Graduation Party Etiquette Ideas

Proper graduation party etiquette has two aspects to it. The first part deals with throwing a party that will be a hit with people and the second part is to ensure that if you are attending a party, that you do not do anything that would offend others and leave the wrong impression. So, let's get to the meat of the discussion!

Throwing A Graduation Party

If you are going to be the one throwing the party, it is important to do it the right way. Poor planning can reflect poorly on the graduate and it doesn't really create the right atmosphere for the party.

Graduation Party EtiquetteOne of the first decisions to decide what kind of party you would like to have. Some people like to do themes for their parties and people really seem to like this. It could be themed based on the season. As an example, it could be a beach or summer party since that is usually the time for graduation.

The theme of the graduation party could also be based on the college that the student will be attending post graduation. If you know the school's colors, you could use that for all of the decorations, food, and invitations. If you know their mascot, that could be the theme of the party. Using their mascot (a tiger for example) can also make a fun theme party.

As you are preparing the guest list, proper graduation party etiquette would suggest that you invite people primarily for the graduate. It is a natural tendency for the parents to invite people they want to have there, but that is not good graduation party manners. This party is for the graduate and it is important that they set the majority of the guest list or else the graduate is going to have a lot of people at their party that they really do not want to see or celebrate with.

That doesn't mean you should exclude family or close personal friends from the list of invitees. There is no reason that they cannot celebrate together. It is just a matter of keeping things in balance and in proper perspective.

As far as food goes, it is appropriate to have something for people to snack on. You are not required to serve a meal, however some people choose to do so. There is nothing wrong with it, but having at least some light desserts and beverages is acceptable.

If you are the graduate, then people expect you at least to greet them, smile, and thank them for coming. This is the time to be warm, welcoming, and conversational. Even if that is not your normal personality, people will appreciate it.

Attending A Graduation Party

If you have been invited to a graduation party, there is some appropriate graduation party etiquette for you to adhere to.

First of all, you need to remember that graduation gifts are appropriate. If you are struggling for ideas, check out our page on graduation gift etiquette. To keep it very simple, it is appropriate to give a gift that is based on the university that they will be attending. Or, if you really don't know what to do, money is something that a graduate can always use!

Also, be very careful of your conversations with the graduate. Some people may have plans for the future and others may not have made those decisions yet. Since this is a time to celebrate, you really don't want to put a damper on the party by making them uncomfortable about the future. Unless they bring it up, it is best to not talk about what they are going to do.

If they have plans, by all means, talk about it. Otherwise, it is best to let it go and keep a good atmosphere in the party. If you really have to know, you can ask at a later time, or ask their parents.

Be sure to follow the theme of the party. 99% of all graduation parties are causal in nature. However, if there is a Hawaiian theme, it would be very tasteful to wear a Hawaiian shirt.

These tips on proper graduation party etiquette will help you make the best of this exciting time. 

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