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7 Graduation Party Tips for Making Your Senior’s Party Shine

The hard work of high school is finally done and it’s time for your graduating senior to celebrate their academic accomplishments! You’ll want to make the celebration special, but you don’t have to break the bank to do it. Whether you choose to have a big backyard party or a friends-and-family dinner, here are seven ways you can make your senior’s graduation celebration shine.

7 Tips for a Graduation Celebration:

1. Keep it simple.

Do what works for you. There are many celebrations going on this time of year, so focus on making your celebration unique by incorporating some personal touches. If you like to cook, then go for it. If not, it’s fine to cater or ask people to bring a dish. The same goes for decorating for your party—you can look to Pinterest for inspiration or use your teen’s high school or prospective college colors as decorating inspiration. 

2. Be creative with the treats.

You don’t have to be Martha Stewart to create some memorable, but simple, graduation treats. Here are some easy ideas you can whip up in a minimal amount of time:

  • A big bowl of candy ring pops labeled “2019 Class Rings”
  • A tray of homemade or store-bought cookies labeled “Smart Cookies
  • Pirouette cookies or breadsticks wrapped with thin red ribbons to look like mini diplomas
  • A display of candy jars filled with Smarties, gummy (book) worms, and Starburst (Reach for the Stars) fruit chews

3. Bring on the nostalgia.

If you are hosting a party for your teen’s friends, ask for a copy of their kindergarten or first grade photographs. Frame their youthful cuteness in inexpensive frames on the buffet table for everyone to “Ooh” and “Aww” over.

If you have time, you could also go to your nearest print shop and design a banner of your graduate’s school photos through the years.

4. Make some memories.

You will want to capture some memories of this important occasion, so set up a do-it-yourself photo booth using graduation props and “Class of 2019” signs you either make yourself or buy at a party supply store.   

And don’t forget to take pictures of the parents! You’ve all worked hard to get to this point and it’s nice to have some photos of the adult “squad” too.

For easy sharing on social media, ask your teen to create a hashtag for your event.

5. Share some words of wisdom.

Before the event, ask your guests to send you emails with their best advice for college, then print their responses and compile them into a book for your graduate. If you run out of time or simply want a more personal touch, create an “Advice for the Graduate” guestbook for friends and family to write their advice in during the party and present it to your grad at the end.

6. Savor the memories.

Put an empty jar and a stack of note cards on a table and encourage guests to fill the jar by writing down their favorite memories of your teen.  If you want something a little more fun, have guests write notes with a Sharpie on Jenga pieces for your graduate to take to college.

7. Toast their success (with the non-alcoholic beverage of your choice).

Take this opportunity to say something meaningful to your graduate and their classmates. Unless you work better on the fly, jot down some notes in advance. Include an inspiring quote or funny (but not embarrassing) story to highlight your teen’s accomplishments. (And don’t be surprised if you tear up a little.)

Whatever celebration you decide to have, remember that your guests—and you!—are there to celebrate and have fun. A happy, calm host is the most essential ingredient for a good graduation party.

Randi Mazzella

Randi Mazzella is a freelance writer specializing in parenting, midlife issues, and family life. Her work has appeared in a variety of publications including The Washington Post, The Fine Line and The Girlfriend. She is a frequent contributor to Your Teen for Parents. Follow her on Twitter or Facebook.