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7 Essentials You Need to Host a Killer Graduation Party

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Congrats Graduates! You did it!

Graduating high school and/or college is a huge accomplishment and something you need to celebrate. Not only is it a chance to acknowledge your educational accomplishments, but it’s a wonderful opportunity to reflect on the past few years and see how much you’ve grown. What better way to recognize that than by throwing a killer graduation party! If you’re looking for graduation party ideas that will leave your guests with a lasting impression, you’ve come to the right place.

I’m the type of person that’s always DTC (down to celebrate), and looking for any reason to plan an unforgettable party. Back in 2015 when I graduated from Florida State, I had my own graduation party in late June. Despite the foggy, gloomy weather, it was an ultimate success. Why? Because I did my [Pinterest] research, gathered all my favorite graduation party ideas, and knew these 7 essentials to throw a successful grad party.

To throw a killer grad party, you need to plan accordingly. Here are 7 things (not related to the Miley Cyrus song) you need to host your own incredible graduation party this summer.

Disclaimer: A big shout out to Basic Invite for sponsoring this post and supporting the mission of my blog! I choose to only promote products and/or services that I wholeheartedly believe will benefit my readers and their lifestyles.

Graduation Party Ideas - 7 Essentials You Need to Host a Killer Grad Party

7 Graduation Party Ideas & Essentials to Throw an Unforgettable Party:

  1. A Great Venue –

The first step to a great party is having a great spot to throw it in. Consider how many people you want to invite. If you are keeping it an intimate affair with just family, a small space is manageable.

However, if you want to have a party with family and friends, make sure your party spot will fit everyone comfortably. If you live in a smaller house or apartment where space is not ideal, consider renting a pavilion at a nearby park, or a private room in a restaurant.

If you do have enough space at home, I would 100% throw your party there. Sure, you might have to clean up a bit (which reminds me of this hilarious video) but it’s totally free, and always available. Throwing your party at home leaves you plenty of space to set up party games (which I will get to later) and you can have total control over how long your guests stay!

  1. A Stunning Invitation –

Never underestimate the power of a gorgeous invitation.

Basic Invite has grad party invitations to fit everyone’s style and customization needs.

You know what’s also super cool? They have pretty much, unlimited color choices, so you can customize your grad party invite to your heart’s desire. Coming from a girl who went from her high school colors of “Cardinal and Gold” to FSU’s “Garnet and Gold” (YEAH GUYS, THEY’RE DIFFERENT) this is a total game changer.

AND, as any party planner knows, surprises while organizing your festivities are UNWELCOME. If you’re unsure how your invitation will print, Basic Invite allows you to have a custom sample printed. You can know the look and feel of all your grad party invites before you send them out…right down to the texture of the paper.

*BONUS POINTS* You won’t have to worry about your invitation getting confused for credit card bills and other boring junk mail when you get to choose from 40+ envelope colors.

Don’t forget to save an invitation for your personal memory stash!

Graduation Party Ideas - 7 Essentials to Host a Killer Graduation Party

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  1. All the Food & Drink –

No graduation party is complete without good food…and maybe a keg or two.

If I know I am going to a graduation party, there’s a 9/10 chance I won’t be eating breakfast, with a 10/10 chance I’ll be stuffing my face later.

Based on guests that RSVP’d, plan your food supply accordingly. Lexi Michelle Blog has an awesome article breaking down exactly what you need to calculate the amount of food to make or cater. It’s always safer to overbuy/make than leave guests feeling hungry and unsatisfied.

Likewise, plan for all sorts of diets. Sometimes, the simplest graduation party ideas are all about knowing who your guests are. Be sure to have vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options.

If you are looking to save a few bucks, consider making your own appetizers such as veggie trays and cheese plates. Pinterest, aka my best friend on the internet, has all the recipe ideas to leave your guests with a pleasant aftertaste…literally.

Likewise, have the alcohol stock ready to account for all the different crowd tastes. Prepare a large container with hunch-punch/jungle juice for guests to sip on…responsibily, obv.

  1. Rockin’ Music –

Music is a total must for any party atmosphere. Having nothing on in the background while guests are chatting with everyone is semi-awkward (in my own personal opinion!).

If you have the budget, a live band is always super fun and loved by guests of all ages. If not, a few speakers and a bumpin’ playlist is always a safe bet. Not sure if it’s just me, but I create playlists for pretty much every occasion I can think of!

Graduation Party Ideas - 7 Essentials to Host a Killer Graduation Party

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  1. Party Games –

My favorite of the graduation party ideas = PaRtY GaMeS!

Party games are an absolute essential for any graduation party. There are so many to choose from that the options can get a bit overwhelming.

Consider your guest list, and what works well with your venue space. Popular games are Corn Hole and Kan Jam. If you have enough space, set up a volleyball or badminton net. My personal favorite is Giant Jenga…I’m actually so bad at corn hole it’s not even funny.

  1. Memorabilia –

Graduation parties are an opportunity to celebrate how much you’ve grown, and the bright future you’ve got in front of you. Big things are to come, and it’s great to reflect on how much you’ve learned. Set up a photo slideshow with pictures of you from a baby, all the way up to your graduation glory. If you don’t want the whole ordeal, purchase a photo memory board, and have your guests sign it like a guestbook!

Graduation Party Ideas - 7 Essentials to Host a Killer Graduation Party

  1. Thank You Notes –

Let’s be honest with ourselves here…you can plan the ultimate graduation party, but it would be nothing without the guests who show up (bonus points if they leave you a gift).

Show your guests you appreciate their presence by sending out beautiful graduation thank you cards. Just like the invitations, Basic invite offers you the chance to customize your cards with the pictures, fonts, and colors you want. If you act fast, you can get 15% off your invites and thank you’s with the coupon code *15FF51.* 

AND if you’re looking for more than just graduation, they have invitations and stationery for every occasion you can think of.

Graduating high school and college is a HUGE deal, and you should be super proud of yourself. Your future is bright, so enjoy the present moment. By using these graduation party ideas, you’ll be sure to throw a celebration you’ll remember for the rest of your life.

Happy Graduation! The best is yet to come!

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  • Reply
    May 18, 2018 at 2:28 PM

    I never had a grad party for myself, but one of my friends from high school had an amazing grad party—she even had a food truck towards the end of the night!

    Also love how you added to write thank-you notes, it’s such an authentic personal touch!

    • Reply
      May 18, 2018 at 4:08 PM

      OMG the food truck is SUCH a good idea! And yeah, I know a few people who did have grad parties but also a good amount who didn’t. Sometimes it’s nice to keep things small…less to plan too lmao.

  • Reply
    May 18, 2018 at 2:42 PM

    It would have been great to read this before grad! Heaps of awesome tips. Love the giant Jenga idea!

    • Reply
      May 18, 2018 at 4:09 PM

      Thank you!! and I LOVE those kinds of games…i’m so bad at them but they’re always so fun 🙂

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