Graduation Party Checklist: Food Ideas

Not sure where to start with your graduation planning? Welcome to our graduation checklist, a series of posts on what you can be doing right up until graduation day!
Graduation Food Ideas
When you ask a graduating senior, “What’s the most important thing to consider when planning a grad party?” the answer is always the same: food! If the food is good, their friends will come—it’s as simple as that. Their favorite graduation food ideas fall into two camps: DIY or catered, and it all depends on your budget.

Easy DIY Graduation Food Ideas
Taco bar or walking tacos
Salads & pre-made sandwiches
BBQ pulled pork sandwiches
Sloppy Joes
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Pear Tree Greetings featured on Twin Cities Live!

Pear Tree Greetings’ graduation announcement trend ideas were featured on Twin Cities Live! Watch Stephanie, Pear Tree’s General Manager, as she talks with host Elizabeth and guest co-host Megan about the latest trends for this year’s graduates.

Here are some peeks from behind the scenes on the set of Twin Cities Live!
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Graduation Party Checklist: Theme and Decorations

Not sure where to start with your graduation planning? Welcome to our graduation party checklist, a series of posts on what you can be doing right up until graduation day!

Sometimes graduation party planning starts with a theme, and sometimes the theme creates itself based on the party location, an unusual activity or food idea. We don’t think it’s essential to pick a theme for your grad party, but it definitely helps to have a way to tie everything together! Here are a few theme ideas that incorporate graduation party decorations, food ideas, activities and more.

School Colors
High school colors make a simple theme and one that’s easy to carry off. Since they’re usually easy to find, these basic colors can be incorporated into foods (like frosting) and graduation party decorations. See our Classic Graduation Party Pinterest board for ideas.

Sports or a Hobby
If your grad has an activity or hobby that has defined his or her high school years, it’s natural to use that as your party theme. See our All Star Graduation Party for ways to bring a sports theme (or any other theme) to life!

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Graduation Party Checklist: Order Invitations

Not sure where to start with your graduation planning? Welcome to our graduation party checklist, a series of posts on what you can be doing right up until graduation day!

We hear a lot of questions about graduation announcements and invitations, and the most often asked question is, “What’s the difference?” Here’s the answer, and a few more tips that will get you started shopping for graduation invitations!

Graduation Announcements & Invitations -- Big Impression Graduation Announcements & Invitations -- Chalk Monogram
Announcements or Invitations? Once upon a time graduation announcements were sent to notify friends and relatives of the actual graduation ceremony. Gradually, as parties have gotten more popular, announcements have been supplemented or replaced by open house invitations. These days the terms are used interchangeably to mean the same thing. Whether you call it an announcement or an invitation, what you put on it is up to you!

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Graduation Party Checklist: Set the Date

Not sure where to start with your graduation planning? Welcome to our graduation party checklist, a series of posts on what you can be doing right up until graduation day!

iStock_000019389277SmallYard Signs -- Split Screen

Setting the date just might be the hardest step in planning your graduation party. There will be lots of parties, and finding a date all to yourself may not be possible. But experienced moms have a few tricks up their sleeves.

Have your party early. Experienced moms know that party attendance drifts off later in the graduation season. Be one of the first, and everyone will be there! This usually means having your party a week or two before the actual graduation.

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Our Best Graduation Party Decorating Ideas

I am so excited to show off our new graduation party decorating ideas! Now you don’t have to settle for the same generic decorations everyone else has, you can use your grad’s photos and school colors to create your own custom graduation party decorations at Pear Tree.
Graduation Party Decorations
Our new table decor is just plain fun, and there’s so much you can do with it. It comes in sets of circles or squares that vary in size from 3” to 5” across. Some can be personalized with photos, some with text. Each piece is two sided with a solid color or pattern on the back side, and you get to choose from over 70 colors for the pieces. You’ll have a blast thinking of graduation party decorating ideas for these, from centerpieces to garland to cake toppers! Continue reading

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Glam Graduation Party Ideas

Every graduation party has its own vibe. And the best way to make the party your own is to start with your grad. What are her interests? How can you use her personality to come up with a party theme? Here are a few easy ways to incorporate your grad’s story into your graduation party ideas. We’ve chosen a girl’s pink and gold glitter theme, but the same ideas and design elements can work for any theme.

What girl doesn’t love a little glitter in her life? We made this party extra sparkly with our Glam Grad Graduation Announcements, and sprinkled gold glitter accents everywhere!
Graduation Announcements -- Glam Grad Horizontal Photo
A girly party like this calls for a girly meal. We made adorable chicken salad sandwich triangles and fruit kabobs on skewers. You could also add some fresh veggies displayed neatly. For the beverages we chose lemonade with coordinating pink striped paper straws and edible glitter rims on the milk glasses. To get the glitter rim we dipped the glasses in some vanilla and then dipped them in edible glitter or sugar sprinkles. For the backdrop on this glam table setup we used our Glam Grad Gold Party Decorations and stuck them to the wall in a fun gradient/fading pattern.
Graduation Party Ideas
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Featured Favorite

Real cards created by real people like you!

Graduation Announcement Ideas
When our designers are creating graduation invitation ideas, they envision them being chosen by families just like this one, proud of their son and wanting to celebrate his big achievement the same way they got there—as a family.

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Graduation Photo Display Ideas

With two boys graduating from high school in the past two years, I have been to my share of graduation parties lately. Each party had its own special vibe, by virtue of its host, location, food, guest list or activities. But they all had one thing in common: the all-important graduation photo display. Of course, as a guest, I love looking at photo displays. But when it came time to plan my own kids’ grad parties, this little must-have nearly put me over the edge. I don’t consider myself very craftsy, and I was sure it was going to look horrible. I can’t even cut straight. Besides, most of my kids’ photos were in shoe boxes. Unsorted. Sound familiar?

But you have to start somewhere, so start by gathering photos. It’s easy to make prints of digital photos, but when it comes to those precious baby photos, you may want to make copies rather than risk ruining your originals. This is the perfect time to get digital copies made — then you can do whatever you want with them. (After dreading the task for weeks, it took me about an hour to scan 50-60 photos. Silly me. And I have used them about a million times since then.) If you don’t have a scanner at home, any photo processing store can do this for you.

Once you have the photos, you can start thinking about graduation photo display ideas for your party space. We’ve pulled together a list of ideas, and a Pinterest board with examples. And remember, your grad can help. (Many of the girls in my son’s class completely took charge of this project for their own parties, and that was just fine with their moms!)

Here are my graduation photo display ideas:
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Graduation Party Checklist: Make Guest List & Pick Location

Not sure where to start with your graduation planning? Welcome to our graduation party checklist, a series of posts on what you can be doing right up until graduation day!

First on your to-do list: Make a guest list and choose a location! You can’t decide on a location without knowing approximately how much room you need, so the guest list is the first place to start. On the other hand, if you already have a location in mind, or a set budget, these things will dictate how many people you can invite. Here are a few things to keep in mind when creating your guest list.
Graduation Invitations -- One Big Photo Chalkboard Profile Cards -- Big Impression
You can control the number of adult guests who attend by sending graduation invitations, but you may never get a firm number on how many of your son’s or daughter’s friends are coming. Word travels fast. When in doubt, it’s better to overestimate than underestimate. One suggestion for keeping the numbers under control is to order mini graduation announcements they can hand out at school.
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