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Planning an Awesome Graduation Party

Updated on April 28, 2015

Planning an Awesome Graduation Party

It is a great achievement to graduate, one worth celebrating, so why not have a party?

An awesome graduation party!

It's time to think about what food to serve, who to invite, what graduation party supplies to purchase and where to hold the party.

This lens will give you some tips and guidance on planning a spectacular graduation party, whether the party is for you or someone else.

Congrats Grad Cookie Gift Bouquet picture credit: Gourmet Cookie Bouquets

When you reach a milestone occasion in your life, you have a party. Graduation is one such milestone.

Photo Credit - Wedding Favors Unlimited
Photo Credit - Wedding Favors Unlimited

Thinking About Graduation Parties

Deciding what type of party you are going to have for graduation can be an interesting choice in its own right. Whether or not you are going to have it indoors, outdoors or a bit of the two is one consideration and really does count on the weather. Whatever you decide for the graduation party, planning is everything. The other thought - as a parent - do you let your son or daughter plan their own graduation party or do you do it for them? The best answer to this is to do it together.

Parents that plan graduation parties for their kids do so at their own risk. Yes it is a nice thing to do, but you should remember that it is their big day and they are no longer children, but young adults and as such will not always have the same ideas about the party as you do. Consult with your kids before planning and paying for a big party that they may not like.

Surprise parties are the sort of graduation party that should only be planned if you know that the person it is for will be there to be surprised. It is no good organizing the surprise party and finding out that people have gone to another party, so trusted friends who can keep a secret should be told and then they can put the word out to the people who are invited.

The most important thing to think of when you are planning a graduation party for someone is to include them in nearly every step of planning process. If the person does not want to help or have any input then that is their choice, but most kids will want to know just about everything that is going on with their party, as their friends and family and possibly even some of their teachers will be there.

Should there be Alcohol at a Graduation Party?

Later on this lens we will be discussing the issue of graduation parties and alcohol.

What is your take on this one and why?

Should there be Alcohol at a Graduation Party?

Photo Credit_ Wedding Favors Unlimited
Photo Credit_ Wedding Favors Unlimited

Graduation Party Planning Steps

Here some general steps on graduation party planning to help guide you.

Step 1

Find out what type of party you are going to have, whether it be a costume party, a themed party or a normal get together. If you want a barbeque in the open or if you want to hold a party indoors. All these things should be considered and looked at with the person who's graduation it is. After all it is their party and a special time in their life.

Step 2

The amount of people that are going to be invited: this will have a consequence on where you hold the party and on how much room you need. Invitations should be done properly and not by word of mouth, after all you do not want people turning up on the off chance that they are just finding a party to go to. Once you have the number of positive responses to your party, then you will know how many people are coming and who they are.

Step 3

Having the right number of chairs and tables available can be a bit of a worry, so step 2 is paramount to this process. Also the amount of food needed is something that relies on the reply of the invited guests, but it is always handy to have extra. The typical menu includes some kind of sandwich (cold cut, bbq chicken or pork, or sloppy joes), variety of pasta salads, fruit and veggie platter, bars and graduation cookies and snack mix. Also this is where you would consider graduation favors.

Step 4

What type of entertainment you are going to have, whether it be a band or a DJ or just some good music played on a home sound system. You could even have the party goers make their own entertainment by setting up Karaoke. Outdoor games like volleyball, horseshoes, beanbag toss, etc. are always fun for groups.

Step 5

Setting the time for people to arrive and the time for people to leave: this is important and should be quoted on the invitation. If you don't really care how long people stay, put a question mark on the invitation as the end time and be ready for a late night!

Step 6

This is one of the most important things that any party organizer should think of, and that is to make sure everyone has a great time and is safe.

Liven up the Party with Favors!

Thank your guests for sharing in your special day! With so many fun favors available, you're sure to find one that you would be proud to give. Candy jars, personalized lemonade, key chains - below are just a few examples of how you can commemorate your achievements. Many favors can be personalized with your name, event date, and school colors!

Check out these and more Graduation Party Favors at Wedding Favors Unlimited

Photo Credit - Wedding Favors Unlimited
Photo Credit - Wedding Favors Unlimited

Planning a Themed Graduation Party

If you are stuck for ideas on what type of party to have for a graduation you should consider a theme party. Obviously the main theme of the party is the graduation, but that does not mean you can't incorporate other ideas.

Costume parties are a popular choice when it comes to themed parties. Guests can dress up in Victorian costumes, clothes from 20's, 60's or 80's, a Cinderella theme, beach theme, casino theme or characters from a comic book or cartoon series. The thing with dressing up is that you don't even have to have a theme, people can come in any costume.

You could have a theme about the high school, college or university that the guest of honor has graduated from. You can also have a role-reversal party - where teachers dress as students and students dress as teachers, or men and women dress as each other. You could even choose a movie (like Back To School) and center your party around characters and scenes from the movie.

What about looking a little bit closer at the person you are holding the graduation party for. Look at their interests and create a party around their interests. For instance, if they like soccer then people can come as different supporters or teams, if they like science then guests can dress as famous scientists.

The fun with theme parties is to see how your guests interpret the theme in their own way. Graduation Gifts, decorations and food can center around your theme quite easily.

Graduation Wall - Celebrate a lifetime of accomplishments!

Flickr Photo Credit:  Mat_the_W
Flickr Photo Credit: Mat_the_W

Alcohol and Graduation Parties

This can be a bit of a touchy subject, but everyone has to think about it especially if the people attending the graduation party are underage and unable to legally drink alcohol. The legal drinking age is different from state to state, so please be aware of the laws in your state. If someone wants to get alcohol in to a party, they will try all sorts of things to achieve their goal.

Keeping an eye on everyone at a graduation party is impossible at the best of times, but making sure there is no alcohol can be even harder. Having responsible adults at a party to help you maintain control is a good idea. What you don't want is an adult that is so strict that they take all the fun out of the party.

You can also hire a professional doorman to patrol what guests are bringing in to your party, but this can be expensive. However, it is a good deterrent for the mischievous.

If the partygoers are of legal drinking age, then keeping an eye on the amount consumed can also be a problem. This can be achieved, but should be monitored closely. You should also be aware that if someone has an auto accident because of their intoxication, you can possibly be held liable.

Alcohol can be a fun part of your graduation celebration, just make sure that anyone drinking is doing so in moderation, and they have someone else driving them home.

If there is going to be alcohol at your party, personalized shot glasses make great graduation favors.

Final Thoughts on Planning an Awesome Graduation Party

Graduations a milestone worth celebrating. It is a great time for family and friends to recognize the guest of honor's achievement by celebrating with them and giving meaningful graduation gifts.

The best thing you can do is make sure that the recipient of the graduation party knows that you are proud of their achievement and a well-planned party will do just that!

We are looking for your tips, comments and experiences on the topic of awesome graduation party planning.

Time to have your say on graduation party planning . .

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    • profile image

      Faithlife 4 years ago

      @Scotties-Rock: Me too! In fact, I wrote a lens as I was in the planning stages--now executing! Yikes!! (Faith)

    • Scotties-Rock profile image

      Clairissa 5 years ago from OREFIELD, PA

      Great ideas I am getting ready for my daughters now. 75 - 18 year olds and 40 adults... Yikes!

    • squid-janices7 profile image

      squid-janices7 6 years ago

      Lots of great ideas on this lens. Have a couple parties next weekend to attend....hopefully they'll be fun.

    • squid-pinkchic18 profile image

      squid-pinkchic18 7 years ago

      You've given some great ideas here, and some insight towards graduation parties. I featured your lens on mine titled "Graduation party favors". Keep up the great work!

    • EpicFarms profile image

      EpicFarms 8 years ago

      We'll be having one next year (our daughter is graduating). We're in the south, so you know it's just gotta be a BBQ :o) Nice lens!