Summer BBQ Graduation Party Tips

31 May

Graduation party planning doesn’t have to be stressful! Keep it simple this year with a backyard BBQ. It is truly the perfect party theme for a spring graduation party. The weather has warmed up, but (hopefully) not too much yet, and everyone has probably been suffering a case of “spring fever”!  So, giving your guests the chance to pass the afternoon outdoors is a fabulous idea. Check out our tips for keeping your graduation party planning low-key, but effective:

graduation BBQ custom cups

1) Keep Food Simple

A classic BBQ menu is classic for a reason — people love it! Streamline your graduation party menu with burgers, hot dogs and some easy sides. Set up a buffet for easy self-serving and you’ll be relaxing in no time. Choose side items that are easy to serve, and supply serving utensils that are the appropriate size. Small details like this really help a buffet line flow smoothly. You can add a stack of custom luncheon napkins for a nice, personalized touch.

graduation BBQ self-serve tablescape

2) Offer Refreshing Cold Drinks

A couple of coolers or galvanized tubs of ice at the end of the buffet can hold the drinks. Pre-chilling the drinks will keep them extra refreshing for cheers-ing the grad all afternoon. If you are having drinks on tap or in beverage dispensers, personalized stadium cups are a great party favor option. Your guests can use the cup at the party, and then take it home as a memento.

watercolor custom napkins for summer BBQ party

3) Provide Ample Seating

No one likes the feeling of holding a full plate while furtively scanning the party for a place to sit down. Provide plenty of seating options with picnic blankets, quilts and folding chairs. Most young people will be happy to sit on the ground, but if you’re inviting an older crowd, definitely provide enough chairs for them. We don’t want grandpa’s knee to go out — total buzzkill, and a huge bummer for him. Not the memory you want to be making at your graduation party! Also, even though your party is outdoors, plan to have space inside for people to sit if they’d like a break from the heat, pollen or party festivities.

grilled kebobs and watermelon at summer BBQ graduation party

4) Curate the Atmosphere

Here’s the deal: a laid back, easygoing party doesn’t just happen! The 3 keys to major graduation party success are providing enough to eat and drink, enough to do, and a great soundtrack. We’ve already covered the eating and drinking, so let’s talk soundtrack and “things to do.”

A crowd-pleasing playlist drifting through the party is a priority. Choose some of your guest of honor’s favorites, and throw in some classics that everyone likes.

Also, definitely gather some yard games! Corn hole, boccé and life sized jenga are great options and easy to get ahold of if you don’t already have them in the garage. Yard games are a great way to get your guests talking and interacting without requiring anything too structured.

With a few simple preparations, your graduation summer BBQ will be practically effortless. Be prepared to sit back and enjoy a cold drink while your guests get serious about corn hole. Ahhhh, summer! Cheers to this year’s grads!



grilled food photo by Dan Gold on Unsplash