How to Throw a Fabulous Graduation Party

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What a great time of year to celebrate the hard work and long hours our graduates have put in. And what better way to show them how proud we are than by a throwing a party in their honor!

We have two graduates in our family this year and we are incredibly proud of both of them. The party will be at the beach (of course) with all their favorite foods and drinks. When celebrating two graduates at the same party, you want to make sure to add personalized touches for each of them. You may even have different grade level graduates. By focusing on their separate tastes and history, you’ll ensure they both feel singled out as honorees.

Personalized Decor

One of my favorite tricks is to find photos of the graduate throughout their educational journey–from preschool to college (or other graduate level).

If you have the time or budget, make a slideshow or video to play at the party. Add their favorite music to make it extra special.

Alternatively, go to a local print shop or drug store and have the photos enlarged and printed as posters. Use easels or foam boards to display the photos throughout the party area. The more the better!

By sharing images from their past, new friends can see the journey the graduate has taken and family members can relive the moments with them.

For flowers, candles and other decor details, use the graduate’s school colors as a motif. To make tablescaping easy, roll napkins so they resemble diplomas (and don’t forget to tie a red ribbon around each!). Pay a visit to your local craft store and buy graduate cap ornaments to add to the table decor–these can serve double-duty as party decor and party favors.

The Menu

This is one of the few times I say it’s okay to ham it up a little. Finger food is great for graduation parties. Here are some fun menu suggestions:

  • Straight-A Shrimp Cocktails
  • In Search of Excellence (Deviled) Eggs
  • Nietzsche Nicoise Salad
  • Game Cock Grilled Chicken

You get the idea! Print up the menu or write it on a chalkboard as a display piece for the buffet.

It’s All About Dessert

Contact a bakery that makes really fun cakes. Pick a school-related subject, recreational activity or hobby that’s representative of who the honoree is.

Alternatively, order a multi-flavored cupcake display from a local cupcake shop. To make the dessert extra special, pick the graduate’s favorite sweet, such as peanut butter cups, and have the bakery incorporate the candy into a special cupcake. You’ll be surprised what concoctions bakeries can whip up these days!

You can even ask a talented family member to make a homemade graduation cap cake using fondant. Write the graduate’s name and their graduation date on the cake using icing in their school colors.

Since we have two graduates, I’m combining two of these ideas. We’re serving a piano-themed cake for one of the graduates and candybar-flavored cupcakes for the other graduate. Dessert is bound to be a hit with both the graduates and the guests!

Special Touches

Create some fun graduate-themed surprises by leaving out special books in the powder room for guests to ponder. My favorite graduation-themed book is “Oh, The Places You’ll Go” by Dr. Seuss. I also love Maria Shriver’s “Ten Things I Wish I’d Known Before I Went Out Into the Real World.” These books will spark ideas and conversation.

Congratulations, graduates. We are so proud of you!

Photo credits: Elizabeth Lamont

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