6 College Graduation Party Do’s and Don’ts

Today, I celebrated my college graduation with many of my family members, my boyfriend and his family, and my friend Shannon. We decided to keep the event pretty low-key, nothing too fancy or decorated, and just focus on spending time together and eating. Conveniently, the event also landed during Memorial Day weekend, so it was a great time to get together.

It was kind of exciting because it was the first opportunity that my extended family and my boyfriend’s family could interact. It was a pretty overwhelming day, especially with the younger kids and it being so crowded and hot, but I think everyone has a nice time. It certainly flew by. I always feel like I never get to talk to everyone before the party is over!

Thanks to my wonderful parents, we were able to put together a really lovely party and I wanted to share a few Do’s and Don’ts about throwing a college grad party.

  1. Do decide whether this event should be family only, friends only, or a careful mix of the two. Because of the size of my house, the location, the holiday weekend, etc., we decided that it would be mostly family.
  2. Do try to get a head count beforehand so that you prepare enough food/don’t make/order too much. Even with a headcount, we overestimated with some of the food, but I don’t mind leftovers!
  3. Don’t get caught up in the decorations and making sure everything is perfect. Enjoy the party! Sure, making your party look nice is one thing, but generally a college graduation party is not as “elaborate” as a high school one. The focus should be on spending time with others without spending a fortune.
  4. Do show off your accomplishments! I decided to create an area where my family could look at my cap and gown and cords, awards, scrapbooks, yearbooks, and keepsakes from my college years. We dubbed it my “shrine.” šŸ˜‰ This is YOUR time to shine and be proud of all that you did.
  5. Do make it easier for people to get to know one another if you are bringing in different groups of people. We created a fun “Name Game” where we asked guests to “Name the person who _____” and inserted a fun fact about that person. Then they had to write down that person’s relationship to me. It was a fun way to get people talking and learn guests’ names.
  6. Don’t forget to send thank you notes! Spend some time reflecting and thankĀ the people who have helped you get this far in life.

Here’s my graduation “shrine.” We also included a slide show of pictures from the past four years displayed on a computer screen on loop. It was a great conversation starter!

Do you have any tips for college grad parties?

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