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March 26, 2019Best In Tents

decorating a tent for graduation party

One minute they’re celebrating graduating kindergarten, and the next minute they’re throwing their cap up in the air, ready to begin the next chapter of their lives. Whether graduating high school, college, or grad school, this is a monumental moment, a milestone that deserves an honorable celebration. Keep reading for our favorite graduation tent party ideas.  

At American Tent, we understand the importance of throwing a memorable graduation party without breaking the bank, and with our large selection of tents for a graduation party, we'll help you to make the most of this special occasion!

Why Should You Rent a Graduation Tent?

graduation tent party ideas

As the school year comes to a close, it’s time to start thinking about what you’re going to do for a graduation party. What better way to celebrate the guest of honor than to spend the day outside enjoying the warm, sunny weather?

One of the best outdoor graduation party ideas is to invest in an affordable pole or frame tent. We love these event tents for graduation parties because they provide plenty of space to accommodate all your guests and keep the good times rollin’. Now, we can’t always trust the weather forecast. Thankfully, you’ll have your tent for cover if the weather takes a turn, making it the perfect backyard graduation party idea. Graduation tents will take your event to the next level and create a beautiful venue for friends and family to enjoy.

Helps Keep Budget in Check 

Renting out a venue or banquet area is expensive. Add catering, beverages, entertainment, and gratuities to that cost and your budget will likely be stretched tight, if not busted by the time the party's over. By hosting the party yourself, you’ll have a much easier time controlling costs. Plus, you’ll be able to plan your own menu according to budget.

Provides Space to Take a Break 

One of the best things about graduation parties is that they are an occasion when the whole family gets together to celebrate. That means you’ll have guests of all ages, from tiny little ones to grandma and grandpa. It also means that you’ll need space, especially for those guests, to take a break from the festivities and rest and graduation tent rentals are the perfect solution.

Keeps Guests Comfortable

Chances are that your senior has been counting down the days until graduation. Unfortunately, the weather doesn’t always cooperate. Fortunately, if you have a graduation tent, the party can go on as planned regardless of the weather. Whether it’s a sweltering sunny day and you need shade or the clouds decide to pour down rain, with a tent, your guests will stay comfortable and dry.

Creates a Personalized Venue 

If you’ve already decided to host backyard graduation, you’ll still need to create a venue. An outdoor tent allows you to set the scene for the party. You can decorate as you wish, choose your own snacks and beverages, and make your schedule of events. A tent also helps create boundaries that make it easier to keep track of little ones. 

How to Decorate a Tent for a Graduation Party

Need to know how to decorate a tent for a graduation party? You’re in luck because we’ve got you covered with some graduation party decoration ideas! One thing to always remember is that this event is meant to be a joyous celebration, so have fun with your decorations!

While a grad party can be as fancy as you choose, there’s no need to fret about expensive decor. Decorating a tent for your graduation party can be a daunting task, but we have some ideas so that you can stay budget-friendly while letting your personality shine through!

#1 Create a Photo Booth

graduation tent rentals

Photo booths are one of the best additions when decorating a tent for a graduation party. This fun prop not only looks fantastic in the venue but most importantly helps preserve the amazing grad party memories and attendees for the graduate.

Luckily, these booths are incredibly easy to create on your own for your graduation party tent. All you need is some kind of frame or transportable wall and some kind of backdrop. The backdrop can be easily created with tulle, sequin-covered fabric, or drapes, or you can take a more adventurous approach and try your hand at something like an extravagant flower wall. Include some fun, graduation-themed props, and your graduation tent photo booth is ready to go!

#2 Light It Up

tents for graduation party

Day turns to night, but that doesn’t mean the party has to stop - the fun has just begun! When you’re decorating a tent for your graduation party, don’t forget to string up some LED lights to keep spirits high as the sun goes down. Adding lights can be a cute and easy way to spruce up your tent and bring everything together.

For an extra kick, try out some lights in your school colors to keep things bright while adding a little extra school spirit to your party! 

#3 Picture Perfect

backyard graduation party ideas

It wouldn’t be a proper graduation celebration without some childhood photos of the special guest! Creating a poster board photo collage is a thoughtful way to appreciate everything it took to get to where you are today and a fun display for family and friends to see and reminisce about. You can decorate your poster board any way you want, which is the most fun part about this graduation tent idea! Try adding some fun colors, stickers, drawings, and whatever else you desire along with your photos to help commemorate the years leading up to this momentous occasion.

The best part? This is one of the lowest costing graduation tent decorations for graduation possible because you can DIY the whole thing! All you need is some cardboard and your photos to tape to it, and the rest is up to you!

#4 Brighten with Balloons

It’s not a party without balloons! Balloons are one of our favorite graduation tent decoration ideas. They provide instant - and affordable - festive party decor. How you choose to decorate with balloons is only limited by your own imagination. You can create your own bouquets of balloons by renting or purchasing a helium tank, or you can order balloon arrangements, such as arches or balloons spelling out the graduate's name, from your local party store. You can choose congratulatory foil balloons or if budget is an issue, simply purchase balloons that are the graduate’s school colors. 

#5 Create a movie screening

Did you know that tent walls can double as big screens for projectors? That’s right, you can have a “movie” screening for your attendees featuring none other than the guest of honor - your graduate! All you need is a little imagination and a wall projector. These days, wall projectors are affordable and extremely portable. You can easily create a looping montage of favorite memories of the graduate, from their first steps and school photos to senior prom and graduation day to finally receiving their diploma. This is another one of our favorite outdoor grad party ideas.

#6 Graduation Party Tablecloths

Don’t overlook the tabletops on your banquet tables as another decorating opportunity! Tablecloths set the stage for board games, snacks, and just catching up with family and friends. Choose tablecloths that match the graduate’s school colors. For a cohesive look, coordinate table coverings with your centerpieces, balloons, and other party decor. 

#7 Graduation Table Centerpieces

Speaking of table decor, let’s talk about the centerpieces! While you definitely can call the florist and arrange for them to make your centerpiece bouquets, it’s much more economic - and fun! - to make your own. Creating DIY graduation centerpieces doesn’t have to be complicated. When it comes to easy graduation centerpieces, mason jars are your new best friends. Fill mason jars with fresh flowers from your garden or blooming branches from your lilac bushes. Add flags with the graduation year or add the numbers on the side of the jars with sparkly scrapbook stickers. 

What to Do at a Graduation Party

As you’re planning your event, remember the guest list. There’s no doubt that you will have all ages of people attending, so keep that in mind when you’re coming up with your college or high school grad party ideas. Below are some suggestions from us that will please guests of all ages and help you create the graduation party of your dreams.

#1 Hot Dogs!

graduation tent decorations

What's trending this year? Hot dog bars with all the fixings. Whether you have a grill master on hand or a platter full of precooked franks, this idea is frankly delicious. Dress it up by using the good dishes, or keep it casual with paper plates and napkins. Either way, a smorgasbord of hot dogs is sure to please.

Consider adding some regional flair: if your graduate is off to see the world, offer options such Chicago, New York, European, and California-style. A variety of hot dog toppings will keep your guests and your grad coming back for more. 

#2 Dessert First

graduation tent decoration ideas

Cupcakes! - all the deliciousness of a cake but in a mini, yummy package! Cupcakes are a great and easy way to serve dessert to your loved ones while avoiding the mess of cutting a cake. With cupcakes, you can provide tons of different and fun flavors for guests to choose from so everybody can get exactly what they want! Plus, you can set up a nifty cupcake stand tower to beautifully display your tasty treats.

Now, you’re going to need something for you and your guests to wash down those cupcakes with, and what’s better than a cold slushie on a hot summer's day?! Slushies are wonderfully refreshing drinks to celebrate with under a beautiful American Tent graduation party tent.

#3 S'more Fun

outdoor grad party ideas

Will your graduation party tent be set up in a space that has a fire pit a safe distance away? Set up a s'mores station! Do all the prep under the tent and then send guests out to the fire to cook. Or, for extra class, get Sterno cans for an approach that's more glamping. Regardless, be sure to have a lot of wet wipes on hand for the inevitable sticky hands that accompany this task. 

#4 Two Words: Taco Party

Taco Graduation Party Tent

There ain't no party like a taco party because a taco party is . . . delicious. Set up a table with all the cheese, salsa, cilantro, guac (and more!) that guests can possibly want. Let them choose from the hard shell, soft shell, or taco salad, and then let imaginations and appetites run wild.

#5 Game On

Games Graduation Party Event Ideas

If there’s one thing you should know, it’s the importance of keeping guests entertained at your grad party. Because it’s just that - a party. If you need high school graduation party ideas, consider games like charades, cornhole, and card games. Simple games like these are a chill way to pass the time and enjoy the company of your friends. These games can be played by a wide age range of people, so they are ideal activities since everyone can be included and share in the fun!

If you are looking for college graduation party ideas, you can use some of the same ideas for family-friendly games, and you can always throw in a couple of drinking games for the new college graduates and other of-age guests as well.

Celebrate with Us

This event is the perfect opportunity to spend time with your graduate while they plan their next life adventure. Bigger and better things are on the horizon, so take a moment to appreciate the time you’ve spent and the people you’ve met along the way that have made everything worth the wait.

However you decide to host your party, we at American Tent want to help you create a flawless day for your festivities, and we are confident that including one of our tents for graduation parties as part of your graduation setup will satisfy all of your aesthetic and functional needs. Come pick up your event tent from us so we can celebrate together, and let’s make a toast to the years to come!

Tony Ehrbar's headshot

Tony Ehrbar

Owner & CEO

Tony's entrepreneurial spirit is woven into the fabric of American Tent (an Inc 5000 company), shaped by his experience running a successful event venue & tent rental service. His recognition as the Young Entrepreneur of the Year in 2019 is a testament to his impact & dedication to his community. As the Co-founder and CEO of Renegade Plastics, Tony is leading initiatives in the tent industry to integrate eco-friendly, recyclable materials. Contributing as a board member for the Advanced Textiles Association (ATA) & the Green Bay Area Public Schools Foundation and being featured by Entrepreneur, Oracle, & Modern Weddings, Tony plays a pivotal role in enhancing the growth and success of the textile industry.

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