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Kudo

Graduation reception-Dessert only?

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Is a meal/food always served at a graduation reception/party?  Does anyone have a dessert only reception anymore?

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High school or college? I know friends who served finger food and/or desserts. My kids would love to attend a reception where only cakes and pies are served 🙂 They attended a reception where the food served was Lay’s chips, Doritos chips, watermelon slices, cut fruits, croissants, lemonade, coffee, and tea.

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2 minutes ago, Arcadia said:

High school or college? I know friends who served finger food and/or desserts. My kids would love to attend a reception where only cakes and pies are served 🙂 They attended a reception where the food served was Lay’s chips, Doritos chips, watermelon slices, cut fruits, croissants, lemonade, coffee, and tea.


It is for high school.

I should have added that while growing up all receptions, whether for high school/college graduations or weddings, pretty much just cake was served.

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I think it’s absolutely fine to do whatever you and the grad want to do, regardless of what anyone else does. Where I live, no one does grad parties at all, which was strange to me when we first moved here.

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YES! You can even put it in the invitation. 

We did a sundae bar once - way too hard to keep the ice cream cold - and a walking taco bar at another. Both were enjoyed! I think a s'mores party would be fun. 

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Absolutely!  We did a cookie party for one kid - different types of cookies with Choose Your Own Frosting options and sprinkles,  it was a huge hit!

DD17 is mostl likely not having a party, but if she changes her mind I will suggest a Desserts Only party!

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We did cookies for our oldest dd’s high school grad party. Her invite said something about being a “smart cookie”.

There were so many different grad parties that day that we figured food was covered from brunch to dinner, so we were okay to just do a sweet snack!!

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I think dessert only would be fine. We did light finger foods and cake for DD. We chose this do this because family offered to help.  I think in the future for the boys we will do it more simple with dessert only.

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Ds’s birthday was 2 days after graduation so he wanted an ice cream bar. His friends loved it! They had so much fun building their own sundaes acting like kids one more time. 😊

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Definitely!  Just put it on the invite so people know to not expect a meal.  We did this for one child.  We had it on the invite somehow... Something sort of like, "Join us for dessert, coffee and tea to celebrate Susie's high school graduation!"  We had several different types of finger-food desserts, such as brownie bites, macaroons, etc.  

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Here grad parties are a big deal. Most kids go together at venues, as there are only a few to choose from, and they're snatched up a year in advance. The kids tend to vary what's offered, knowing that everyone will hit 6-8 before the day is out. So, it will be bbq at the rodeo grounds, and sandwich stuff at the IBar, tacos at the park, and sweet stuff at so-and-so's house. Everyone is stuffed by the end of it all. 

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yes, we did one for our oldest and it was great!  We did it in the evening, and had the porch and yard lighted.  I thought it was the most relaxed party we've had, we were all able to visit and talk. 

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As long as there is plenty of delicious cake and something to drink, you should be fine.  Maybe add some chips for people who don't eat cake.

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Sure,  as others have said, make sure it's clear that there won't be a meal, and don't have it over a typical meal time. When I have had dessert-only events, I start at 7:30 pm and usually call it an open house so people who eat dinner later will still feel like they can come.

I also have cheese and crackers or baguette for people who aren't into sweets.   

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14 hours ago, Kudo said:

Is a meal/food always served at a graduation reception/party?  Does anyone have a dessert only reception anymore?

You can serve whatever you would like to serve. I think a dessert only reception would be fun. Cakes, pies, cookies, brownies, cheesecake, cupcakes, fruit. You could do a chocolate fountain if you're up to it. Or have a campfire and s'more fixings. Or all of the above. It sounds like lots of fun to me!

My niece had a dessert reception for her wedding, it was really nice.

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If you schedule for mid afternoon (2-4) most people will know not to expect a meal.

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YES.  

Also, you can get a chocolate fountain for less than the cost of a custom cake, and use it forever after for all the dessert receptions in your future.  BIG fan of chocolate fountains in my household.  Outside is best, if not wipeable floor is essential, LOL.

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  I've been to one that was an ice cream sundae theme, and that's what they put on the invites.  Up here tho, they generally always have lots of food.  Tacos in a bag are popular and lower cost, I think.

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I suppose you can do whatever you want, but I have not been to a grad party that didn’t serve substantial food. (People also don’t do weddings that way in this region, either.) The two grad parties I have hosted had a lot of food. 

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I think you do whatever you want and works for your family and your graduate! Congratulations on the graduate!
 

Both my girls wanted open houses - where people come and go and stay as long as they are able/want to. We do have a few snacks - petit fours first time (they spelled congratulations and we have some that just had a flower on top), misc in season fruit, and some cheese & crackers. Open house for last child is scheduled for May - again mid afternoon. She wants more elaborate snacks - but she loves food, preparing food, and planning food. She is working to keep it reasonable (chicken salad on mini-croissants, fruit, cheese, mini-muffins for her sweet). Mid-afternoon times were 1-3ish, so no heavy or lots of food required. 

ETA: What I'd prefer, but I'm alone in this, is just having homemade ice cream with some compote toppings. People love homemade ice cream. No one is dairy free of possible guests. And we have a couple of freezers, so ... 

Edited by Bambam

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I didn't attend a wedding or graduation reception that had a full meal until the mid-nineties.  It seems like since then that meals are the norm.  The food at my oldest child's graduation reception was barely touched.  It was costly and time-consuming to prepare, so this time we decided to do a dessert-only reception (stated so on the announcements) between six and eight on a Saturday evening.  To me, supper is between four and six, and since it's on a Saturday, they should have enough time to eat supper before attending.

Receptions have gotten bigger and more expensive kind of like kids' birthday parties.  It's perfectly fine to do so, but I prefer to go back to the simpler way.

Thank you, everyone, for your thoughts!

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I think it's a great idea.🙂 I would much rather go to a dessert party than one with a big meal. 

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I think a dessert party would be fun!

I don't think it would work for my particular family, because grandparents and other relatives will be coming from a couple of hours away. I will feel I need to offer them some real food. This is the same reason that we served a meal at my wedding, even though I personally would have been fine with a cake and punch reception.

So it may not work for all circumstances, but I see no problem with it.

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I think dessert only is fine. Just make sure the party isn't during normal meal times. Have it mid-afternoon, for example, between lunch and dinner. 

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