35 Outdoor Graduation Party Decor Ideas

Dish it to your friends!

The hottest new trend in outdoor Grad Party ideas and themes is a backyard evening Graduation Party or “Grad Party After Dark”.

Switching your party to evening is perfect for avoiding the Summer heat and allows you the opportunity to design gorgeous ambient lighting concepts that are surprisingly easy and budget friendly.

Although many hire professional lighting designers for their events, you can get the same effects easily, using basic materials that cost mere dollars.

We’ll show you how and give you plenty of inspiration.

Many of them can easily transition from day to night in case your party starts earlier, and fits all styles and themes from casual backyard to glamorous formal.

Evening parties are definitely an emerging summer trend for 2020 high school, college, and adult graduation parties. We’ve already attended and been invited to several of them.

If you’re having your grad party during the day these ideas may persuade you otherwise.

Here are the best in Graduation party decor, centerpieces, photobooths / backdrops, and photo displays to will take your party from day to night.

These ideas will make your party visually stunning and show you what all of the fuss for this trend is about.

DIY Graduation Party Table Decorations and Centerpieces

Glamorous Grad Party Centerpieces for evening


Have fun with your table decor. Glam up leftover jars with glitter and glue to use as gorgeous votives to decorate your tables.

DIY Picture Frame votive centerpieces

TUTORIAL (TOP), TUTORIAL (Lower Left), SOURCE (Lower Right)

Tables are where guests will spend the most time eating and will appreciate something to look at while doing it. Bring photos to light using these  super quick and easy DIY dollar store picture frame votives.

Evening Grad Party Photo Centerpieces


It’s not only ridiculously quick, cheap, and easy to make all of the centerpieces you see above but your guests will love them so much they’ll want to take them home! Some even using just clear shipping tape and a photo.

Backyard Lighting Ideas – Graduation Party Tablecloth

Light up party TablesSOURCE

Don’t forget to put tap lights or camping lights underneath your tables!

This idea works EXCELLENT with even dollar store table cloths and gives a polished look to any evening event.

Tap lights under tablecloths for party


This is a professional lighting technique used at many events that you can easily copy for dirt cheap and is perfect for carrying events from day to night.

Lights under party tables


Backyard Lighting Ideas – Water, Pool Decorations, and Floating Votives

Glow Sticks in the Pool


Whether you have a pool, bird bath or wish you did, it doesn’t cost a lot to decorate water. Crack some glow sticks and throw them in the pool, vase, cooler, or a water bucket.

Grad Party Glow Stick Balloons for pool


These floating orbs are frequently used by professional lighting designers for events but it’s easy to replicate with a glow stick in a balloon.

Floating water candles water decoration for pool


Toss floating votives in your pool, bird bath, or any body of water.

Backyard Lighting Ideas – Hanging Lights

Balloon Bunting Garland with glowsticks


Take those glow stick balloons and string them for glowing garland to decorate the yard, a backdrop, or above a table. Be sure to tie a knot after every balloon to keep spaced apart.

Garden Tree Lighting Mason Jars decoration


Don’t forget those trees to make intimate outdoor space for your party. Use Christmas lights with ping pong balls over them and mason glass jars with string to hang from trees. Pull out your indoor living room furniture to use outside.

Grad Party Tree hanging mason jar lights


Glass or jar votives can be hung using ribbon from tree branches for a striking garden decoration. Feel free to attach photos to the ribbon too!

Colored Mason Jar Votives


An easy way to add a touch of color to votives is by gluing tissue paper on Mason jars. You can either stick in a battery operated or wick votive or glow stick.

Outdoor party seating


Drape ping pong lights from trees over your deck, backyard, tables, or dance floor.

Backyard lighting for deck


When all else fails use plain old Christmas lights.



You can make the design as formal or as simple as you’d like to create your desired ambiance.

Backyard lighting for party


Drape string lights for walls of lights above your tables, dance floor, or deck.

Grad Party Outdoor tent lighting


Line tents and canopies with lights to carry an outdoor event into the night.

Grad Party backyard lighting


Make walls and rooms of lights, the possibilities are endless.

Backyard Lighting – Bonfire

Backyard party Bonfire Yardcrashers


Outdoor Grad parties are one of the events bonfires are made for.

Whether you make or buy a fire pit or just get some wood together for a free burning bonfire now is the time to light one up!

Not only will it set the ambiance for your Grad Party but it’ll give guests a great opportunity to roast some marshmallows for dessert.

Backyard Lighting – Projector and DIY Screen

Backyard lighting and projector


Use an outdoor projection whether it be from your cell phone or an inexpensive one you can purchase online to show anything from a picture reel, to music videos, to movies. You can even run footage from the Graduation itself for guests that may not have made it to the Graduation ceremony.

Picture Display Ideas for night time

Grad Party photo table displays


Just a string and clothespins is all you need to make a beautiful backyard or garden photo display for your evening Grad Party. String it between trees or over tables for the ultimate table decor. Add candles, lights or any of the centerpiece ideas we talked about earlier.

pallet wood picture display with lights


Ask your local market or store for free pallet wood to make an easy and free night time Grad Party picture display with Christmas lights. The one above was made for a wedding but can easily be altered for a Graduation Party. Just clip the photos to the lights.

Pallet Wood Backdrop Photo Booths

Night time Grad Party Pallet wood photobooth


Pallet wood comes to the rescue once again for a photobooth or backdrop idea.

Pallet Wood Photo Back drop for night time Grad party


Decorate pallet wood with banners, balloons, lights, and fabric.

Grad Party Pallet Wood Photobooth with balloons and lights


In this post we showed you outdoor Graduation Party ideas for a evening Grad Party or “Grad Party After Dark”. We hope we’ve given you all of the inspiration you need to create the perfect evening Grad party.

Other Posts You May Like:

10 Things NOT To Do At Your Graduation Party

8 Of The BEST Picture Display Ideas For Your Grad Party

30 BEST Easy DIY Graduation Party Centerpieces Your Guests Will Want

What NOT TO Do To Your Dorm

How To Have a VSCO Picture Perfect Prom

Dish it to your friends!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *