Are you getting ready to plan a graduation party? You need a graduation party checklist! Graduation is such a remarkable accomplishment for any graduate, and you want to commemorate the occasion with a party to celebrate. There can be a lot that goes into a graduation party, though. You want it to be perfect, and you don’t want to forget anything. Whether you are planning a high school graduation party or a college graduation party, having a graduation party planning checklist is going to ensure that you have everything covered. So let’s get started.
1. Determine the date and time.
You will want to choose a date and time that works for your family. Depending on where you will have your graduation party, this may go hand in hand with number 2 below.
2. Choose a venue for your party.
If you are set on having your graduation party at a particular location, you may need to set the time and date based on the place’s availability. The sooner you can reserve a venue, the better chance you will have of getting your desired date. It is also common to host a graduation party at your home. If that is the case, there will be some other considerations you might want to think about, such as will it be mainly inside or outside? What will you need in case it rains? Where will your guests park?
3. Create your guest list.
Once you determine how many people you will invite, this may affect where you will host your graduation party. You will want to make sure that the venue you have chosen can adequately accommodate the number of people you will be inviting. You will also want to gather all of the people’s addresses on your guest list if you don’t already have them.
4. Book caterer/plan for menu.
Determine what food and drinks you will be serving at the graduation party. You may want to reserve the date with a specific caterer. If your venue is providing the food, you will want to determine what the menu with be. If you are going to be making the food yourself, will you enlist family members’ help? Create the menu and request the help of family members if desired. You will also want to create a shopping list of items you need to purchase. Begin purchasing those items that are not perishable.
5. Book/reserve entertainment.
Will you have a DJ or a guitar player at the party? If so, you will want to book them well in advance to ensure they are available for your date. Alternatively, will you play music in the background? If this is the case, you will want to get a playlist together and a way to play it during your party.
6. Reserve any rentals you will need.
If you are hosting your graduation party at your home, do you need to rent any tables and chairs? Tablecloths? A tent in case it rains? Think about anything you may need to rent for your party. Contact the vendors and reserve anything you need well in advance so you can ensure that they are available for your chosen date.
7. Purchase and send out invitations.
Often, you will want to purchase invitations with a photo of the graduate on them. You will want to send your invitations out at least a month before the date of your party. Think about if you wish to have an RSVP by date or if you would like to have your guests only RSVP regrets only.
8. Collect memorabilia to display.
Collect pictures, awards, and other memorabilia to display at the party. Determine how you will show the items and gather any things you need, such as picture frames, additional tables, display cases, etc.
9. Plan for and purchase decorations.
Determine the decor and purchase any decorations you may need that can be purchased in advance. Some things to consider are a congratulations sign, picture boards with photos of the graduate through the years, centerpieces for the tables, any string lights you may want to add.
10. Order or plan to make a cake.
Order a cake for your party if you are not making one yourself. If you are making one yourself, purchase any ingredients, you will need. Arrange for pick-up or delivery of the cake on the date of your party.
11. Order or make party favors.
Determine what party favors you will have. You will want to give your guests a small favor to thank them for celebrating this special occasion with you. My personal favorite is graduation candy bars. You can print out a free graduation candy bar wrapper here and wrap them over Hershey bars to give to your guests as a party favor. If you are going to be making cookies wrapped in cellophane or some other treat, you can add these free printable graduation favor tags to dress them up.
12. Decorate or buy a card collection box.
Make sure you have a container to collect the graduation cards. You may want to decorate the cardholder if you wish with school colors or other decorations. You will want to do this in advance if you are going to have a decorative cardholder.
13. Purchase a guestbook or create a words of wisdom display.
Will you have a guestbook or a way for your guests to write down words of encouragement for the graduate? You can have each of your guests write down words of wisdom on a card or piece of paper for the graduate.
14. Plan for taking pictures.
Have your camera ready or assign someone to take pictures during the party. You may want to have someone do this for you, so you do not get sidetracked or forget with everything going on.
15. Purchase any paper goods you will need.
Make sure you have any paper goods you will need, such as plates, napkins, forks, knives and spoons, paper towels, etc. Ensure your bathrooms are also well stocked with toilet paper and towels if you are hosting the party at home.
16. Purchase last-minute decor items.
Purchase any last-minute decor items such as balloons or flowers that you could not purchase before.
17. Decorate the day before if possible.
The day before your party or the date, you will want to decorate the space and put out all pictures and memorabilia, cardholders, centerpieces, party favors, etc.
18. Enjoy your party!
Enjoy your party! Since you have followed this graduation party planning checklist and are well prepared for your party, the only thing for you to do now is to relax and enjoy it!
Download the graduation party checklist
To make sure you do not forget anything, you can download the abbreviated version of this graduation party checklist so you can check items off the list as you do them. There is also space for you to add your items to the list. This will ensure that everything is covered and nothing is forgotten for this special event. Just enter your email in the space provided, you will then be sent an email asking you to confirm your address. Once you confirm your address you will be taken to the PDF print version of the abbreviated version of this graduation party checklist.
Other Graduation Printables You Might Like
To help you plan a fantastic graduation party, here is a free printable graduation party planner that you can download. It also contains this graduation party checklist as part of it, so you can just download the planner if you would like and you will already have the checklist.
There are some free printable graduation water bottle labels here that you can attach to the water bottles served at your graduation party. There are a couple of different designs to choose from or mix them.
You can get a free printable graduation banner here that is black and gold and says “Congratulations!” to hang as part of your graduation party decorations.
There are some free printable graduation wine labels here. Attach them to the graduate’s favorite bottle of wine and give it to them as part of a gift or attach them to the bottle of wine being served at the graduation party as part of the decorations.
You can see all of the free graduation printables here.
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