centerpieces
  • Balloons
  • Flowers
  • Food

When creating a budget, write down all your expenses and determine how much money you want to commit to the event. Once you have found your budget, you’ll want to stick to it. Having a budget can also help you prioritize what you need and limit overspending.

4. Come Up With Entertainment

Having a DJ or band can be a great way to liven up the party. It encourages people to get on the dance floor! Along with providing entertainment, music can improve your guests’ moods and reduce their stress.

Here are some tips to consider when looking for a band:

  • Look on the internet for ideas.
  • Check out the band’s website.
  • Meet them in-person first.
  • Stick with a professional.
  • Ask for referrals.

You can create a custom playlist on your phone if a DJ doesn’t fit into your budget. Consider what styles of music will appeal to a wider variety of guests.

Along with music, you may want to come up with a few party games. This can help fill time while the food is cooking. Here are some fun party game ideas to get you started:

  • Boardgames
  • Trivia games
  • Carnival games
  • Charades
  • Mad libs

5. Plan Your Menu

Naturally, food is essential when planning a graduation party! If you’re hiring a caterer, meet with them to discuss the menu options as soon as possible.

When planning your graduation menu, keep in mind your guests’ food preferences. Also, consider matching the food with the theme of your event. Here are some tasty foods to consider:

  • Loaded cheese ball bites
  • Crab and artichoke dip
  • Party subs
  • Chicken parmesan sliders
  • Chocolate-covered cake balls

Besides the main meal, consider having snacks, such as chips, for people to munch on throughout the whole party. Having graduation-themed desserts can also be a tasty way to celebrate. Having cookies shaped as graduation caps is one idea.

6. Order Decorations

When choosing decorations, keep the party’s theme in mind. To showcase your graduate’s accomplishments, consider adding photos or newspaper clippings to your design. Another fun idea is to have a guest book where people can write messages to the grad. You can also stick with more traditional decorations such as balloons, banners, or yard signs.

Here are some other decor ideas to consider:

  • On-site photobooth
  • Commencement-themed cupcake stand
  • College flag table cloth
  • Inspirational quotes wall
  • String lights or glow lanterns

To get your house party-ready, you might need to do a quick clean. Clearing out your house in advance saves time when setting up the decorations.

Here are tips to get your house nice and tidy:

  • Strategize first
  • Brighten up your windows.
  • Clean your bathroom.
  • Clear out your kitchen.
  • Dust off surfaces.

7. Send out Your Invitations

Once your party is all planned out, it’s time to send the invites! You’ll want to give your guests at least a few weeks’ notice. This way, they have time to clear their schedule.

For your invitations, you can either go with a traditional style or make it more personalized. The most important thing is to have the time and date of the event clearly printed.

Here are some ways to make your graduation announcements more unique:

  • Design with rainbow arches
  • Add a personalized note
  • Use a bold typeface
  • Incorporate shiny colors, such as silver
  • Include a tassel as part of the design

How to Successfully Plan a Graduation Party

Graduations are fun celebrations! They’re the perfect way to get together with family to commemorate the graduate’s accomplishments.

Being in charge of the event can be a little stressful. But if you follow these tips on how to plan a graduation party, you’ll end up with an event that everyone will be talking about!


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