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Planning a Graduation Party

Home > Planning a Graduation Party

You'll want to start planning a graduation party at the beginning of the senior year.

Give yourself about 6-8 months to plan your party, but if you are running out of time, you can still throw a great graduation party!


You'll want to start thinking about:

  • Who
  • What
  • When
  • Where

Graduation party planning is easier and less stressful if you start early and have the information you need.

Who Do You Want to Invite to Your Party?             

Who do you want to invite to your graduation party? Here are some questions to think about:

  • Are the parents married or divorced? You will need to decide if you want to have two separate graduation parties or just one graduation party with both parents present.
  • How many guests do you want to invite to the graduation party? Do you want a large party with friends, relatives, classmates and neighbors? Or, do you want a smaller party with just close relatives and friends?
  • You may want to invite teachers, coaches, your graduate's friends, parents of your graduate's friends if you know them, your graduate's co-workers, neighbors, friends of the family, and relatives.
  • Do you want to invite out of town friends and relatives? If so, send a list of hotels in their invitation so they can spend the night. For a Sample Hotel List, click here.
  • Do you want to combine your son or daughter's graduation party with another friend or relative? If a lot of the same guests will be invited or if the graduation is at the same school or the same day, sometimes parents like to co-host with other parents. This saves money as the cost can be cut in half.
  • Do you want to invite friends and relatives to the graduation ceremony, or just to the graduation party?
  • Start making an invitation list. You can always start with your holiday list (if you have one) and go from there. For Graduation Party Invitations, click here.

What Do You Want to Have at Your Party?

What do you want to have at your graduation party? Some ideas are below:

  • Find photos to make a photo board and scrapbook. Start looking now through old photos from birth to high school. If you already have photo albums of your graduate, put those out for guests to look at. Or, while going through old photos, add the photos to a photo album so your graduate can keep it after the graduation party.
  • Find photos to make a graduation slideshow of your graduate. For Graduation Slideshow Ideas, click here.
  • Find your favorite graduation party songs to add to your graduation slideshow. For Graduation Songs for Slideshow, click here.
  • You can have centerpieces and other memorabilia of your graduate - trophies, sports jerseys, ballet costumes, prom dresses, awards, certificates, etc.
  • What kind of decorations do you want to have at your graduation party? Depending on where you have your graduation party depends on what type of decorations you can have. For Graduation Decorations, click here.
  • What kind of food do you want to serve at your graduation party? Do you want it catered or do you want to make it yourself to save money? Do you want a brunch, buffet or snack foods? For Graduation Party Food Ideas, click here.
  • How much do you want to spend on your graduation party? Do you have a set budget? For a Graduation Party Budget, click here.
  • Do you want to have music or a band at your graduation party? If so, book the band in advance. Or, you can just have CD's or an iPod for graduation party music. For Top Graduation Songs, click here.
  • Do you want to buy your graduate a graduation gift? Do you have other graduates to buy graduation gifts for? For Graduation Gifts, click here.

When Do You Want Your Party?

When do you want your graduation party? More questions to think about:

  • What time of day do you want your high school graduation party? Do you want your graduation party for morning brunch, an afternoon open house, or an evening party?
  • Do you want your graduation party a week or two prior to the actual graduation ceremony, the same weekend, the same day, or a week or two after?
  • Do you want an open house for just a couple of hours, or an evening graduation party for several hours?
  • Do you want your graduation party on the weekend or during the week?
  • Do you want your graduation party on the same day as the graduation ceremony or on a different day?
  • Is your graduation party the same day as other graduation parties? If so, then some guests will be going to other graduation parties the same day and won't stay as long. Find out when other parties are and set a date accordingly.
  • Do you want your graduation party over a long holiday weekend close to the actual graduation ceremony so out of town guests can stay longer?
  • Pick a date and call or send "Save the Date" cards to out of town guests so they can plan ahead.   

Where Do You Want Your Party?

Where do you want to have your graduation party?

  • Do you want your graduation party at your home, in the backyard, at a restaurant, at a hall, or at a recreational facility?
  • If it's outdoors, you may want to rent some tents in case of rainy weather.
  • If reserving a location other than your home, call ahead and book as soon as possible.
  • If you have your graduation party at your home, do you need to do any maintenance work on your house or any renovations? Plan that into your budget. Prepare your house and lawn early so you are not stressed as it gets closer to your party.
  • If you have your graduation party at your home, do you need to rent tables, chairs, tents, canopies, serving equipment, etc.? Plan ahead and call early to reserve. Calculate how many guests you think will show up and rent accordingly.
  • If you have your high school graduation party at your home, do you have pets? If so, you'll need to find a place for your pets during your party.

Graduation Party Ideas Photo Gallery

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