Celebrate school graduation without sacrificing safety with these 2021 grad party ideas

Most graduation parties last year weren’t exactly all-out soirees. 2020 grads were forced to make do with getting their diplomas in the mail and listening to commencement speeches over Zoom – not exactly a rousing celebration.

Fortunately, 2021 grads should be able to look forward to commemorating their achievement this year. The possibilities for in-person events are becoming more promising as the COVID-19 pandemic slows down. Whether it is high schools or universities, more and more academic institutions are giving the green light on graduation gatherings.

Now here comes the challenge: after a year of social distancing, do you even remember how to throw a party? Yes; yes you do. And we can help you even more with these 2021 graduation party tips. Not only can you throw a graduation event that celebrates success in style, but you can do it safely (Covid-19 isn’t quite over, after all). As a bonus, include any 2020 grads in your life that missed out on their parties last year.

Here’s what to do:

1. Host it outdoors

Springtime brings warm, sunny weather and blossoming flowers in your garden that just happen to serve as the perfect natural décor – there’s no better season for an outdoor party in Florida! Keep your grad party Covid-19 safe and scenic at the same time. Win-win!

Just be sure to keep your eye on the weather and look for a shady area to retreat from too much sunshine and enclosed space in case of precipitation. Add string lights for a festive touch to illuminate your space, and stock up on sunscreen and bug spray to keep guests comfortable.

2. Have party games

It’s not a backyard event without some party games! From cornhole to croquet (or even outdoor beer pong for college grads), the options are practically endless. And there’s no need to install a whole volleyball court! You can try these easy DIY options.

3. Decorate with school colors

The color scheme is easy at a graduation party – just look to your grad’s soon-to-be alma mater for inspiration. Then, purchase streamers, table spreads, disposable plates and cups, and other items in these school colors. You can even look around your house for items you already own in that color scheme.

4. Send your RSVPs out ASAP

Unlike last year, folks are going to have more options for in-person graduation parties in 2021. So plan your event early and get those RSVPs in the mail or email. You can send out virtual invitations to keep things simple and affordable (and to avoid any lingering postal service delays due to the pandemic). Even a Facebook event works. If you opt for the latter, you can post updates and information as the event draws closer.  

5. Have a virtual option for those who can’t make it

Even though Covid-19 is much less active than last year, you might still want to keep your guest list small. You might also be dealing with out-of-state guests who aren’t comfortable traveling yet. No need to leave those people out in the cold on graduation day. Offer a virtual option so they can make an appearance at your party no matter where they’re located. Another fun idea is to ask them to record a congratulatory video and send it your way to be played at the event as a surprise for your grad.

6. Set a backdrop for photos

Using a draped cloth, poster board, or hanging garlands, create a dedicated area of the party for taking photos. Your grad and their friends will have fun posing with caps and diplomas in hand. You can even buy (or DIY) some fun 2021 photo props.

7. Incorporate retrospective photos

Speaking of photos, one easy 2021 graduation party decorating hack may already be in your Instagram or Facebook feed: photos from the past four years. Before the event, print ‘em out! You can use them as table settings, tack them up on poster board by the gift table, or even create an album for people to leaf through.

8. Safety first

Keep guests safe and comfortable by having socially distanced seating and hand sanitizer and soap available. You can even offer commemorative Class of 2021 face masks.

9. Acknowledge 2020 grads who missed out on their parties last year

If you’ve got some 2020 grads at your event, now is the time to give them the party they missed out on last year. Include some 2020 graduation items in your decorating scheme, buy a special cake, and add be sure to acknowledge them in your speech.

10. Don’t forget party favors

There are so many fun party favors you can buy or create when hosting a 2021 graduation party. One that we love is this super easy (and super chocolatey) Reese’s graduation cap idea.

11. Get graduation-worthy catering!

Make your 2021 party a thousand times more special than last year’s less-than-awesome celebration by getting some delicious catering.  TooJay’s Catering is a trusted catering company that can make your event come alive with a wide array of tasty options. From sandwiches and wraps to hot entrees and gourmet desserts (Key lime pie anyone?), we will make your 2021 graduation party a hit.