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Celebrate education with a graduation party

Though graduates only have a few moments of glory when they walk across the stage on graduation day, the road to a degree is often paved with years of hard work and sacrifice - not to mention student loans.

In today's economic environment, many students are graduating into a highly competitive job market that is a little lean on good opportunities.

If anyone deserves a graduation party, it's these guys!

For the scholars in your life, a graduation party is an excellent way to congratulate the new degree-holder, show your admiration and respect for all of their time, effort and Friday nights spent at the library, and to encourage them as they begin to search for a position in their field.

Send out the invitations

One of the most important steps in planning a graduation party is sending out the graduation invitations. Make sure that everyone who the guest of honor is close with receives an invitation to the fete.

If the party is a surprise, it may be a challenge to draw up a guest list. One of the easiest ways to make sure that everyone who should be invited receives an invitation is to ask the key people in their life for names. If you're a friend, be sure to ask a relative for a list of names and addresses, and if you're a family member, ask one the graduate's closest buds or significant other for a list of guests.

Be sure to request that potential-partygoers RSVP, so that you have a general idea of how many people to expect.

Choose a theme

Alright, now that you know how many people are coming, you can begin to start on the actual party planning.

To make it easier to jump right in, you could brainstorm graduation party ideas. One of our favorite ways to chose party themes for recent grads is to brainstorm ways you could plan around their major or field of interest.

For example, if your academic is a chemistry major, serve guests beverages in beaker-shaped glasses, and create a science-themed party.

If the fresh-faced grad was an English major, a book-shaped cake and themed party supplies will be perfect.

To complete the festive vibe of the party, find graduation decorations in their alma mater's colors. Fill the space with streamers and balloons, and string twinkling party lights across porches, banisters and doorways.

Keep guests full and happy

If you're not sure what type of food you'd like to offer the guests, just settle on the guest-of-honor's favorite foods. Whether they love wheels of baked brie, or prefer bowls full of potato chips, just go with it.

For the main course, it may be best to offer the meal buffet style, so that everyone can mingle.

Don't forget the champagne toast

The occasion should be fun and light-hearted, but a toast is a must. Make it serious or funny, long or short, but make sure to take a moment to recognize why you're all there and applaud the grad.

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