Keep It Simple: How to Plan a Graduation Party Without Going Overboard

Not to speed up the clock or anything, but graduation season is right around the corner.

Yep, that sweet culmination of years of hard work, late-night cram sessions, and an ungodly amount of coffee. But enough about us parents.

Whether it’s high school, college, or a master’s program, crossing that finish line deserves a celebration. But let’s be real for a second: planning a graduation party doesn’t need to be the next Herculean task you undertake. The last thing you want is the added stress of party planning pandemonium. 

So, how do you keep it simple without skimping on the fun? Read on, party planners. 

Start with the Who, Not the How Many

First off, this isn’t a gala with a fish boil (has there ever been a gala with a fish boil?) 

A cozy gathering of close friends and family isn’t just easier on your wallet, but it’s also more meaningful. Imagine being able to actually chat with each guest rather than performing a frantic meet-and-greet. 

Plus, a smaller guest list means you don’t need shushers assigned to every room to quiet the crowd when it’s time for speeches or any other type of announcements. 

Location, Location, Location…or Just Your Backyard

While renting out the last castle on the left sounds epic, why not consider your backyard or living room? 

It’s personal, it’s free, and hey, the commute is unbeatable. A few strings of fairy lights, some comfy seating, and you’ve got yourself a venue with a vibe.

But…even in May and early June, we’re not out of the cold weather woods, so be prepared to bring things inside if the winds and freezing rain sweep in. 

Potluck it Up

Now, let’s talk food. Catering can quickly turn your budget from “yay” to “nay.” 

So, how about a potluck? It adds variety to your spread and lets everyone showcase their signature dish. Maybe that fish boil makes sense after all. 

DIY Décor and Digital Invites

Forget forking out a fortune for fancy decorations. 

Those Pinterest DIYs are not just for show. Balloons, photos from school, and hand-made banners add a personal touch that no store-bought décor can match. And while we’re keeping it digital, send out evites. They’re eco-friendly, easy, and instantly delivered. 

No carrier pigeons required.

Focus on the Fun

Lastly, remember this party is all about celebrating an incredible achievement. 

Whether it’s backyard games, a nostalgic slideshow, or an impromptu karaoke session, the goal is laughter, memories, and perhaps a happy tear or two.

And if this graduation signals your empty nester phase, try to contain your excitement. 


Graduates are on the run, and we’ve got the perfect gift as they stay in stride: Our Fun on the Run Snack Pack! We start with an insulated six-can cooler that’s stocked with ready-to-eat finger foods, including Woeber’s honey dipping mustard, cheese, cashews or almonds, cookies, dipping pretzels, and assorted chips. 

Enjoy and congrats! 

About BasketWorks

BasketWorks is a woman-owned gift basket company located in the north suburbs of Chicago (specifically Northbrook, IL) since 1997. We are proud to offer a variety of gifts and gift baskets appropriate for all occasions. Each of our packages is built to order, allowing for customization at no additional cost to our clients. Contact us today!

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