5 Tips for Throwing the Perfect High School Senior Graduation Party

May 29, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

By the time seniors are about to graduate, moms, especially, are running around like crazy, wrapping up the school year with last swim meets, basketball games, lacrosse practice and all kinds of farewell gatherings. In other words, they are bu-sy. For that reason, I wanted to put together a quick list with 5 Tips for Throwing the Perfect Graduation Party that they can use when planning the festivities. Shall we check them out?

*Click photos to view image source

1. Get the invitations/announcements out sooner rather than later

high school senior photo graduation and announcement cards

If you have the photos for the invitations ready to go, you can search online for websites that let you upload the photo, design the card and enter the details for the party. Then, wait until they come in, get some postage (check the size to make sure you get the right stamps), and mail those babies out.

If you had your senior photos done by a professional photographer, chances are you can purchase cards directly from them, saving you a TON of time. (I even include postage with mine so my clients don't have to run to the post office - isn't that nice?)

Ready to order grad cards? Click here to see all the templates available to my clients. Also, here are some things to consider:

  • Make a list of guests so you know how many invitations you'll need (include extras in case the list changes or mail is lost, and because you will want to keep some cards as mementos);
  • Place the order for the cards at least 2 months BEFORE the party so you have time to address and stamp them all, and mail them in advance;
  • Make sure you include the date and time, location with address, RSVP request, and any additional info.

2. Decide what foods and drinks you will serve to guests

ideas for high school senior grad party menu with popcorn bar

Are you the family chef? Then you can tackle the food prep yourself by planning for everyone you invite and then some (it's always best to have leftovers than to have to order a few emergency pizzas).

If you are ordering from a caterer, make sure they deliver early enough before the party (or that someone can pick it up for you), and that you have allocated the space where they will set up the trays.

For drinks, choose a small selection of beverages: you don't need to serve everything available out there, just make sure you cover the majority of tastes and always have enough water for everyone.

Whatever you decide for the menu, consider guests with possible food allergies and preferences (options with no meat and gluten-free will be popular).

3. Keep decorations simple yet meaningful

ideas for high school senior grad party decoration card holder ideas for high school senior grad party decoration photo wall

Consider a centerpiece with special photos or inspirational quotes. You can also add linens, which dress up any space. And don't forget to have fun with colorful or themed cups, glasses, plates, serving bowls, etc.

For special memories, set up a dedicated table/space where guests can write cards on the spot (just include blank notes), or just deposit the ones they bring into a special container (an empty birdcage can look beautiful when you add a ribbon and some flowers, for example - be creative!)

Last, but not least, few things will be as popular as photos and cute letters you may have received when your senior was little. Bring out the old boxes so guests can go through the images/papers and laugh while they tell candid stories and reminisce.

4. Get a special gift for your amazing son or daughter

ideas for gifts for high school seniors

Make this day extra special for your senior: maybe they have been waiting for a new phone, trip or even a car! You can always gift something that will be super useful in college (new computer or new bed linens, for example). You will collect the "Coolest Parent on the Block" award soon after.

5. Make new memories

It's been a long journey since you became a parent to this marvellous human being, and I bet it was quite challenging at times. I know you worked hard at doing the best job you can, and so did your senior, in order to get to where he or she is now, so take time to celebrate and enjoy this moment by making new memories. As always, please remember to take special photos, so you can create a keepsake album and look at it when the offspring has left the nest.

Did you enjoy this post?

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More info:

Click here for TONS of other ideas saved in my Pinterest High School Grad Party Board

Click here to see my High School Senior Gallery

Need your senior photos ASAP?

YES! There is still time! Click here to send me an email so we can discuss how senior sessions can be special, fun and give you stunning photos and products.

Want to see what it is like to have a senior session with me?

Click here to see a FULL session with Maria (Coon Rapids High School Class of 2015) and another one with CJ (Irondale Class of 2016).


Laine Torres loves to photograph High School Seniors, helping them decide which locations are great for their style, what outfits they can wear to look their best, and, ultimately, what to do with the gorgeous photos they receive after the session. The experience is fun and laid-back, and celebrates one of the most important years of the senior's life. Contact Laine now to learn how you can book your one-of-a-kind senior photos.


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Professional photo sessionLaine Torres is a professional photographer who provides branding photography and headshot photos in the Twin Cities Metro Area. Laine works creatively to develop a unique concept for each of her clients that best matches their personality and business goals. Contact Laine now to book your session.

Laine Torres is a professional photographer who provides branding photography and headshot photos in the Twin Cities Metro Area, MN. Laine works creatively to develop a unique concept for each of her clients that best matches their personality and business goals. Contact Laine now to book your session.


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