Plan the absolute best grad party with these backyard graduation party ideas! Trust me, you will have the best food, games, and decor if you use these ideas and tips!
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Planning a graduation party feels like there are always a million things that you have to do. And on top of that, you also have to start getting ready for whatever comes after graduation, whether that’s college, grad school, or work.
Safe to say, there’s a lot happening. To help you out with a couple of those decisions, I’ve got all the best ideas to plan an absolutely perfect backyard graduation party. Whether it’s food ideas, decor tips, games, or hacks to help budget for a party, I’ve got it all covered!
This post is all about backyard graduation party ideas!
Budget-friendly graduation party ideas
To help minimize some expenses, plan a joint graduation party with a friend. By co-hosting, you guys will pick one house/location to have the party, but share all of the expenses.
That way, you still get to have a really nice party, but for half of the price. Plus, you’ll have a party with your best friend!
Another option to keep costs down at your backyard graduation party is to have it “open house” style. By doing this, you can have some smaller snack foods out all day instead of serving one big meal to all your guests at once.
Doing your party this way lets you have as many people as you want, without crazy high costs for food!
evites instead of invites
A super easy way to cut costs (that no one even cares about) is to send an electronic invitation instead of a real one. You can do this on Evite or make a flyer on Canva to text to all your guests.
These days, no one really cares about getting a real invitation, so I would definitely suggest an evite if you are looking to save some money.
get creative with food
Food tends to be one of the most expensive parts of a grad party. To save some money, get creative with what food you are planning to serve. Maybe instead of a big meal that is very protein-based, try having smaller appetizers/snack foods throughout your party.
Also, try to make as much food as you can at home. It is always a lot cheaper to cook it yourself than to cater the food!
If you aren’t the best at cooking, catering is another easy option that isn’t crazy expensive if you are buying in bulk. Things like these Costco party platters are a great option to get a lot of food easily. Plus, these are really delicious platters that all of your guests are going to love!
DIY your decor
Have fun DIYing some of the decor for the party instead of buying it. Not only does this save money, but it is a fun activity to do before the party!
backyard Decoration ideas
String lights seriously elevate any backyard graduation party! These aren’t too expensive and are pretty easy to set up for your party.
Plus, you can use these for a bunch of backyard BBQ’s and parties so they are definitely worth the purchase.
To make your party more graduation themed, try getting cute tablecloths! You can either buy a general grad-themed one or buy tablecloths to match the colors of your party.
Flowers as your centerpieces are such a cute way to spruce up your party decorations. You can buy whatever flowers are your favorite or buy ones that match the colors of your party.
For the vase, mason jars are the easiest idea that won’t cost you too much. If you want to make your centerpieces even cuter, try printing out pictures of the grad and either tape them to the mason jar or attach them to a stick in the vase.
You can’t have a party without balloons for the decor! For a backyard party, try buying or making a cute balloon garland.
This also doubles as a great backdrop for some super cute photos throughout the party with friends and family.
This is such a cute walk down memory lane for a graduate. Gather yearbook photos from their childhood and get them printed on poster board. Then, just line them up in the grass for everyone to look at throughout the party.
You can also line the driveway towards the backyard so people see them as they enter the party.
tree photo display
This is another, slightly cheaper option for some photos at your party. You can either do all your favorite pictures or yearbook pictures from throughout the graduate’s life.
Then, just clip them all up to the tree using the string lights.
polaroid guest book
A polaroid guest book is a super cute idea to have a way to remember your party years down the road. Have a table set up with a polaroid, the book, and some markers/pens.
Throughout your party, everyone can take pictures, write notes, and then put it all in the guest book.
high school/college colors
For general decor, try sticking to a color scheme so everything matches. You can do your high school colors, your future college colors, or just whatever is your favorite!
Lawn game ideas
Here are a bunch of fun lawn games that you can buy and put around the backyard at your party. These are super easy games that everyone knows and loves, so they will make your party so much more fun!
life size connect 4
A college-themed dessert table is such a cute way to end your graduation party. You can get whatever desserts are your favorite, just try to theme everything to match your college colors.
drink table/specialty drinks
Having a drink table at your backyard graduation party is such a fun idea! You can even make a specialty drink in your college colors for your guests to try.
hot dog bar
For a more interesting food idea, try having a hot dog bar at your party. You can have fun putting cute labels on all the different toppings for the hotdogs.
Walking tacos are another dinner idea that is so much fun! For this, you just need a bunch of bags of chips and taco toppings. You can make the presentation of all the toppings super cute too!
For a cute dessert idea, set up a s’mores bar and a fire at the end of the night.
This is such a fun way to end the note around the bonfire with all your closest friends and family!
This post was all about backyard graduation party ideas!