Graduation Celebration Ideas

Make your celebration stand out with a few of these festive ideas

Congrats to the class of 2012!

High school and college students around the nation are getting ready to celebrate their big accomplishments with backyard BBQs, fancy dinners, and pool parties. Balloons and sheet cake are far from impressive, so spice up your graduation party with festive food, inventive decorations, and delicious cocktails.

The location is set, and guests have RSVP’d, so now it’s time to plan the menu and decide on décor. Need inspiration? Fun, graduation-themed eats will impress guests. Think mini graduation hats or diploma cheese for a functional and tasty table decoration. For those who want to go the extra mile, fill bowls with personalized M&Ms in the school colors of the graduate — you can even add images or tiny writing on them. Go crazy!

For college grads, feature a cake related to the grad’s major, like this one, perfect for a future M.D. For high school grads, focus on their interests or anything representative of their passions. Did a drama queen just grab her diploma? Set out theatrically inspired cupcakes and simple decorations to match. Don’t forget to create a signature cocktail, which guests will love.

Make the party memories live on long after the fiesta is over by allowing guests to leave messages for the man or woman of the hour. Strategically place large picture frames, memory boxes, or even a simple journal so guest can leave notes of congratulation for this milestone. Get playful and create a giant scroll or yearbook to make it pop.

Other fun touches include a backyard projector to play home movies or a videographer to record heartfelt monologues from family and friends. Be sure to make a playlist for the party so guests can show off their fancy footwork if — no, when — the mood strikes.

Graduation truly is one of the best reasons to celebrate. Make your fete one to remember by incorporating a few of these fun tips. Now cue the graduation music.