How to host a successful graduation party

Graduation cupcakes with chocolate and vanilla frosting

With high school and collegiate graduation ceremonies right around the corner, it's never too early to start planning a party for the grad in your life. From determining the best type of party to celebrate your grad to deciding who should receive graduation party invitations and the type of food to serve, it can be a lot of work.

Check out the tips below to help streamline your process and throw a winning party:

Who to invite
Putting together a guest list for a graduation party can seem daunting and pose many questions. How many relatives should you invite? Does your second cousin twice-removed really need to be there? What if the graduate wants to invite all 100 of her friends? If you or your grad can't pare down the list to a number that can actually fit in your home, consider throwing two parties: one for family and one for friends. For family members and key adult figures in the grad's life, you could host a BBQ or open house. When it comes to younger invitees, consider a nighttime shindig, maybe at a local bowling alley or restaurant. That way, everyone gets time to celebrate.

What to serve
The food you serve will, again, depend on the time of day and kind of party you choose. You could try a classic BBQ with:

  • Ribs.
  • Potato salad.
  • Corn on the cob.
  • Watermelon.
  • Pie (any and all types are welcome).

Some grads opt for something different and hold a brunch affair. Think:

  • Quiche.
  • Pastries, like muffins, scones and cinnamon rolls.
  • Bacon.
  • Pancakes (this can be turned into a pancake bar).
  • Fruit salad.

Regardless of the type of event you choose, make sure it fits the honoree's personality and tastes. There might be nothing worse than having them arrive at a party in their honor where there's nothing for them to eat.

Lastly, make sure to label all the food in case anyone has allergies or dietary restrictions.

How to decorate
Party decorations are where you can have a lot of fun with a theme. You can make sure guests know where the party is with a handmade sign leading up to the front door. This can spell out "congrats" or any other message you deem appropriate.

You can add some festive decorations to your walls or fence by getting crafty with scrapbook paper mortar boards. Graduation caps can also be turned into boxes where people can leave congratulation cards. The sky's really the limit when dressing up your home! Just remember to consult the grad, though. It is their party!