How to Plan a Graduation Party

The graduation season that is coming up is an exciting time for high school and college seniors around the world. They have completed 4 years of education and are ready to move to the next stage of their lives. Some graduation parties celebrate the past and some are focused on the future, but all of them have one thing in common. They don’t just happen on their own and if you don’t put some thought into it, the party won’t be a success. If you want it to be a success, you need to learn how to plan a graduation party.

Set a Budget

plan a graduation party
Image by Nottingham Trent University

The first step to plan a graduation party is to determine a budget. This could be as easy as deciding you’re going to have the party at your home and just spend a basic amount on food, drinks and decorations. However, you might also decide that the occasion is big enough that it makes sense to hold it at another venue and have fancier decorations, food and drink.

Either option can give you a successful party. However, it’s important that you decide how much you want to spend on the party before you start making decisions, so you plan a party you can actually afford.  Remember that if you decide to have the party in your home, you may still have additional expenses like renting extra tables and chairs.

Pick a Date and Time

After you’ve decided where to have the party, you have to pick a date and time. Since there will be many other graduation parties going on at the same time, you have to be careful here because many of your invitees are likely to be planning to attend other parties as well.  If you don’t want to conflict with other graduation parties, you may need to have it sooner or later than the rest of them.


The next step to plan a graduation party is to handle the invitations. This involves deciding who will be invited to your party and how you will notify them. The old school approach is to go to your local card shop and purchase invitations. However, with the popularity of Facebook, many people have opted to do a Facebook invite. If you choose to use Facebook, remember that there are some people who don’t use Facebook and you may still need to reach out to them individually.

Food and Drink

Deciding on the proper food and drink can be the hardest part of how to plan a graduation party. Before you can actually make decisions on what you will serve, you need to decide if you are going to prepare it yourself or have it catered. This will depend upon the size of your kitchen, your space availability, your cooking skills, the number of people you will be serving and how all of that works with your budget.

Once those details are settled, you can move on to planning the menu. If you will have a shorter party, where you plan on having most of the people “party hopping”, the menu can consist of light finger foods and/or desserts. However, if the party is on a separate date and you believe that most people will be staying for most of the party, you will probably need to serve food of some kind.  A typical menu for this type of graduation party is two kinds of meat, two sides, salad, rolls and butter, and some kind of a fruit platter.

Pick the Music

The final detail to consider when you have to plan a graduation party is the music. Music can go a long way toward setting the tone of the party.  Are you looking for a relaxed environment so people can sit and chat with one another? You might also consider music that is from a sports environment, or a music or band performance piece, depending on the history and interests of the graduate. Other ideas for music include ambient music inspired by the graduates favorite movie or tv show, their future career or just their favorite kind of music.

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