How to Throw a Backyard Graduation Party

If you’re wondering how to throw a backyard graduation party you might feel like you’re going to pull your hair out. Planning and invites and food and decorations and more there may seem like there’s no end to the craziness that you feel trying to plan this party. That doesn’t even take into account that this is your graduate, your little one, and now they’re old enough to fly on their own. Any parent would get emotional but thankfully there’s a way to plan a solid graduation party in your backyard, without losing your mind in the process.

Pick a Theme or Feel

The first thing you should do right off the bat when you’re trying to figure out how to throw a backyard graduation party, is establish either a theme or a consistent running feeling. Does the grad like western stuff? Flowers? A specific sports team? Did they get into a college? Take into account what they want their grad party to look like, take time to look over other graduation parties that people have thrown and really let your graduate take the reigns. They should be in charge of their grad party, and you should be there for guidance.

Invites and RSVPs

No one’s going to show if you don’t pass invites around and if you don’t require and RSVP you’re not going to get an estimate to how many people are bound to show up. If you’re trying to learn how to throw a backyard graduation party you need both invitations and RSVP’s. TO make invitations though you’re going to have to have a date and time, and tell those you’re inviting where your house is so they can show up.

If you don’t have Invites and RSVPs you’re going to throw the whole planning phase off, you may have too much, or to little food, too much entertainment, or even worse far to little. RSVP’s are essential to a successful grad party, how else will you know whose coming?

Planning in Advance

If you try to wing it because you think you know how to throw a backyard graduation party the day of the party you’re going to have a very bad day. Parties like this takes planning. Where are people going to be congregated? Where will they be entertained? Where Will they eat? When you fail to plan all of these things can go awry, turning what supposed to be a delightful celebration sour fast. So plan in advance the best that you can, with your graduate, so they know what to expect. The graduates of this generation are anxious and high strung, surprises may not be the best idea, so plan with your graduate.

Have a Camera Person

One mistake so many people make when they’re trying to figure out how to throw a backyard graduation party is not hiring a photographer of some kind. Once the party starts the last thing you want is all those memories to be blurry, hard to see, or even nonexistent. The best thing you can do for this celebration is to have a dedicated camera person. This person can be a professional or just a camera savvy relative, it doesn’t matter either way, just as long as there’s someone at the celebration who can operate a camera!

Formality Check!

Some graduation parties are highly formal events, where some are far more relaxed. It’s wise to right off the bat let your guests know if they’re going to be expected to be formal in any way shape or form. If not then assure them they don’t need to dress up, that you’ll all be in comfortable clothes and they don’t have to worry. This helps put them at ease and lets them know exactly what to expect from the celebration, without offending them at all.


So now you’ve figured out how to throw a backyard graduation party and you have all these guests coming to celebrate your graduate, but what are you going to do for entertainment? Carnival or yard games? Soccer or tennis? Are you going to have music? A dance floor in the backyard, or are you planning on a small social gathering with stories being the most of the entertainment? It all depends on what your graduate wants and what you may be able to afford.

There are plenty of forms of entertainment you could use at a party like this. You could set up a small outdoor movie theater, or a bar-b-que pit. You may even be able to start a bonfire in your backyard if you have the ability to do so legally. Regardless of the choice of entertainment, be sure you don’t supply illegal substances, while also providing a fun and bright atmosphere for your graduate and your guests to relax and enjoy themselves. If you can manage to do all this you just might have learned how to throw a backyard graduation party that will be remembered for ages by family, friends, and most certainly your graduate.

What Are We Eating?

One big thing you’re going to be expected to do is feed people, that RSVP from above is going to make this far more possible than just winging it. You’ll be able to get a rough estimate of the people showing up, and unless you’ve specified how many people can come with them you should expect them to bring a few extras. You’ll be able to ensure you have enough food to feed a small army especially if your graduate was the popular type. If you don’t have enough food it’ll be clear to everyone there you don’t know how to throw a backyard graduation party, but too much could strain your celebration budget overall which you don’t want to do.

Celebrating as One or Doubling Down?

This is always a hard thing to bring up when trying to learn how to throw a backyard graduation party, so don’t ask your graduate, let them ask you. Pairing up with two grad parties in one with a friend is a great wallet savvy way to ensure everyone has a good time. You put in half the food and decorations and so does the other graduate’s parents. This makes for an easier split and gives your graduate a friend they can have this experience with.

You could also opt to keep your graduate party about only your graduate instead of pairing up with another individual or family. Sure this means that you have to handle all of the expenses, but you also get to have a celebration all about your graduate instead of involving someone else. Overall though you should pay attention to their wishes, if they want a friend to pair with, let them, if they don’t mention it let it be their own thing.

How Big is Your Yard?

One way you cal learn how to throw a backyard graduation party is by judging how big your yard is and taking that into account, be realistic, are two hundred people going to fit in your thirty by thirty-foot backyard comfortably? No of course not. This is going to be a point of serious importance when it comes to figuring out how to throw a backyard graduation party. If you don’t have a big backyard, you’re not going to be able to have a big party!

Try to include some of the wonderful additions you may already have in your yard. Do you have a koi pond? Or maybe you have a chiminea everyone can get warm around? Whatever you’ve included in your backyard, feel free to suggest using it in some way shape or form for the graduate party, but don’t be pushy if they say they weren’t really trying to go the route you wanted, respect that.

Decorations are Kind of Important

Regardless of taste and gender, your graduate is going to want their party to be decorated. Take into account what they like and enjoy. Have a son who loves the ocean? A daughter who can fix just about anything you throw at her? Think of their hobbies, their hopes, and dreams and work to meld your theme and decorations together so everything looks and feels seamless. Get their input on how to throw a backyard graduation party, they may have more to say than you think, they might know exactly what they want or have no idea what to look forward to, either way, its better than guessing and throwing a less than awesome graduation party.

Making the Grad Feel Special Either Way

If you’re trying to learn how to throw a backyard graduation party you have exactly one goal. Make your graduate feel special, happy, and hopeful for the future. It may not have sunk in by the time you start the party that they’re an adult now. Let them come to that conclusion on their own, and have this party for themselves. Soon enough they’ll be in the workforce or in college, so let them have this night, and make sure they feel special in their own way. Are they an extrovert? Shower them with socialization and give them the spotlight. More of an introvert? Lots of their favorite media, books, video games, their favorite hot drink, coffee, tea, and a quiet afternoon with some very close friends. Think about them, their personality, what would they truly enjoy?

Graduation Parties in Small Yards

If your backyard is smaller and more compact you’re likely going to have a more difficult time throwing a graduation party there. Your graduate may opt to have less people, or an indoor, outdoor option so the house can be part of the celebration space. Regardless of what you choose there are ways to make your backyard look bigger and more homey, private and comfortable helping your graduate’s party stand out from the rest.

You will have to be careful not to invite to many people regardless on what you decide with your graduate, but you will be able to at least have a wonderful celebration on their entrance into the workforce without missing a beat.

Don’t Transform into a Helicopter Parent

This is essential in learning how to throw a backyard graduation party, you need to learn to let go a little bit. All parents only want the best for their children, you want them to have good jobs, good friends, and good life, but there comes a point in time where you have to settle yourself, and let them start choosing for themselves. They need to make their own mistakes, they need to fumble and fall, and they’re not going to be able to do that with you standing over their shoulder.

So if you’re an incredibly protective parent it’s time for you to step back. They might not leave the nest right off the bat, but it’s time or you to prepare yourself for them to go. You’re always going to worry about your baby, it’s part of being a parent. This is your chance to watch from afar, watch them have one more delightful celebration before they head off to college or are burdened by the exhaustion of the workforce.

Final Thoughts

If you’re looking to find out how to throw a backyard graduation party you’re going to have to know your graduate really well to be successful. Include them in the process, and make sure you don’t do anything against their wishes. This is a celebration, to come together and celebrate the life you’ve had in your life, and the successes that that person has reached up to this point in their life. It’s time to celebrate who they are, and the potential they have for the future, so keep the baby pictures put away, and make sure the embarrassing stories get swept under the rug. You’ll have a few more weeks to embarrass them at least, so let this be their time, and let them shine their way because you know that they deserve it.