Event Planning for a College Graduation Party

Are you or your college student finally graduating? Time to start event planning for the celebration. Follow this guide for all the steps, from picking a date and place to decoarting for a meaningful and memorable experience.


Once you find out the date the student will be graduating, send out the announcements 2 months in advance from that date. The announcement typically gives all the details about the degree, date of graduation, the school, grad's name and any special honors. It is typically quite formal, with executive paper, fancy font, picture of the graduate and envelope sealed. The school may offer graduation ceremony invitations for a fee. Keep in mind that you will want to send announcements to all family and friends, even those who will probably not be able to attend the celebration. Usually, all invitees will send some sort of gift to the graduate.

Make the invite to the party on a separate piece of paper. This invite can be less formal and set the tone for what type of party it is going to be.


If your graduate attends college in a different town or state than where most of your guests live, there are a couple of things to take into consideration. Decide if you will have the celebration where the school is. If so, you will need to provide guests with a list of local hotels. You will also need to reserve the location for the reception ahead of time, as graduation weekend books up fast.

You may also want to consider having the party the following week in your town. Have pictures from the ceremony available for all the guests who could not make it to the actual event. Your turnout may be greater if you choose to do it this way. 

Types of Graduation Parties

Depending on the graduate's preference, there are several different types of themed parties to pick from. For more elegant celebration, have the party catered or in a nice restaurant. Decorate with sharp colors. Black is the traditionally part of the college graduates cap and gown. Use black as the staple color and add touches of the school colors. Serve champagne and offer a toast to the graduate.

For an informal celebration, hold the party at your residence. In this setting, the feel can be anything, from BBQ or buffet-style to any theme your graduate likes.

Nice Touches

As guests celebrate this accomplishment, it is nice to have a look back at the graduate's journey. Create a photo slideshow with baby pictures, school pictures and college day pictures. You could also set up a table displaying pictures. Frame the diploma and set it on the table as well. Since cards with money is the typical graduation present, create a card box. It can be a photo collage, or you can make it funny and write on the card box, "Donations for getting out of debt."


Typically, college graduations do not have a limit on the guests that can come watch the actual graduation ceremony, so many guests will show up for this. College graduations are usually extremely long. Keep this in mind when planning for the reception afterwards. Plan to have it much later in the evening. Especially if you are making reservations at a restaurant. Chances are, the ceremony will go over on time. Give yourself a couple hours in between to get set up before guests arrive.