5 Alternative Graduation Celebrations For the Class of 2021

While some graduates in the class of 2021 will have in-person graduation, there are still plenty who will not. With that in mind, there are still ways they can celebrate their achievements.

These 5 alternative celebrations are a great option for the graduates of 2021 who won’t get to cross the stage this year.

Dinner Party


A formal dinner party between close family and friends is a great way to celebrate a graduating student that didn’t get a full ceremony. Let the student set the menu with their favorite fancy foods and drinks, they’ve earned it after all.

Set the mood of the party with lights and decorations fit for the graduate to really feel special. Ask the guests who are willing to bring gifts for the graduate to really bring it all together.

Backyard Ceremony


Friends and family of graduating students, consider using your backyard to set up what would have been their ceremony at school. With plenty of balloons and a banner, you can make it feel like they’re really there getting their diploma.

Grab some old gowns and set the stage with speeches and a walk for the graduate to get their diploma. Play some proper graduation music to make it the best ceremony they could have! Take lots of pictures and even videos of this ceremony for memories the student will cherish forever.

Champagne Toast


Another alternative celebration is with a toast. Grab a nice bottle of champagne and a camera, let the student open it, and give a toast to celebrate what they’ve done in college. Invite friends and family to add on what they’ve seen the student persevere through the last four years. Consider a special glass the student can use that they can keep forever after the toast, or even decorate the bottle for them to keep as well. There’s always an opportunity for a keepsake here!

A champagne toast can also be added in with a dinner party celebration. Let it be the highlight of the night as the graduate reflects on everything. Then cheers and let the fun carry on!



An early pandemic idea that still holds merit. Drive-thru graduation featuring friends and family who have decorated their cars is a great celebration. Let the student keep the signs, gifts, and other decorations featured in this celebration to let them remember the day forevermore.

The two best routes here are either taking them around to friends and family or letting the friends and family come to them. Either way, it will still be a memorable day for the graduate. For those close to their campuses, try and drive-by school for an extra dose of school spirit and for one last look at their college.

Virtual Ceremony


Many students will likely be in a virtual ceremony to celebrate their last four years in college. While to some it may seem boring, friends and family alike can make it better. Decorate the area where the student will be streaming to give it a personal touch.

Afterward, combine some of the earlier ideas like a dinner party and champagne toast to really round out their night of celebration. It is a big achievement and should be treated as such.

Graduating from college is a major achievement in any student’s life. After four years of hard work, they can celebrate with friends and family what they’ve done. For those who do not get in-person graduations this year, consider one of these alternatives to still have that sense of pride when getting your diploma.

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