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Graduation Party Planning

Graduation party planning is something you can start doing months in advance of the graduation party. Once you know that you want to host a high school or college graduation party, you can start thinking about possible event dates and begin to build your guest list. 

Here are the basics about what you need to know as you plan a graduation party:

  • Save the Dates & Invitations: Send a Save the Date in advance of the graduation invites. Graduation season is a particularly busy time of year so you want to make sure your guests mark the date on their calendars. Punchbowl offers a variety of Save the Dates that you can send to guests. Your guest list will be all set when it comes time to send the graduation invitation for your graduation party a few weeks before the party.
  • Guest List: One of the early items on your graduation party planning checklist is to build your guest list. The size of the guest list will inform the type of venue and activities that you have at the party. Typically, a graduation party guest list includes family and friends of the family. It also includes the graduate's friends and sometimes, their families. Depending on how formal or informal you want your party, you can make a judgement call on whether or not to include young kids on the guest list.
  • Venue: High school graduation parties are typically more informal, while college graduation parties are somewhat more sophisticated. This is because of the age of the guest of honor. High school grads have different interests and tastes from college grads. Therefore, many high school graduation parties take place at someone's home or at a local restaurant. College graduation parties may also take place at someone's home, a restaurant, or even on a boat cruise or rented venue (like a hotel or country club).
  • Decorations: Graduation party planning is no different from any other type of party planning. That means that graduation party decorations will be an important component of your planning. You can make custom banners to hang at the party, include a photo sign in board for guests to write personal notes to the grad, and you can make graduation cap centerpieces for the tables. Flowers and balloons are classic party decorations that will help you transition your event space to a fun graduation party atmosphere.
  • Menu: The food is always a big component to any party. Graduation party planning ideas for the menu include buffet style meals or potluck events. For an event like a graduation party, there probably won't be many activities that tie guests down to a table. To keep them up and socializing, serve a buffet meal. This helps to keep guest circulating and mingling with other guests which is always a good thing!

Additional ideas for graduation party planning include the graduation party cake and party favors for your guests. Work with a local bakery to make a fantastic cake for the party. Then, see if they can make some graduation cap sugar cookies for you to give to guests as the party favor. Decorate the top of the cookies in the grad's school colors. Treats always make the best favors — your guests will love them!

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