Best Graduation Party Menu and Decoration Musts

Julie Ryan Evans

graduation cakeAs the school year begins to wind down, the graduation party planning begins to wind up. From high school and college to kindergarten, the coming months will bring graduations galore, and such significant occasions call for memorable celebrations.

Whether they're small intimate affairs or gigantic rock-star worthy parties, it's the small details that really stand out and will create cherished memories. Here are a few graduation party planning musts that will ensure your party gets top honors:

A good party really boils down to two things -- the atmosphere and the spread. If you can nail those things your party is going to be good. 


Creating a festive mood is easy with such a strong theme. Consider some of the following decorations:

Balloons in school colors

Paper graduation caps


Framed pictures of the student's artwork throughout the years

Blown-up pictures of the graduate throughout the years

Mini mock diplomas tied with bright ribbons (these could contain the menu for the event)

Pennants or posters from the next school the student will attend

Paraphernalia representing the graduate's interests (e.g. footballs, if they played football; musical notes, if band was their thing)

A poster, picture, or other item guests can sign that the graduate can have framed as a keepsake later

Food & Drink

Once the mood is set, it's all about the nourishment. Here are a few crowd-pleasing ideas:


Chips and salsa, platters of quesadillas, a taco bar, or fajitas are crowd favorites. They're easy to prepare ahead of time or buy from your favorite Mexican joint.

Salad and Sandwiches

A seven-layer salad, fruit salad, and an assortment of sandwiches make refreshing fare for an outdoor event if temperatures are warm.


Get out the grill and serve up whatever you like to grill most -- burgers, chicken, and hot dogs are sure hits. Good side dishes include corn on the cob, watermelon, and potato salad.

Just Desserts

There's no need to serve an entire meal. A nice assortment of cookies, candies, brownies, and, of course, a cake are plenty for a mid-afternoon get together. 

As for drinks, graduation parties just scream for punch. Here's a great recipe for a watermelon punch that can be made with or without alcohol.

Are you throwing any graduation parties this year? What are your best graduation party tips?

Image via carbonNYC/Flickr

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