How to Host a Flawless Graduation Party

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Gather your proud families and happy friends to celebrate your graduation
Pink Lemonade

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How to Host a Flawless Graduation Party

Finger Food

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Graduation is one of the biggest celebrations of the year, whether you (or your child) are graduating from college and are now entering the scary real world, or are leaving high school, ready to set off on a new journey away from home. To celebrate, there will doubtless be a party — whether you or your parents are in charge of this, we’ll leave for you all to argue about amongst yourselves — and you need to make sure it’s a good one. Read on to follow our guide on how to host a flawless graduation party.

Set Your Budget

Set Your Budget

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Deciding how much you want to or can spend on your graduation party is the key planning starting point. If you have no budget, host a party with several friends, to split the cost amongst all of you.

For tips on throwing a party on a budget, click here.

Invite Your Guests

Invite Your Guests

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Your budget will dictate how many people you should invite. Once you’ve decided whether you want this to be a huge celebration, or an intimate gathering of your closest family and friends, it’s time to send out the invites. If you have friends and family coming from far away, make sure you give them plenty of notice to help ensure that everyone can come.

Decide the Dress Code

Decide the Dress Code

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You don’t want to create an awkward party by forgetting to set the dress code for your guests, resulting in some coming in suits and ties, and others in shorts and flip flops. Decide what vibe you want your party to have, and let your guests know about it.

For a glossary of dress code terms, click here.

Make It Open House

Make It Open House

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If you’re hosting your party on the exact weekend of your graduation, it’s likely that lots of your friends will also be having their party then. This isn’t an issue, but it means that not everyone you invite will be able to attend every minute of your party. Make your party an open house so your guests can drop in and leave whenever is convenient for them.

College-Inspired Décor

Make sure you celebrate your graduation in style: Graduating is an important achievement, and you deserve to shower yourself with attention. Use your college colors as the party theme, and decorate with photos of yourself when were younger to make the party more personal.

Hands-Off Drinks

Hands-Off Drinks

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Just because you’re the host, doesn’t mean you need to spend the entire party playing bartender. Make cocktails and soft drinks in big batches, leave out plenty of ice and glasses, and leave your guests to help themselves. Fill a bucket with ice and water and drop in bottles of beer and wine, so there’s a range of fuss-free drinks people can choose from.

For some summer party drinks inspiration, click here.

Finger Food

Finger Food

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Unless you’ve got a huge budget and are hosting a black tie sit-down dinner, then it’s best to go with more relaxed, casual finger food. If the sun is shining, make the most of it and turn on the grill. Your guests won’t all want to eat the same amount, so have some smaller snacks such as a spinach and artichoke dip with chips and some watermelon skewers, and some larger, more substantial items, such as DIY tacos or grilled pizza.

For the best party foods, click here.

Classic Desserts

Everyone will want something sweet, and it’s best to keep the desserts classic and simple so that they suit everybody’s tastes. There’s no better way to end a summer party than with warm chocolate brownies, mini meringues, or fresh fruit.

For more summer dessert recipes, click here.

Graduation Cake

Graduation Cake

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A party’s not a party without a cake at the center of it. Your graduation cake is a key part of your party, so make sure you’re treated to something special to mark the day. Slice it when most of your guests are there, and make sure no one leaves without taking a slice with them.

Click here to see nine ridiculous graduation cakes.

Party Playlist

Party Playlist

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We know that you’re capable of making the perfect party playlist, but make sure that this one is suitable for the range of people you’ve invited — you and your grandparents probably don’t share the exact same taste in party tunes.

Everlasting Memories

You don’t want to forget your graduation day, so make sure you create a way for people to leave a special memory of your achievement with you. Create a guest book for everyone to sign, or buy a t-shirt for all your friends and family to scribble a message on, or be more extravagant and set up a photo booth and have everyone take a photo in front of a blackboard backdrop with a message scribbled on it.