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Free Printable: The Ultimate Graduation Party Checklist

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The secret to planning a graduation party without losing your mind

the ultimate graduation party checklist

Graduation party planning (for both high school and college students) can be a great deal of fun. But it can also be overwhelming.

Not to mention stressful, too!

It’s essential to complete tasks on a timeline because graduation season gets busy. Waiting too long to order invitations, a cake or flowers can spell disaster.


I created a graduation party checklist – it keeps track of the details so you don’t have to. Use it to throw a successful party with ease.

In This Article


How Do You Plan a Graduation Party?

If you’ve never planned a party before it may seem like a big order to fill.

Don’t worry, though:

Because when you break it down into smaller parts it’s not so complicated. Take it one thing at a time and you’ll do fine.

Let’s go over the details of planning a graduation party and how far ahead to plan for each one.


Graduation Party Planning Timeline

3 Months Out

❑ Choose a budget for your party.
❑ Pick a date and time.
❑ Decide how long you want the party to be.
❑ Choose a theme.
❑ Pick a location.
❑ Decide who you’ll be inviting.
❑ Book the venue if you’re having the party somewhere besides your home.
❑ Book rentals for any chairs or tables you may need.
❑ Book any entertainment you want there, such as a DJ or Band.
❑ Order the invitations to ensure they have plenty of time to arrive.

6 Weeks Out

❑ Decide what kind of food and drinks you’ll have at the party.
❑ Pick out the decorations and make a shopping list for later.
❑ If you want a photographer at the event, book one now.
❑ Put in your order for the cake or any special desserts.
❑ If the guest list is fairly large you may want a caterer, now is the time to book one.
❑ Make hair and nail appointments for the big day.

4 Weeks Out

❑ Send out the invitations.
❑ Confirm venue reservations.
❑ Confirm chair and table rentals.
❑ Confirm cake and caterer arrangements.
❑ Order thank you cards.
❑ Start buying decorations. Shopping early will make sure that you’re able to get everything you want.
❑ Place an order for flowers and balloons.
❑ Buy paper products (i.e. napkins, plates, etc.) and utensils.
❑ Create or order any custom signage for the party.
❑ Start putting together a slideshow or photobook of the graduate.
❑ Shop for graduation gifts.
❑ Come up with a general schedule for the party.
❑ Finalize a grocery list.
❑ Decide what you’ll do with your pet/s during the get together. Make arrangements if necessary.
❑ Find out who’s going to help with party setup and take down.

1 – 2 Weeks Out

❑ Check your guest list and see who’s coming. Usually not everyone can make it which means you may not need as much food.
❑ Check the forecast for the day of the party.
❑ Pick up any last-minute decor.
❑ Create a music playlist.
❑ Shop for food and drinks.
❑ Wrap gifts.

1 – 2 Days Out

❑ Check the forecast again. If your party is outside you may need to make adjustments.
❑ Clean your house and tidy up the yard.
❑ Make sure your camera is ready to go with a fully charged battery.
❑ Stock the bathroom with extra supplies to prepare for the influx of guests.
❑ Start decorating.
❑ Confirm chair and table rentals.
❑ Set up chairs and tables if possible.
❑ Prep food that can be made early.
❑ Confirm venue reservations if any.
❑ Confirm cake and caterer arrangements.

Day of the Party

❑ Pick up the cake or desserts.
❑ Pick up the flowers and balloons.
❑ Pick up ice for coolers and/or drinks.
❑ Take your pet/s wherever they’re going to be during the party.
❑ Finish any remaining food prep.
❑ Chill the drinks in coolers or the fridge.
❑ Finish putting up decorations. Don’t forget to put the sign and balloons out front.
❑ Set out extra trash cans for guests.
❑ Take pictures and enjoy the celebration!


Printable Graduation Party Checklist

All those little details add up into a ton of things to remember.

That’s why I created a printable checklist. Now all that information is available in one location and it’s easy to see what there’s left to do.

There are two versions: one with hearts and one with simple check boxes. I thought that the hearts were pretty cute.

The best part:

You can use this ultimate graduation party checklist for FREE.


I have a graduation party planning template that goes with it. You can use the worksheet to flesh out all your ideas.

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How to Get the Graduation Party Checklist PDF

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FREE Graduation Party Checklist PDF

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