Graduation Party Ideas for the Class of 2021

Graduation Party Ideas for the Class of 2021

Let’s be honest: the Class of 2021 has had a wild ride. With virtual learning, Coronavirus lockdowns, and lots of stress and uncertainty to contend with, it’s been a challenge. And, while finishing high school or college is always a huge achievement, current graduates especially deserve some fanfare. Whether their school is planning an in-person ceremony or not, there are lots of ways to celebrate them at home, from Zoom parties to family bashes or limited in-person gatherings. Here are some awesome graduation party ideas that will make your grad’s celebration more special and fun!

Decorate in school colors. When searching for a color palette for your party, you don’t need to look any further than the colors of your grad’s college or high school. It’s all about school spirit! Get playful with incorporating them into the table décor and use flowers and linens to make it look fabulous.

Dig out old photos. Finally, all those old class photos will have their moment in the spotlight! Photos are a great décor item for graduation celebrations as they’re sentimental and often funny too. (Who doesn’t have a bad haircut or two to look back on!) Use them as centerpieces, create a photo wreath or garland, or fill the ceiling with balloons with ribbons hanging down and a photograph attached to each one.

Decorate your lawn. Make your grad feel special by decorating your home. We did this for my son, Alex, last year on what would have been his college graduation day from NYU. Balloons, banners, lawn signs, and streamers will make for a festive display that’s either a warm welcome after a graduation ceremony or a drive-by alternative if regulations prevent an in-person party.

Create a photo backdrop. It’s not a party unless it’s on social media! Create a selfie station for your graduate so they can snap all the pictures they want. Whatever design you choose, be sure to add number balloons spelling out ‘2021’ and to create a hashtag so they can easily see all the pics the next day.

Make a video montage. Instead of a graduation card, make them a video. It’s easier than you think! Platforms like Tribute allow you to invite all their friends and loved ones to contribute video messages and have them compiled into a video montage. This is a great option if you have family and friends who can’t celebrate with you due to living far away or social distancing.

Get a celeb to congratulate them. Another fun video option is to commission a message from a celeb on Cameo. (You can find me on there too!) This service allows you to buy a personalized video message from a wide range of subject matter experts and celebrities, from actors and musicians to sports stars. Who needs a famous guest at your commencement ceremony when you can have them toast your grad directly?

Serve graduation-themed goodies. Who doesn’t love themed food! For a graduation party, you’ll find lots of ideas for foods designed to look like scrolls, mortarboards, or tassels online.

Set up a candy buffet or cookie table. Everybody loves a sweet treat! Display sweets, cookies, or desserts (individually packaged for safety) with a fun sign that pays tribute to your grad. For example: “She’s a smart cookie!” or “Here’s to a sweet ending and a new beginning”.

Use a globe as a guest book. I’m borrowing this idea from weddings, where I’ve seen them work as a fun alternative to a traditional guest book. Set up a world globe on a table together with pens and markers. Guests sign it or write messages to the graduate. This is ideal if your grad has plans to travel. Oh, the places they’ll go!

Create a photo scrapbook. This is another guest book alternative and is always one of the best graduation party ideas! Set up a scrapbooking table with lots of supplies and printed-out photos. Guests can create pages with memories, notes, and advice that the graduate will treasure.

Which of these graduation party ideas is your favorite? Here’s to your celebration – and to the Class of 2021!


Image by Andrea Taylor Studio