2020 Graduation Party Ideas

Where to start when planning a graduation party
Here are a few things to think about as you are hammering out the details of who, when and where:
  • When planning a graduation party, timing is everything! June and July are busy months for parties... other graduations, weddings and summer BBQs. Ask your most important guests (Grandma, Grandpa, Aunts and Uncles) to check their calendars beforehand to make sure they will be able to be there. 
  • Set a budget. Graduation parties can get expensive if you let them get away from you. A budget will help you to decide where you are having the party, how many people you are inviting, and what you will serve them (ordering from a caterer, organizing family for potluck, or doing it all yourself).
  • If you can host a large party then go for it! Such a major milestone should really be celebrated! I always start with my holiday card list to cover family and family friends. Then add other important people in your grad's life... neighbors, the graduate’s friends (and the parents of close friends), favorite teachers and even coaches.
  • Decide on the guest list, date and time as soon as possible. The earlier you send the invitations, the better the turnout will be!
  • An open house party is where guests are expected to come and go as they please and often spans a longer time to accommodate different schedules.
  • Invitations to a graduation party can also be mailed with graduation announcements (save a stamp).
Graduation party Invitations
 Now that you have a plan, you can decide on graduation invitations! Since the highlight of this party is to celebrate the graduate, it is only natural to select an invite that features a photo and school colors of the guest of honor! Here are some of our favorite options:
Here are some examples of graduation party invitation wording for you to use on your invites:
Announcing the Graduation of 
Sarah Jesse Parkinson
Shiloh High School
Class of 2020
Please join us for a BBQ Celebration
Saturday, June 15, 4-8 pm
The Parkinson Home
123 Parkway, Springfield
Please Join Us
in Celebrating the Graduation of our Son
William Joseph
June 13th at 6:30 pm
Dinner and Dessert
1234 Bay Drive, Orange
John and Karen Miller
RSVP 555-1234
Graduation Decorations and Party Supplies
 There are many easy and fun ways to decorate your space for a graduation party: 
  • Think about lining the driveway or the walkway leading to the party entrance with school pennants!  Just attach them to sticks and put them in the ground to wave everyone to the front door. Use high school or college pennants depending on which way you decide to go.
  • Balloon bouquets in the grad's school colors add some interest to a party space, and they also designate important congregation points (food,drinks, games, etc.) Bouquets define a space if you tie small bunches along the fence or perimeter of the yard.  If it isn't too hot outside, attach helium balloons to your mailbox, railings, etc.
  • You can also take a colored table cloth and put a clear one over it. In between, put pictures of the grad with friends and family through the years. You can also include prom tickets, school choir programs, concert ticket stubs, awards, and what ever else you want people to see. The clear table cloth keeps everything from getting messy!
Also important? A sign in area! Here are a few fun options - 
  • A graduation sign in board is a classic way to let guests leave well wishes to the grad. Choose one to match your invitations and favors to pull the theme through the entire event.
  • A guest book photo frame is also fun... guests sign the matte surrounding a senior picture of the grad. Make sure to buy smudge free markers!
  • Have guests sign a t-shirt with fabric markers... wearable art!
  • Have everyone sign and jot down their favorite memory of the graduate on a Jenga block. Set out a sign that says "Thanks for helping me BUILD fun memories!"
  • For a grad who is going away to college, have guests fill out postcards! Then you can mail them a few at a time to the dorm.
  • Create a photo scrapbook for the grad and leave places for friends and family to fill in messages.
  • You can incorporate your graduate's faith by having your guests highlight their favorite verse in a new Bible for the grad to take with them.

Have them write down where the graduate will be in 10 years. Some of the responses are sure to get a few laughs! A sign on the table with a few starting words as examples will help get the ball rolling…


  • "I vote Johnnie to be …"
  • "When Johnnie grows up I know he'll…"
  • "I knew Amy when..."
While fun and easy, it will make the graduate look back on the day with fond memories.

Just keep the decorations colorful, fun, and simple, and your party space will look great! Here are a few of our favorite easy decorating ideas:
  • Streamers and Balloons in the grad's school colors are a cheap way to fill a party space. you can get as decorative as you like - just remember, more is better!
  • Foil Garlands are a snap to hang along railings, mantels, and doorways.
  • Personalized Graduation Banners look amazing at your party entrance, over your buffet, or near the sign in table.
We know you will enjoy these and that they will work great for your party.
Graduation Table Decorations
Your best bet is to use disposable paper goods at a graduation party. White Chinet is fine, but you can kick your decorations up a notch by using graduation themed paper goods. Even if you just go with themed napkins and dessert plates, it makes a big statement:
  • Give your party a little school spirit by choosing paper goods in the grad's school colors
  • Plastic tablecovers are an easy way to decorate tables on a budget! Layer two different colors to give your tables some depth.  Cleanup is easy, too! Just bundle up all the mess and throw it away!
  • Make it easy for guests to grab and go at your buffet! Have bundles of silverware wrapped in paper napkins in the grad's high school or college colors.

If school colors are your theme, make sure to use two different colors for tablecloths--use one color cloth to the floor and the other color as a topper. Reverse them from table to table for a great look. Also, have both color napkins at each table--every other place setting. For napkin rings, wrap party beads around each napkin. (They serve double duty as decoration and party wearable!)

Dressing up guests is a surefire way of adding some excitement to your graduation party! Family and friends are sure to grab a few wearables out of these centerpieces as soon as they arrive.
We know your guests are going to be hot and tired from all of the partying they will be doing, so serve bottled water with one of our personalized water bottle labels. Pick one that works with your theme and matches the style of the graduate. Remember, it is about them.
graduation party games and activities

Here is a fun game you can play with your guests. Set it up on a table and let everyone write out their answers on a slip of paper.

Name That school/dorm Item
To Play
  • Place items that relate to school in an opaque bag - pen, erasure, bottle of white out, flash drive, ruler, school ID, staple remover, highlighter etc
  • Seal the bag.
  • Then pass it around the group and have each person feel the items through the bags.
  • Have the guests write down their guesses.
  • Then open the bag to see how many are correct. Give the person with the most correct guesses the entire bag.
  • If the graduate is going off to college you can play "name that dorm essential" - flip flops, batteries, safety pins, command strips, bottle of pain relievers, shout wipes, mesh laundry bag, pack of raman noodles etc
Graduation Party Favors
Choose a party favor that fits your graduate and honors their special day. Here are a few of our favorites that are sure to be a hit at your graduation party this year:

You can also hand out fun wearables for your guests to enjoy throughout the party, and then take home! What a great way to remember what a wonderful time they had:

Have a fantastic graduation party, and congratulations to the guest of honor from the Party Girl!