GRADUATION PARTY IDEAS

graduation party invitation

"Opportune" graduation party invite

So, someone you love is graduating from something. This can mean only one thing: it’s time to turn up those party planning skills.

Graduation parties can happen for a wide range of reasons these days, for everything from kindergarten graduation to code school valedictions. There are a few tips for graduation party planning no matter what special occasion you’re celebrating.

Send an announcement.

First things first: you’ve got to let everyone know you’re celebrating. Traditional graduation announcements are their own thing, followed by invitations to a specific event. But if you already know you’re throwing a party and want to make sure your guests save the date, you can send out a larger packet that includes both a graduation announcement and a custom-designed invitation to the event. Just make sure that the two look coordinated and nice together.

graduation party invitation

"Simple Cap" graduation announcement

SHOP GRAD PARTY INVITATIONS SHOP GRAD ANNOUNCEMENTS

Pick a theme.

If you’re going all-out (and even if you’re not), having a theme will help keep you on track as you make decisions about decorations, food, etc. Your theme can be silly or serious, or anything in between. There are no rules, as long as it’s something your grad will love.

Here are a few ideas for graduation party themes for a variety of ages:

A favorite book

Graduation usually means you were in school for something, so books seem like a very sensible theme. You could choose a book that’s explicitly about graduation (for example, Oh the Places You’ll Go!” by Dr Seuss is a popular choice), or something that’s more specific to your grad’s particular interests.

DOES THE GRAD KNOW WHAT THEY WANT TO BE?

Lucky you: an instant theme! It can be nice to celebrate the completion of their latest endeavor by celebrating the beginning of their next. You might only want to do this if your grad is super-sure about their future career choices, of course - majors change.

New school? New city?

You guessed it: there’s an easy theme to be found in wherever your grad is off to. If they’re headed to the Big Apple, do an apple-themed dessert bar (pie, cider, poptarts, the possibilities are infinite). If they’re headed to Chicago, do a hot dog bar. If it’s Texas, you could super-size everything from food to furniture.

Or pick anything fun, really.

Maybe the theme is your grad’s favorite kidhood toy. Or their favorite movie. Or favorite meme. If they’re outdoorsy, maybe the theme is summer camp. Or you can pick a more understated theme by simply choosing a few tasteful colors and sticking with that.



Get ready to decorate.

Go as big or as minimalist as you want, but there are a few staples you won’t want to overlook:

A banner.

Even when they’re a little silly or over-the-top, a banner always makes a party feel like a party. Check out Minted’s selection here.

Centerpieces.

Whether you’ll need centerpieces depends on how your space is set up, but if you’re using them you’ll want to make sure you take some time with them.

Party favors.

Everybody loves party favors. They can be traditional or bizarre, big or small - it just makes people happy when they get to take home a little something. Add a graduation favor tag or sticker to personalize it just for them.



Create a menu.

Food planning can be a pretty big task in and of itself. Here are a few tips for how to tackle it:

  • Pick their favorite foods or flavors and then go wild with it. If your grad loves peanut butter, do peanut butter everything, If they’re into cheetos, there’s a lot you can do with that too.
  • Tie it to the theme. If your grad is going away for college, plan a menu around the local cuisine. If the theme is mermaids, do a sushi bar.
  • Local favorites. Another good one if your grad is headed far away. Identify their favorite local restaurants or specialities and spoil them so that they’ll remember what they’re missing (and hopefully come back to visit more).
  • Make sure the cake is amazing. It’s not every day you get an excuse to create, show off, and then eat something worth of the Great British Bakeoff. Roll with it!


Set up a photo booth.

What better way than to celebrate than with some selfies to remember? You can go all out and rent a photobooth, or get creative and set up your own backdrop and prop pile. Designate a “photographer” - or provide selfie-sticks.



Designate a space for gifts and a guestbook.

Hopefully most of your grad gifts will be small or virtual - such as gift cards, cash, or items on their dorm room registry. But you may still want to set aside a small space to hold notes, cards, or pictures of your grad. A guestbook where guests can leave a personal note is also a nice touch.



And the number one tip - have fun!

Graduations are a big deal - they can be stressful, and they always usher in a time of change, one way and another. So the most important element of any grad party? Remember to have fun, enjoy the moment, take pictures, and tell your grad how proud you are.