Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Guest Post: Graduation Parties

Hi there! I'm Mackenzie from Design Darling and I'm excited to be guest posting for Carly today. I am graduating from Bucknell next week and everyone knows that the best part of graduation is the party! Here are my ideas for an unforgettable evening to top off your four years.


Whether you're planning a sit-down dinner or preparing simple hors d'œuvres, you'll want to pick a color palette that reflects your personal style. I love the blue and white stripes in this tablescape by Carolyne Roehm, particularly when paired with pink peonies in ginger jars! Peonies are at their peak this time of year and therefore perfect for using as centerpieces or on a buffet table.


Detailed accents are a must for any college prepster! This place setting comes from Martha Stewart Weddings but it could easily be adapted for a graduation party. How adorable is the grosgrain ribbon? 


Food should be seasonal but simple, like this recipe for Caprese salad. Take into account guests who might have dietary restrictions; gluten-free and vegetarian options are always a thoughtful touch. Prepare foods that are easy to hold and won't make a mess — Caprese kabobs, anyone?


Graduation cakes are a dime a dozen, so forgo the "Congratulations, ___!" route in favor of serving your favorite dessert. If you like cupcakes, I suggest the preppy pom-pom toppers from this Etsy shop!


After the sun sets, keep the party alive by hanging votive candles with grosgrain ribbon. It's another preppy detail that won't go unnoticed!


My very favorite party idea is to make your own guest book by gluing envelopes into a blank scrapbook. Have your guests write down funny college memories or leave encouraging notes for your post-graduate path! Either way you'll love having a way to look back and remember the night.
- - - 
Thank you, Carly, for having me and congratulations to all the college prepsters who graduate this year!

39 comments :

  1. this is such a cute post! I love the decor ideas!

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  2. love love that last idea! Therefor if the story is too embarrassing others will not see!
    xoxo em

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  3. This is so cute!
    New follower here, love the blog :)

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  4. these ideas are adorable! can't wait to use them for my next dinner party! i would love to see more preppy decor ideas!

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  5. so many cute ideas! i love all the stripes :) xoxo jillian:: cornflake dreams

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  6. So thoughtful of you to mention having a vegetarian or gluten free option! I am a veg and it's so nice to go somewhere when someone has thought about what I'm going to eat :-)

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  7. LOVE LOVE LOVE the grosgrain accents & envelope scrapbook!!

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  8. I love the cupcake pictures what a cute way to decorate them without piling on the frosting!
    ~Blair
    http://thefirstapartment.blogspot.com/

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  9. Very cute ideas! My sister had her high school grad party this weekend and did string lights, school colors, and monogrammed petit fours.

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  10. omgsh this is perfect! I was just planning my graduation brunch and LOVE the place settings! Thanks!

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  11. Fantastic ideas!

    Love,
    Mrs. Kindergarten

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  12. love love love the look of everything here. i need some gift ideas for a high school grad....any ideas?

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  13. That blue striped tablecloth is amazing! Love Mackenzie's eye for colourful design.

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  14. You are all so sweet! Always love to contribute to College Prep :)

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  15. Thank you for the fabulous party ideas ... I'm always looking for fun new party ideas!!!! Thanks Mackenzie!

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  16. I just love the cupcake toppers! Definitely going to figure out how to make those!! :)

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  17. if you're having a larger party what kinds of food would you suggest???

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  20. It's lovely to see such a creative ideas presented
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  22. For my sister's graduation party the most extravagant thing we did was rent an inflatable bouncy castle for the day. It is certainly the only one I remember. I'm not even sure what we did for mine...Dissertation help by dissertation arena

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