5 Graduation Party Ideas for your 2023 Grad

Whether you’re celebrating the graduation of someone who has accomplished high school, an undergraduate program, a doctorate, or beyond– a party is in order. One of the easiest (and most impactful!) ways to honor your 2023 grad is to focus on their likes or passions. Here are 5 graduation party ideas for your 2023 grad.

Incorporate Themed Food

It could be that your new grad has a passion for veterinary science. Use animal figurines for place cards, or custom-designed animal cookies as party favors for guests. You can consider their area of study to influence the menu– a chemist needs a mixology-inspired cocktail! While high school may be coming to a close, pizza slumber parties, and ice cream socials don’t have to. Maybe your graduate studied abroad. Bring culinary influence home as a nod to their travels. Food and beverage are the heart of gatherings. Using food as a theme is a great graduation party idea.

Moments Captured

Culminate your graduate’s adventure with a collection of moments captured throughout their journey. Think about bringing a yearbook to life! The art of printed photos is not gone. Have different stations throughout the event to commemorate varying milestones leading up to this party. Start from birth if your graduate is younger or keep the memories limited to the years at hand. A throwback style is a graduation party idea everyone can partake in! Be sure to continue the sentiment by documenting this graduation party idea with Polaroid cameras on-site and a videographer to capture the merriment. Come the next milestone, it will be special to look back at this moment, too.


While this idea may not be groundbreaking, it does act as a clear guiding star in the planning process. I like to lean into school colors or metallics like gold and silver to invoke a celebratory atmosphere. An excellent way to weave color throughout your graduation party is through table linens and napkins, floral centerpieces, and the invitation itself. Pull color inspiration from the location. For instance, if you’re at an estate– lean into the natural landscape. If you’ve rented private dining at a moody steakhouse, maybe stray from soft pastels. Life is colorful. Use that as a graduation party idea!

An Outing

This graduation party idea is heavily factored in the size and age of the group. For younger audiences, I suggest an excursion like a pottery or photography class, or renting out an arcade, or movie theatre for a private screening. College graduates have always loved wine tasting or a party bus rental touring their favorite bar scene from years past. If weather permits, a group outing to a sporting event like Spring Training is generally a hit. In addition, escape rooms are fun experiences for smaller groups.

Pop Culture Reference

Pop culture surrounds us daily, so why not incorporate iconic themes into this milestone celebration for your 2023 grad? Friends aired for many years and still holds relevancy. Dr. Seusses’s book “Oh The Places You’ll Go” is a thoughtful nod to achievements and goals. Perhaps gather fictional schools from multiple sources– there’s Hogwarts, Rydell High School from Grease, McKinley High School from Glee, or Chilton Preparatory from Gilmore Girls. 

As your graduate enters alumni life, be sure to send them off with a special celebration they’ll remember and cherish for years to come. Capture the memories and encourage them to dream big. The world needs the dreamers and the do-ers and maybe, just maybe, these 5 graduation party ideas will help keep the momentum going.




Image by Yvette Roman Photography