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.

grad party checklist free PDF - example graduation party checklist PDF download - example

How to Get the Graduation Party Checklist PDF

Get the printable PDF files right away by filling out the form below! Or head here to sign up for free access to the Ultimate Graduation Party Checklist.

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FREE Graduation Party Checklist PDF

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    1. Hi Jennifer, you can access the grad party checklist when you fill out your info in the purple form which is under the “How to Get the Graduation Party Checklist PDF” heading. Hope that helps!