Graduates love to have a place to mingle and celebrate the big event - not to mention all those years that have gone by. Add some food and beverages and you'll have the perfect party.
- If you are celebrating high school graduation, consider waiting a bit until all the graduation festivities are over. Since most graduates will remain in town until they depart for college, have a barbecue or other party later in the summer.
- Choose a date and time for the party. Remember that there are many festivities and family commitments scheduled at this time of year, so choose a date and time that allow graduates to be flexible.
- Set an approximate budget. This decision will help drive the others you need to make.
- Consider the type of party you want. Again, keeping in mind that a lot may be going on, perhaps an open house or drop-in type party might be best.
- Decide on a menu. Keep the age of the partygoers in mind when choosing food and drink: Pizza and soda may be great for high school graduates, but college graduates may expect something more sophisticated.
- Make a guest list. You can limit the guests to close friends and family, or you can aim for a broader cross-section of friends or classmates.
- Plan decorations if you want them. Consider school colors, graduation year or school sports teams as a theme.
- Buy or make invitations, and send them out with enough advance warning. Remember to include the date and time of the party, a general idea of the dress ("dressy," "casual") and indicate whether there will be a meal served, or if it's just hors d'oeuvres and drinks.
- Order a cake. No graduation party is complete without a "Congratulations Graduates!" cake to share.