Your child has graduated—congratulations, it’s time to celebrate! If they have a lot of friends, or a sibling who’s also graduating, they may want to have a joint graduation party. This means that all of the friends combine their celebration into a single event, with family and mutual friends invited. It’s a great way for BFFs to celebrate their accomplishment together.
Many elements of planning a joint graduation party are the same as planning a single grad party—like sending invitations out far enough in advance. Keep your graduates as involved in the planning as they want to be, and ask them for input on the guest list and foods.
But there are also some unique things to consider when planning a joint graduation party. Besides being a larger event overall, you also have multiple guests of honor to accommodate. Below, we help you balance all these factors so you can focus on the important part—celebrating your grad!
CHOOSE A BIG ENOUGH VENUE
It’s common for graduation parties to be hosted at home. The guest list usually isn’t long, and May and June are perfect months for a backyard barbecue. But if you’re hosting a joint graduation party, you may not have enough room for everyone at your home.
The guest list will be longer, which also means more food, more decorations, and more space. If your home—or the home of another parent—isn’t big enough, consider hosting at a local or public spot. Local parks are perfect for joint graduation parties. The park will have plenty of parking space, and if it’s a public location, local friends and family will know how to get there. Plus, you can still have your barbecue!
CHOOSE THE DAY CAREFULLY
If the joint graduation party is for friends or siblings from the same school, be sure to choose a date carefully. There are two main reasons for doing this. First, the graduates will want to attend parties for their classmates. If you plan their joint graduation party on the same day as another party, your graduate won’t be able to attend the other party. Nobody wins in that situation!
The second reason to choose a date carefully is so that classmates can attend your graduate’s party as well. If there are multiple parties on the same day, students will have to choose which to attend. And no one wants to choose between friends!
CHOOSE A NEUTRAL THEME
For this one, we’re not talking about colors and patterns (you’re probably choosing school colors for the invitations and decorations). Instead, we mean the overall messaging. Some graduation parties double as a send-off party for grads going to college. But at a joint graduation party, not everyone has a specific plan after graduating.
Be careful that any messaging simply celebrates accomplishments, and doesn’t stress future plans too much. Unless all the graduates are going to college in the fall, it’s easy to make someone feel left out at their own party. Instead, ask guests to give general encouragement or advice that applies to anyone who’s just graduated.
CHOOSE THE RIGHT ACTIVITIES
As we said before, a joint graduation party usually means more guests. This, of course, affects the games or activities at the event. If you’re planning an outside event, set up multiple outdoor game stations, like cornhole, darts, and croquet. This way, lots of guests can play games at the same time.
For any group activities—like opening presents or giving advice–make sure you set aside enough time to do so. More guests means more presents and advice, so it will take longer. Keep in mind the venue for this one, too! There will have to be enough space for everyone to gather around.
The most important thing at any party is to have fun. And these tips will help you and your grad do just that! A joint graduation party is an excellent way for close friends or siblings to celebrate a milestone in their lives together. Plus, it can be easier to plan one giant party with everyone, than three individual parties. Keep the number of guests in mind, and make sure all the grads feel involved—and you’re sure to have a blast.