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25 Perfect Graduation Party Ideas Sure to Impress

Graduation season is upon us, friends! If you have a high school, college, or career-related graduate ready to end their schooling in a fun, exciting way, this graduation party ideas post is for you.

We are going to cover 25 perfect graduation party ideas that will be sure to impress every guest (including you & your graduate)!

In this post, I am going to share with you five categories of graduation party ideas, including the top 5:

  • best gifts for graduates
  • best graduation invitations
  • best graduation party outfits
  • best food for graduation parties
  • best graduation party decorations

Before we get started, I want to thank Basic Invite for sponsoring this post. We will get into more details about their company later, but in the meantime, check them out here for some of the best stationary options (especially for graduation party ideas) & designs, hands down.

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I receive a commission if you choose to purchase through links I provide (at no extra cost to you). As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

graduation party ideas

Best Graduation Party Ideas – Gifts

1. Luggage

Everyone needs a good set of luggage, especially the high school or college grad, whose doors have just been open to see the world (if they choose).

I recently purchased some new luggage (we didn’t have the best carryon luggage, good for quick weekend trips), and this is what I bought. We are so happy with them! Would definitely buy again, especially for a recent grad.

2. Cast Iron Skillet

This one may seem a little odd, but let me tell you: you haven’t truly cooked until you’ve used a cast iron skillet (plus, your grad can use these for decades).

My husband was the one who introduced me to the cast iron skillet, and I will be forever thankful for him doing so.

Cooking with a cast iron skillet is amazing because, the longer you cook with it, the more the flavor “pops” – because it soaks in flavor each time you use it.

Just be sure to remind your grad to never use soap with it (it ruins the taste), and select one that comes in a set (it’s nice to have multiple sizes to choose from depending on what you’re cooking)!

3. Address Book

This is another gift that may seem a little odd for the technology generation we’re currently living in, but hear me out: an address book is an awesome idea for a grad – because – it ensures they will never lose addresses of those they love most.

My mom got me an address book when I graduate high school and I still have (and use) it regularly.

Anytime I want to send a card to a loved one (be it a birthday card, thank you card, sympathy card, etc.), I pull out my address book. It’s especially useful during the holidays when addressing cards that will be sent to everyone your grad knows.

4. Nespresso

If the grad you’re giving a gift to is anything like me (especially when I was younger and used to later nights), they will love a Nespresso machine.

We have the older version of this one and absolutely love it. It’s a compact size so it won’t take up much space on the counter, but it does an amazing job of making a delicious & robust-flavored espresso anytime you desire (and it does it super quick).

If you want to be a little extra with the gift, grab them this 50 count of espresso pods so that they’re set for many mornings to come.

5. Personalized Wine Glass

This last gift is so cute. It’s a really nice wine glass with such a thoughtful, sweet quote for any type of recent grad.

This is something they will be sure to keep forever & something that will fondly remind them of their education & graduation experience.

Best Graduation Party Ideas – Invitations

Basic Invite

Like I said earlier in the post, this blog post is sponsored by the wonderful company Basic Invite.

Basic Invite is one of the best stationary businesses online. Here’s why:

  • Almost Unlimited Colors: Basic Invite is one of the few websites that allows customers almost unlimited color options with instant previews online. Once you select a design, you can change the color of each element on the card. With over 180 colors to choose from, you can make sure the card is exactly how you want it. This is what sets them apart from almost any other online stationery company.
  • Custom Samples: Basic Invite is one of the few websites that allows customers to order a printed sample of their actual invitation before they place their final order. They can see the paper quality and how it will print in real life and make sure the card is perfect. 
  • Over 40 Different Colors of Envelopes: Basic Invite has over 40 different envelope colors to choose from. With so many options, customers can make their envelope match the invitation. All of Basic Invite’s envelopes are peel and seal so the envelopes can be closed quickly and securely.
  • Address Capturing Service: Basic Invite offers an address capturing service that allows customers to share a link on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or any other social media to request their friends and family’s addresses. The addresses are stored in the customer’s account and can be selected during the design process. Basic Invite offers recipient address printing at no cost on all card orders.
  • Foil: Foil cards are available in gold, silver, and rose gold. Customers can choose flat or raised foil on all of Basic Invite’s foil designs.

Right now, just in time for graduation season, Basic Invite is offering a special discount of 15% off for you all! Here is the code to receive your discount (at checkout): 15FF51

If you’d like to check out more about Basic Invite, head here to their various social media pages:

Social Media Links: @basicinvite

1. Simple with Full Picture

graduation party invitations and graduation party invitation templates

I really love this graduation invitation – it’s from Basic Invite and is one of their graduation invitations templates that you can customize however you would like.

This one does not come with a thank you card so I feel it would be best for college graduation party invitations (only because, in my experience, high school graduates receive way more gifts than college grads, since it’s their first graduation).

I love how simple this design is & how the full picture is complemented by pretty, simple font.

Head here to browse the graduation invitation templates by Basic Invite.

2. Framed Invite with Matching Thank You Cards

college party invitations and graduation party invitation templates

This one may be my favorite graduation invitation from Basic Invite.

I really love the frame look, but the picture of the graduate still being the focus.

I also absolutely love the thank you cards that match the invite – how perfect are these?

3. Outlined Grad

This graduation invitation is really cool – it has a very modern look in that the letters in “grad” are outlined.

It is super sleek and would make a really “cool” graduation invitation for your graduate.

4. Classic Keepsake

This graduation invitation strikes me a classic mixed with modern.

It is very simple but very pleasing to the eye. Very nice & elegant.

5. Photo Corners

I love this graduation invitation.

It looks professional but still has a few touches that make it somewhat casual.

I feel like this would be a great invitation for someone who is graduating from either business school or even some sort of arts degree.

Best Graduation Party Ideas – Outfits

1. The Black Romper

Every woman needs a black romper in their lives.

I purchased my first black romper (this one) last year and absolutely love it!

It has the best of both worlds: it is super comfy but also super stylish, especially when paired with the right shoes & accessories.

With this black romper, you will absolutely be comfortable throughout your grad’s entire graduation party!

2. Sheath Dress

If you are going for a look for your graduate’s party that is a little more dressy, this is the one.

This sheath dress is simple yet a little dressier than others because of its beautiful open sleeves.

3. Printed Swing Shift Dress

This is my favorite outfit of all for graduation parties!

Prints are really fashionable right now (especially during spring) and I absolutely love this print dress – it’s beautiful but with the flowy swing shift style, sure to keep you comfy all day (and night) long.

It’s really colorful without being too “loud.” Highly recommend this dress!

4. Wide Legged Pants Romper

Wide legged pants are another style that are fashionable right now, so this wide legged pants romper would be perfect for a graduation party.

I love the cream color of this one and love the loose belt accent, too!

Again, this another dressy-yet-casual outfit – perfect for the entire day & night.

5. Casual Spaghetti Strap Swing Dress

The last outfit I’d recommend for a graduation party is this casual spaghetti strap swing dress.

Sure to keep you comfy all day & night, this dress is perfect for the more casual, laid back graduation party.

It comes in so many colors that you may have a hard time choosing just one!

Best Graduation Party Ideas – Food

1. Snack Board

homemade snack board

I have been creating snack boards for parties now for nearly a year & absolutely love the simplicity yet beauty of them.

When it comes to graduation party ideas, a snack board is a terrific one! You can check out how to create a snack board in this post.

What I love most about them is that you can really experiment with different themes (red white and blue for the 4th, for instance) and also make it really healthy, if you’d like.

2. Charcuterie Board

homemade charcuterie board

A step up from the snack board for graduation party ideas is the charcuterie board. You really can’t go wrong with a charcuterie board – I have never met a person who didn’t like one!

You can check out how to make your own charcuterie board by going here.

3. Homemade Dip

homemade dip

Who doesn’t love a good dip? A homemade dip would be perfect in the realm of graduation party ideas!

One of the easiest, most liked options for graduation party food is a homemade dip. Pair with potato chips, pita chips, or even vegetables & you instantly have a hit!

Just make sure to find a good recipe, like this one, for your dip!

4. Cocktail Meatballs

homemade cocktail meatballs

Something I’ve always looked forward to when it comes to food at parties is a really good cocktail meatball platter.

Most people love really good-flavored meatballs & this recipe has one of the best recipes you can find.

Something I love about cocktail meatballs is you can easily make these vegetarian or vegan – you may even want to create a second platter for your vegetarian or vegan friends – simply use something like Beyond Beef or Impossible Beef in order to make the meatball, then use the same sauce for both – and, voila! You’re good to go!

Make sure to bookmark the recipe above for graduation party ideas – food.

5. Chocolate Truffles

homemade chocolate truffles

When preparing for a graduation party, whatever you do, don’t forget to have some really yummy dessert options!

One of my favorites is homemade chocolate truffles. Just about everyone will love these.

This is my favorite recipe for them. Easy & delicious!

Best Graduation Party Ideas – Decorations

1. Gold Balloon Backdrop

number balloons

I really love the look of number balloons – really for any occasion, but especially for graduation parties.

Why not make the party a little more special by including number balloons with the grad’s year of graduation?

This kit is my favorite. It comes with a golden fringe backdrop, golden year number balloons, and gold pearl balloons to add to the backdrop.

2. Gold Circle Dots Backdrop

party backdrop

This circle dots backdrop is such an elegant, stunning decoration to include at your grad’s party.

Although the circles are made of paper, one would never be able to tell this.

The backdrop is elegant yet simple, and provides a shiny effect that I think would be pleasing to anyone’s eye.

3. Hanging Banner Porch Sign

party banners

What a beautiful, simple, eye-popping decoration is this hanging banner porch sign.

Sure to catch the eye of both the guests and the grad, this is a must-have graduation party decoration!

4. Hanging Paper Lanterns

paper lanterns

Paper lanterns have been one of my favorite party decorations for several years now.

They are so simple to hang & display, yet provide a nice touch of “I-hired-someone-to-decorate-this-party” because of their put together look.

I really love this black, gold, and white set!

5. Graduation Party Plates, Cups, & Utensils Set

paper plates for party

A party with food isn’t a party with food unless you have a plates, cups, and utensils set to go with it.

Keeping with the classic black – white – and gold theme to graduation parties, this set is perfect.

In Closing

In closing, I want to first of all say – CONGRATS to your graduate! Graduation (no matter the education path) is such a monumental, proud, special event for grads & their families.

I really hope this blog post gave you a ton of inspiration for your upcoming grad’s party.

Check out some of my related posts:

I would love if you shared this post on your social media pages and/or in an email to your friends & family!

Until next time, thanks for reading.

Leslie <3

graduation party ideas