How to plan the perfect cosmetology graduation party!

cosmetology graduation


Graduating from cosmetology school is a considerable milestone and a great reason to get together with friends and family to celebrate! But, of course, if you’re going to throw a party, you want to make sure you do it right.

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From the ideal cake flavor to the invitations and everything in between; careful thought, diligent planning, and a keen sense of style are all of paramount importance when putting on a party. There’s a lot of details and things you’ll need to consider.

Thankfully, we’ve put it all together into one cohesive list to give you the ultimate guide for throwing the perfect cosmetology graduation party!

Why Have a Graduation Party?

Going to college is a major step in life. It bridges the gap between teenage high school years and full-blown adulting in your young adult life. It also sets the stage for your future career, which will take up an average of over 13 years of your life.

About 16.9 million people enroll in trade schools a year as their higher education, and 40% of young adults pursue either a 2-year or 4-year degree program per year.

That might seem like a lot of people, but about one third of those people drop out of college.  And yes, that includes beauty school, where only 66.85% graduate on average.

So, as you can see, graduating college of any kind is a major achievement – more than people might think. It’s an event that will help shape the rest of your life, so it’s definitely worth celebrating!

Cosmetology Graduation Party Ideas

Everyone wants to throw the best bash with the greatest decorations and the cutest pictures to share on Facebook the next day. But where do you start?

The most ideal place to start your planning is to pick a theme for your grad party to revolve around. Here are some of the best ideas to get you inspired!

  • Sophisticated – black and gold
  • Flirty & Fun – pink and zebra striped
  • Classic – black and white
  • Unique – brand themed

Who Should You Invite?

Once you’ve figured out the theme of your party, you’ll need to turn your attention to the guest list. And don’t rush through this step, either – inviting the wrong people (or the wrong mix of the right people) is an awkward disaster just waiting to happen.

The first thing you’ll want to determine is if it will be a friends-only gathering, a family-only gathering, or a mix of both.

A friends-only party is a great option for the extrovert who wants to party more than just celebrate. There’s certain activities that can happen at a party that your family members might not care to see, and vice versa.

But even if you’d be having a PG-rated party, some people might not have a lot of close family. If there’s some sort of distance separating you or your family, you might want to have your guest list filled with friends only.

Inviting family only might be a better option if you’re more introverted, and don’t have a long list of friends you’d care to invite. Maybe you just prefer small, intimate hangouts – and there’s nothing wrong with that!

Plus, if you’re close to your family, they’ll probably want to be there for you. They might even offer to foot your bill and throw it for you!

And no one says you can’t invite both. If you do, though, just make sure there’s enough people for each group to interact with. No one wants to be the awkward sister from out of town who no one knows, and no one wants to be the shy friend surrounded by your bestie’s close family, either.

Some other people to consider inviting would be:

  • Your favorite teacher from beauty school
  • Your significant other
  • People from your new workplace (if you already have a salon lined up)

Where Should It Be?

If you’re new to the whole “graduate” thing, you might be wondering where you should have your graduation party at. Is it normally held at your house? The school? Somewhere else?

The answer is that it’s completely up to you! Some people like to have it at their own homes (or the home of their parents, if that’s who’s putting it on). This is best for intimate/small gatherings or family-only.

Some schools allow you to have a celebration on their campus the day of the cosmetology graduation ceremony itself. You’d have to check in with your school specifically to find out the details, but it can be a great way to let people watch the ceremony and celebrate all at the same place!

If you’re more of an outdoor person, you could opt for a party somewhere outside, whether it be the beach or your local park!

If you do choose an outdoor location, make sure you’re allowed to be there with a large group of people. Always check the weather and make adjustments if necessary, and make sure you pick up afterwards to avoid littering and keep nature looking beautiful!

Some other options include:

  • Lunch or dinner at your favorite restaurant
  • Renting an event venue
  • Have a backyard BBQ gathering
  • A local attraction or destination (best for small groups)

Cosmetology Graduation Invitations

So, now that you have your guest list in order (or at least thought about) and you know where you want it to be, you need to actually make your invitations.

While you technically could send out a text or call people and let them know, formally inviting your friends/family is way more fun!

And if you’re wondering where to get it printed, websites like Minted or Shutterfly offer professional-looking invitations that you can customize and personalize!

When making your grad party invites, make sure you include these vital pieces of information:

  • Your full name (or nicknames you go by)
  • Name of the school you’re graduating from
  • Any degrees or honors you received in school (top of your class, etc.)
  • Time, date, and location of the party
  • RSVP info (date and instructions)
  • Clarification on gifts or no gifts

Cosmetology Graduation Decorations

Is it really a party without stunning decorations and cute photo props? Technically yes, but if you love decorating, then you won’t want to miss this part!

Something worth noting is that – as you might have assumed – if you have a theme picked out, you’ll want that to carry through all the aspects of your party, but especially your decorations.

Here are some decoration ideas to take your get together to the next level!


You can’t have a table without a centerpiece! And while flowers are beautiful in their own right, they might seem a bit normal and thoughtless. Instead, try one of these:

Theme your flowers by adding a little something extra that goes with your color scheme:

Ditch the flowers and go with something a little more uplifting:

Or maybe something a little sweeter:

Or you could light it up:


The classic! No party would be complete without a couple balloons (at least), but feel free to go over-the-top with these cute, themed balloons!

Get super-specific with your career specialty:

Or go all out with this balloon arch:

Table settings

Whether you’re having a banquet with many tables or a party with just one center tabletop, the small details will give you that “completed” look. Without properly decorating and coordinating your tables and place settings, your decor might be left wanting.

Don’t fall into that trap! Spend some time considering what you would like and getting inspired by these filled table tops:


Some decorations can really push your party over-the-top – and sometimes, they can’t fall into a specific category. So, if you want an extraordinary celebration, consider one of these fabulous decorations!

  • Skin-friendly hors d-eouvres
  • Insta-worthy photo booth backdrop
  • Don’t forget the props
  • Cute cards to gather some great advice

Grad Party Must-Haves

So, you’ve chosen your theme, made up your guest list, sent out the perfect invitations, and gathered the most fabulous decorations. Now what?

There’s a few last details you’ll want to consider if you want to ensure your bash isn’t missing anything.


Some people think games are childish or – frankly – lame. But if you can pull off an addition of an adult, beauty-themed game into your party, you’ll stand out from the crowd and create a genuinely memorable experience for you and your guests!

Here’s a few game ideas that you might enjoy playing:

  • Pin the extensions on the client: I mean, is it really a party without a super corny rendition of a once-popular game?
  • Written By: You will be surprised at how fun this shockingly simple game actually is with the right group of people (read the rules here)!
  • Board games: Think Taboo or What Do You Meme? – adult party games that are geared towards having a blast!


Having a party without music is like having a picture without a frame. It’s beautiful and all, but would look unfinished hung up in most settings.

So, unless your party is a wrapped canvas, you might want to put together a playlist of some of your top tracks to play at your get together!

Consider the type of gathering you’re having to ensure that you choose the right type of music. If it’s a small family gathering in your house/backyard, blasting rap or the latest hip-hop might not set the mood right.

On the flip side, if you’re going to be surrounded by all your friends and little to no family, soothing background jazz or gentle R&B might not be a big hit.

If you’re playing a game that involves music, you might want to make a special playlist for that as well. The same goes for if you’re planning on having dancing or not.

You might also want to consider investing in some high-quality bluetooth speakers for your special day as well. What good is music if you can’t really hear it?

Thank you cards

Once everyone comes to your party, has a great time, wishes you well, and bids you adieu, you might think it’s all finished. But it’s not.

You – the graduate – have one last final duty, and that’s saying thanks! You should have everyone’s names and addresses (from the invites), so you shouldn’t have a need to collect those at the party itself.

If you choose to receive gifts, you’ll want to write down who gave you what so you can include a specific thanks to each and every person, not only for their attendance, but also for their generous present.

You can also include a word of gratitude for any words of encouragement or advice that they gave (either on a card or just in person) that really stood out to you. Anything to let them know that you genuinely appreciated them being a part of a big moment in your life!

If you had a photographer or other pics from your party with your guests, you could always include a printed copy of that as well!

Ideas for a Great Cosmetology Graduation Cake

Okay, so all that other stuff is great and all, but we’ve definitely saved the best for last – food. Specifically, the cake.

It’s seems like a no brainer: people need food to survive, cake is food, ergo, it must be the most important part of the party. Right?

All joking aside, you’re probably going to make a cake (or get one made) for your celebration. But you might be wondering how big should it be, or what flavor? And, of course, what should it look like?

So, let’s start with the basics.

How big should it be?

How big your cake should be is really a personal decision. Whether you just want to feed your guests or you want a stunning masterpiece that doubles as your showstopping decoration is entirely up to you.

There’s just one exception: make sure you have enough to feed everyone. And when in doubt, get enough for each person to have seconds.

This means you’ll need to know about how many people you’re expecting to come. And if you assume each person will eat a minimum of one slice (again, it’s safe to assume two), then you will have the minimum number of servings you’ll need.

A standard 12-inch cake will offer about 25-35 servings; a 10-inch, about 20-25 servings; and an 8-inch, about 10-14 servings. So, if you had a two-tiered cake (sizes 12-inch and 10-inch), you could get about 60 servings out of that – enough for 30 people to have two slices.

Of course, if you want it to be a five-tiered work of art, you’ll either be paying big bucks, know someone who owns a bakery (or be extremely talented), or you’ll want to use cake styrofoam and make fake layers.

And again, it’s all a matter of personal preference!

What flavor should the cake be?

Flavors, like size, are a matter of choice. Obviously, you want to like it, and you want your guests to enjoy it; but how can you make everyone happy without stooping to just plain vanilla (unless, of course, that’s your favorite)?

Try some of these flavor combos to go above and beyond the traditional flavors:

  • Pink champagne: Raspberry mousse, vanilla buttercream, and pink champagne cake pair well with the whole “celebrating” theme!
  • Chocolate Cappuccino: Chocolate cake with cappuccino mousse is a sure-fire win for all of your coffee lover friends!
  • Lemon Berry: Vanilla cake with a light lemon mousse and topped with fresh berries make a bright, summery treat!

Something else worth considering is whether or not your guests have any dietary restrictions, and whether or not you want to account for that.

While it might not be feasible for you to get a gluten free cake for your party of 50 guests just because one is a celiac, if you’re having a smaller gathering, you might want to consider it. It’s a thoughtful gesture that will make your friend or family member feel especially included!

Cake decoration ideas

So, once you’ve picked out your flavor and size, you might be wondering what it should look like, and if you’re bound to a less-than-enthralling dessert just because you decided on two tiers instead of five.

All in all, your party is meant to be fun, and it is your party. Not to mention, it’s the memories you’ll make that’s what’s important.

So have fun, stay safe, and be excited for what your future holds!

Related Reads

Life After Cosmetology School: How To Start Your Career As A Newly Licensed Cosmetologist

What’s The Difference Between A Cosmetologist And An Esthetician?

Beauty Salon Services Every Cosmetologist Should Know About

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