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.
- 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 with our graduation posters.
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.
As the marketing copywriter for Pear Tree, Cathy knows how intimidating writing a Christmas card or thank you note can be. When she is not writing, she is busy gardening, doing DIY projects around the house or trying to keep her three teenage boys in line.