Whether you’re headed to college or out into the “real world,” it’s a reason to celebrate your achievement.
When you think of graduation parties, think casual: just eat, drink and be merry. The best way to make this philosophy a reality is by having an open-house party. People can stop in, grab a bite to eat, offer their congratulations and move on to the next party. This style is also a great option because other friends will be having graduation parties too, and guests can party-hop.
Because you’ll be competing with so many graduation parties, try to get out invitations as far in advance as you can, to allow guests plenty of time to map out their stops on the party circuit. It also gives out-of-town family members time to make all the necessary arrangements.
When decorating, use the school colors, mascot or your major to create a theme. Decorating with maps is also fun—perhaps maps from the state your college was in, or to where you’re headed off to in the fall. And hang tassels from paper lanterns to add a little pizzazz.
For an open house, the best approach to food is to serve buffet-style. Whatever you prepare should be fairly hearty, to last the length of the party and be good whenever guests stop in. Cold-cut sandwiches are good and easy for your guests to eat. Try simple recipes like Spiral Sandwiches or Italian BLT Pinwheels. Pasta salads (these actually get better as they sit) and antipasto platters are a flavorful addition to your spread. A Greek Tossed Pasta Salad is not only delicious, but adds a lot of great color. If you serve tossed salads, make sure it’s more crunchy ingredients (carrots, celery, nuts) than leafy ones, so they won’t wilt on the buffet. And chips and dips are of course are always a hit.
To decorate the buffet table, you can use school textbooks (even if you don’t feel like looking at them now!). Wrap a stack of books with ribbon in a coordinating color from the school as a centerpiece.
For drinks, keep it casual here too—fill a tub with ice and assorted canned drinks is perfectly fine. Keep dessert small, under two bites, and offer a few different selections. And here’s where you can play on the theme a bit too—is there a favorite dessert from the state your school is in, perhaps? Or cake to match your school colors?
Whatever you choose, enjoy the sweet feeling of success!
Magna Cum Laude Menu Ideas
If you’re looking for recipes that will score high grades with your guests, take a look at these ideas: