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Graduation Party Ideas, Tips & Themes

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It's the biggest accomplishment of your life so far, and you deserve a party! There are as many ways to celebrate as there are graduates, but all great parties have one thing in common: a bunch of amazing friends gathered in one place. First things first: You need to let everyone know about your party.

Graduation Invitation Ideas

Everything starts with your graduation invites. If you loved your grad photo, photo invites are a great excuse to show it off. If you didn't love your graduation portrait, sending out photo invites area great excuse for a fun, new photoshoot! Your choice of invitation is your first chance to give guests a taste of what you've got in store. It's worth taking the time to choose an invite that reflects your personality and your party's theme. Don't forget the other things like announcements, thank you cards and advice cards

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Announcements, Invites and Cards for Graduation

Graduation Announcements

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Graduation Invitations

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Thank You Cards

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Graduation Advice Cards

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Host a Graduation Brunch

When everyone else is flipping burgers at their graduation BBQ or going out to a fancy restaurant with both pairs of grandparents, you can stand out from the crowd with a fun take on everyone's favorite meal: brunch! Get everyone to arrive in PJs for a relaxed, post-sleepover vibe. Decorate with bunting, bean bags, and blankets for everyone.

Brunch lends itself to the best graduation party food ideas. Sweet and savory can share equal space on the menu, so get your imagination working. Make mini breakfast parfaits with yogurt and granola. Set up a smoothie station with fresh fruit, juices, and frozen yogurt. Consider a coffee bar with flavored syrups, whipped cream, and cinnamon and cocoa in shakers. Best of all, once brunch is done, you'll have time for a nap before getting ready to party hop all evening.

Location, Location, Location

You might be headed for a new city for college or be moving for a job after graduation. Maybe you're taking a semester or a year off to travel. Take inspiration from your new location to plan a party that's all about celebrating your future. For example, are you taking off for the Big Apple? Make amazing DIY party decorations out of copies of the New York Times and use postcards of the Empire State and the Statue of Liberty as centerpieces. Offer a “mocktail bar” and get fancy with fruit juices, mixers, maraschino cherries, and a million miniature paper umbrellas. Mini bagels with cream cheese and smoked salmon are perfect NYC appetizers...you get the idea! Wherever you're off to, bring elements of your home-to-be into your party, and share your new life with your friends and family.

Spring break!

It doesn't matter what time of the year you graduate. It's always a good time for spring break! Think tropical: Hawaiian shirts and flip flops, beachy centerpieces with sand and shells… and lots of beach balls, just because. String up strands of multicolored Christmas lights all around the yard. Have fun with the food. Mexican is a great choice for feeding a crowd, and you can't go wrong with a table full of tamales, tacos, and all-you-can-eat guacamole. If the weather's not quite up to scratch, a kitchen clambake will bring the seaside and the sunshine indoors. Once it gets dark, turn up the music, hand out glow-in-the-dark jewelry and dance the night away.

Blast from the past

Hosting a throwback-style graduation party offers a million opportunities for sentiment and silliness. Think back to the year you started kindergarten or middle school. Start gathering ideas for your party theme by putting together a playlist of old-school favorites that will have your friends cringing, dancing, and singing at the top of their lungs all night long. Embrace your enduring love for SpongeBob or Power Rangers and decorate your house for the 5th birthday party of your dreams. Hold a contest for Most Embarrassing Childhood Photo, and trawl eBay for the most ridiculous boy band memorabilia you can find as prizes. Laughter and memories (old and new!) guaranteed.

Graduations bring up so many emotions: pride, relief, nostalgia for everything that's past and excitement for everything yet to come. No matter what you decide to do to celebrate, be sure to stop and savor the moment. Surrounded by friends and family, you're ready to step off into the future, and you're having the time of your life. Congratulations!