The beginning of Summer means Graduation Parties & Memorial Day. Are you ready?

Grade school, high school, college, or grad school graduation is certainly a reason to celebrate! And Memorial Day Weekend too? We could all use a little help. Here are some idea starters and helpful tips to make your “kick-off to summer” fun for everyone, including you…

Select a Theme
Weave in some Americana. Maybe it’s a southern BBQ with sweet tea and red, white, and blue paper umbrellas. Or a cool California-style picnic with avocados and sprouts on an American flag tablecloth. Your choice!

Getting The Word Out
Definitely send out invitations but ditch the time and expense of paper and go digital. There are lots of free and creative designs out there on the Internet to choose from. Include the location, time, and any other details attendees need to know such as themed attire. And don’t forget where to park directions.

Let’s Eat!
Finger food or buffet-style menus work well. A buffet can help guests mingle easier throughout the party especially if some people are meeting for the first time. For dessert, consider serving graduation cap-shaped goodies or a cake shaped in the graduation year!

BYOF (Bring Your Own Food)
Make it really easy by announcing a You Bring It, We Grill It menu. This way, all your guests will eat exactly what they like, including those on gluten-free or vegetarian diets. Switching it up into a potluck is a great way to incorporate some new foods into everyone’s culinary mix, dietary concerns-contingent of course. And as the host with the most, you can always grill up some barbecue standards and extra sides just in case (or just to show off), hey, it’s a party!

Make It Festive & Memorable
Decorations are an important part of any party. Pick an American theme or focus on decorations that use your grad’s school colors. Streamers, flowers, and balloons are cool and remember to include the graduation year on the decorations. Have your guests sign a guestbook or inscribe well wishes on an enlarged photo of your graduate! Most important: celebrate!

Party Prep Checklist

  • Decide who to invite
  • Check weather forecast (but don’t stress too much)
  • Send out invitations
  • Get plates, utensils, cups
  • Plan menu or “BYOF” strategy
  • Make grocery list
  • Have coolers for beverages
  • Ice, Ice, Ice
  • Clean patio furniture
  • Check charcoal or propane tank
  • Clean grill!
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