Written by Lily Borak
Cap? Thrown. Degree? Earned. Now what? It’s party time.
After all your hard work, you seriously deserve to celebrate! Graduation parties are the perfect way to say peace out (or just see ya later) to school, reflect on your accomplishments and make memories with loved ones. If you’re on the fence, here are even more reasons why you should have a grad party. But, if you’re already looking for ways to throw a memorable and trendy event to celebrate getting that diploma, you’ve come to just the place.
I’ve compiled this list of 9 ideas for throwing the coolest, trendiest, most memorable grad party EVER. Because graduating is a big deal and, as you say goodbye to this chapter of your life, it’s important to celebrate how far you’ve come. (Are anyone else’s eyes watering? No? Just me? Okay.) So, keep reading for plenty of fun, fresh ideas that you and your guests will absolutely adore.
And to make your party prep a little easier, we also put together a graduation party planning checklist and even made this iconic list of unique and trendy grad party decor items. Consider it our grad gift to you!
It’s safe to say Barbie is still having her moment. Similarly, your grad party is YOUR moment. Given Barbie’s icon status and propensity for slaying every career she enters, consider this theme both a grad celebration and manifestation event; as you enter this new chapter of your life, embody your inner Barbie.
2. Eras Tour-inspired
The first leg of the Eras Tour may be over, but we certainly are not over it. Taylor Swift-themed grad parties are definitely going to be big this year with clever taglines like “In My Grad Era” or “End of an Era” fitting this theme perfectly. Incorporate personalizable decorations to really make it yours.
3. Smart cookie
You are what you eat. Or, rather, you eat what you are? Regardless, “smart cookie” grad parties have been a thing for a few years now and are cute, trendy and totally delicious. Bake a bunch of homemade cookies or buy a nice assortment, then set up a cookie bar for your guests. Consider having cookie decorating as an exciting, interactive activity.
Disco isn’t dead, and as a full-on graduate, you deserve a party theme that shines as bright as you do! Plus, any throwback event is befitting of a nostalgic moment like this…if even you weren’t necessarily alive in the ’70s…like at all. But, so what!? Purchase plenty of disco balls and deck out your party space with plenty of groovy, flowery decor for this one.
Okay, here’s a decade you may have actually existed during. Throw it back to where it all began with a Y2K-themed grad party. Especially with the release of the new Mean Girls film this year, Y2K continues to dominate in fashion and party spaces. Decorate with all the Y2K staples—i.e. sequins, butterflies, CDs, flip phones…you get the point. And definitely consider implementing a Y2K dress code for your party to create a truly iconic event.
6. Garden brunch
For TFW you want to wear a pretty, floral dress while drinking OJ and eating pancakes doused in syrup. Enjoy all your fave brunch foods, but decorate your space with Bridgerton/high-society vibes. You can even encourage your guests to wear garden party attire and should absolutely set up garden party games (croquet, anyone?) for the full experience.
7. One degree hotter
Okay, picture this: summery decor, pool party vibes, island energy. If you’re graduating in May or June, then take advantage of that summer weather with a “one degree hotter” party! Create a nostalgic feel by serving ice pops, Italian ice and plenty of ice cream. And don’t forget to deck out your space with plenty of tropical decorations!
8. 2024’s last rodeo
You’ve probably been seeing pink cowgirl hats and cow print all over your feed in recent years, so it makes sense that Wild West-inspired parties are big in the party space. Throw your own and brand it as a “last rodeo” bash to celebrate the completion of your degree. Hand out colorful bandanas, buy cute rodeo-themed decor and get ready for a yee-hawesome time!
Bring festival vibes to your own backyard with a Gradchella party! Transform your space into a mini music festival with fun snack stands, photo ops and a playlist of all your fave tunes. Opt for plenty of boho decor to achieve that I’m-a-celeb-in-the-desert feel and consider creating your own wristbands to hand out to your guests as they arrive. Immersive experiences are one of the biggest party trends of the year—this is the perfect theme for really creating something unforgettable!
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