These ideas will make your graduate feel extra special (they deserve it!).
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This spring many high school and college seniors will once again be listening to Pomp and Circumstance, watching valedictorian speeches, and hearing their name called from their computer screens rather than having an in-person graduation ceremony. And for those who do have in-person ceremonies, they'll be different than the ones they’ve been picturing since their first day of school due to social distancing measures and mask mandates.

You may be thinking we've reached the point in the pandemic where it's safe to host in-person grad parties again, but that's not necessarily the case. Even if everyone in your home is fully vaccinated, it's still not smart to hold large gatherings right now—and you definitely don't want to extend an open invitation. But luckily it's easy to celebrate your grad at home with our fun virtual grad party ideas—and you can invite whoever you want! Fire up the webcam, invite all your extended family members, and create a day they’ll remember forever.

1. Host a Video Call

Scheduling a Google Hangouts meeting or sending a Zoom invitation (we recommend setting a meeting password to make your meeting more secure) is an easy and free way to gather everyone in one place. Plus, it’s easy to drop the meeting link into an email invitation or a Facebook group.

2. Make Party Food

The best part about graduation parties (besides celebrating the graduate, of course!) is the food. And while hosting a virtual gathering means you won’t need to provide appetizers for a hundred people, you can still take this opportunity to make or order some of your graduate’s favorite dishes to make the party feel as normal as possible. Try a few of our tasty graduation party appetizers or pick up carry-out from their favorite local restaurant. 

black and white grad party invite
Credit: Courtesy of Canva

3. Send Invitations

Since virtual parties involve things like Zoom links, meeting IDs, and passwords, it’s easier to send the invitation by email rather than print the links on a physical invitation and ask people to type out a long string of letters and numbers. But just because you aren’t sending the typical hard-copy invitation doesn’t mean you can’t get creative with the design! Use an online design service like Canva (it’s free and super easy to use) to create and download a digital invitation you can download and attach to an email invitation or Facebook group. Canva has dozens of festive graduation templates you can easily drop your information into, or totally customize your own invite from scratch (no design experience required!).

4. Look the Part 

The graduation cap is easily the most iconic symbol of any graduation, so it’s a no-brainer for any celebration, even if it’s an online party. If you're not able to get a cap from your school due to a virtual graduation ceremony, you can easily get one online ahead of the party. Order a graduation cap ($5, Party City) so you can move your tassel from right to left during the virtual commencement speech. 

yard signs spelling out 'congrats hunter'
Credit: Courtesy of Card My Yard

5. Don’t Forget to Decorate 

Whether you decorate the house or decorate the screen with a virtual background, creating a festive space for your graduate will help them feel special on the day of the party. Hang a class of 2021 banner ($20, Target) and break out the confetti poppers ($10, Target) to celebrate your senior. You can also let the entire neighborhood know you have something to celebrate by ordering a set of Card My Yard signs. Local chapters of the company will decorate your entire lawn with dozens of bright letters and signs with packages that start at $80.

white rectangle card with illustrated people throwing caps
Credit: Courtesy of Rifle Paper Co.

6. Have a Card Shower 

Typically each guest at a graduation party signs a guest book with their name and a note of congratulations. Since you won’t have everyone gathering in one place this year, organize a virtual card shower for your graduate. When you send out the text, email, or Facebook invitation for the virtual gathering, let all the guests know you’d like them to send well wishes in a card (and be sure to give an address). If you’re asked to send a card, this Congrats, Grad card ($5, Rifle Paper Co.) is my go-to graduation card. Plus, you can easily borrow one of these meaningful graduation quotes and sayings if you’re not sure what to write.

7. Send a Graduation Announcement 

If you don’t plan to send a snail mail invitation for your virtual gathering (though you totally can!), consider sending a paper graduation announcement instead. Minted’s newest graduation collection features timely designs and phrases. And this way, you’ll have a physical keepsake to frame or place in a memory box.

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