High school graduation is a rite of passage worthy of a celebration. In all the excitement of a high school graduation, it is easy to forget about social convention. Although high school graduation parties are exuberant, hosts and guests are bound by certain etiquette.
As the hostess and soon-to-be high school graduate, you are free to invite friends as well as family members. Everyone wants to share in your accomplishment. You have an obligation to make all your guests feel at ease. You must keep noise levels down and curb unruly behavior. Best advice: do not serve alcohol. Graduation party invitations are not the same as graduation announcements. Do not include party details in the same envelope as graduation announcements. Not everyone at your graduation party will be able to attend your graduation ceremony. Invite everyone who, in one way or another, watched you grow into the success you are. Send invitations detailing the type of celebration you have planned. Include time, place and directions or a map to the party.
High school graduation party hosts often have a open house. Invite guests to stop by for congratulations and refreshments within a predetermined time period. Keep your refreshment or buffet table clean and well-stocked. Other high school graduation parties are more formal. You may want to serve a catered dinner or have your party at a restaurant.
Guests have few obligations when attending a high school graduation party. Plan to arrive shortly after the party is supposed to start. Do not arrive early. It is inappropriate to arrive while hosts are in preparation mode. Do not arrive overly late. Hosts may plan toasts or other ceremonies. It is impolite to miss these events. This is especially important for a formal party with a dinner schedule. Guests should not leave too late. Hostesses do not appreciate guests who linger too long. It has been a long day, full of emotions. If attending an open house, stay for refreshments, mingling and congratulations. If attending a formal celebration, it is polite to stay less than an hour after dessert. On the other hand, do not leave too early. It is impolite to make a brief appearance and leave without a reasonable excuse. Respect your hostess with your presence.
If you are invited to celebrate a graduate's success and the young person is not going on to college or to join the armed services, you are not expected to bring a gift. You may give a small gift to show your happiness. If you are invited to a graduation party and sending the graduate off to a defined next stage, bring a gift. Your gift should be something the young person can use as he moves on in his life.