Planning a graduation party and not sure where to start? We can help! Our graduation party checklist will take you through every step to make sure you don’t forget a thing.
6 MONTHS TO 6 WEEKS BEFORE PARTY
- Make your guest list – don’t forget the parents of your grad’s friends, neighbors, coaches, mentors, and extra special teachers.
- Choose the location – keep in mind that at least half your guests will be teens (and you probably won’t know how many, until they show up).
- Set a date and time – try to avoid conflicts with close friends’ parties or your grad may be begging to leave his own party.
- Set the theme – it might be based on a favorite food, school colors, or an activity.
- Start collecting photos and memorabilia for party decorations – make digital copies of photos so you can use them in lots of ways.
- Decide on a menu and book caterer if using one – does your senior have a favorite food or restaurant?
- Order graduation party invitations – just enough for the adults on your list. (Check out our mini graduation announcements for classmates.)
- Order coordinating thank you cards and address labels, and stock up on stamps.
6 WEEKS TO 3 WEEKS BEFORE PARTY
- Mail graduation invitations to out-of-town guests 6 weeks before party – reserve hotel rooms, if needed.
- Mail invitations to local guests 3 weeks before party.
- Purchase non-perishable items (soda, water, paper plates) as you see them on sale.
- Confirm menu.
- Arrange for friends to help on the day of the party.
- Rent or borrow tent, tables & chairs, chafing dishes if needed.
- Make or buy graduation party decorations – table decor, custom yard signs and personalized napkins add color and fun.
- Work on your photo display or memorabilia display – check out our ideas for graduation photo displays.
WEEK OF THE PARTY
- Clean house and yard (if you’re having party at home).
- Have your grad hand out mini graduation announcements at school.
- Finish decorations and/or photo display.
- Begin food prep.
- Make sure you have enough serving dishes and coolers for iced drinks.
- Set up tent and pick up tables & chairs.
- Designate a table or place for guests to set gifts, with a basket or box for cards.
- Start cooking (or confirm details with caterer).
- Talk to your grad about what you expect from them at the party.
DAY OF THE PARTY
- Put drinks on ice.
- Decorate tables.
- Put food out as guests arrive.
- Have your helpers replenish food and drinks so you can talk to guests.
- Relax & enjoy.