Top 5 Graduation Party Ideas & Tips

Written by on August 27, 2013 in Graduation, Party Occasions, Party Planning with 1 Comment

graduation memorabilia table 2I love to come up with new ideas for parties and occasions. One of my favorite occasions is a graduation party.

I have been through this occasion twice with my own kids and hundreds more times when I owned a banquet facility.  I know your busy plotting and planning and want the party to be perfect. Hopefully you will find these ideas are something you can implement for your graduate.

When I was planning grad parties for my kids, my time was filled with choosing announcements, scrapbooking feverishly, working on crafts for graduation, a graduation newsletter, party planning and food for the party. Any help or inspiration I could get was welcomed!

So, in that vein, below is a list of 5 graduation party ideas I have seen and used to make for a wonderfully successful event that I thought I would pass on to you! Enjoy!

Top 5 Graduation Party Ideas

1. Timing is Everything

Consider planning your graduation party for a day different from the actual graduation ceremony. That day will be filled with have-to’s already and adding a party to the list can be overwhelming. You may get more traffic to the event as well if it is not hosted the same day as everyone else’s party.

2. Pool Your Resources

Consider pooling your party with others and hosting one big event for 2 to 5 graduates. Best friends, school chums, and teammates are perfect for this idea.

It will save money on the rent (if you are using a venue), and food & drink costs as well. And, your party will probably be at the top of guests running the graduation party circuit since they can mark off multiple graduates at one place!

3. What Type of Event Format?

Use an “Open House” format. List a 2 to 4 hour window that guests can stop by to offer their congratulations. This will fit into more people’s time frame than an event that they are expected to stay from beginning to end or is during a meal time.

4. Food

palm grad food tablesUse a buffet with medium to heavy appetizers for your guests to peruse when they stop in. If they have a lot of parties on their list, they won’t want to eat a heavy meal. Keep it simple and elegantly display it to make it seem bigger than life. (Some food ideas are in this article: Graduation Party Ideas | Food for the Party.)

Also, remember to keep your guests safe from food borne illness by keeping hot foods hot and cold foods cold. Use some imagination on the buffet layout as well. Try a round table in the middle of the room so guests can get to it easily and it acts as a focal point. Build a buffetscape that guests will remember instead of a bunch of platters flat on the table.

5. Bragging Rights – Make a Memorabilia Table

Lastly, make a table(s) with all your graduates achievements, accomplishments and  memorabilia that guests can go through. This is their day and a bit of bragging is in order. (See Pictures Below)

Using the same concept as for a buffetscape, create a beautiful memorabilia  table for your graduate. Use boxes, bowls or canned goods as risers of different heights and cover them with fabrics or table cloths in school colors.  Add a mascot or letters in the name of your graduate, a mortar board and tassel as decor for this table.

Then arrange sports trophies, medals and ribbons — a scrapbook chronicling your graduates school years — a plain or themed card box for guests to drop their well wishes into — play bills — awards banquet programs — where they are going to attend college — and pictures of your graduate through the years on the risers. Add greenery, iridescent shred, pom poms, sports balls jerseys and more to the display.  This will make the event more memorable in the eyes of your guests.

graduation memorabilia table 1


graduation memorabilia table 2

Here are a few items available to help you get going on your graduation party!

I hope you can use some of these simple but fun graduation party ideas at your event!

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  1. Cynthia says:

    Because we have so many family members who come from out of town for graduations, we do have to have the graduation party / buffet immediately following the graduation. However, we always welcome the drop-ins who are having to try to make it to several parties in one day.

    I love the idea of having a graduation party on a different day though and a time for just friends to celebrate.

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