loader image

Did your graduate miss out on a 2020 bash? Are you trying to plan 2021’s festivities? We hear you, and we’re excited to see the CDC and state guidelines opening up (more on that later). First things first: Let’s plan that party!

Photo: Pexels

We Got You, 2020 Grads

If last year’s party was a Zoom-fest, then know it’s not too late. Many families are planning to honor their 2020 graduates with a bigger and in-person celebration in the coming months. All the tips below apply, but here’s a key one just for you: Presents. If your graduate received presents in 2020 then you can simply address that in your 2021 invitation. Or, if it was just a few nearest and dearest gift-givers then you may decide to call, text or message them that their “presence is the only present needed.”

Photo: Pexels

Hosting Coming Out of the Pandemic

Planning is on, and events are being booked quickly, as we emerge from tight restrictions. Here’s the latest on Pennsylvania’sevent-size and related guidelines, FAQs about the commonwealth’smitigation, enforcement and immunity orders, and the most current things thattravelers need to know. Along with a little negotiating with the graduate, this also will help determine your guest list. In fact, all these tips keep an eye to where we are in the pandemic — as of this writing. Some of the links in this blog hearken back to the “before” times, so take what you can from them as we wait in gleeful anticipation for the “after” times!

Photo: Fringe Fox Studios

Opting for an outdoor venue will offer you the most choices (and probably will for some time). Depending on your budget and guest list, and keeping an eye on occupancy limits, you might explore indoor venues, if a smaller event works. And guess what? Small events can be amazing, fun and memorable!

Some revelers are choosing to bring catering to their homes. Tents are your best friend, and they can be themed and lighted to impress. Your graduate will no doubt weigh in on favorite foods, but check out this “wow” factor fare; adults will appreciate this upscale picnic menu, too! (Pro tip: Some of these ideas are targeted to weddings but they work for most events!)

Photo: Lauren Fair Photography

In 2021 you’ve either waited about a year or were afraid a graduation party might not happen. Make sure to capture every minute of it, either with pro photography, videography or both. A photo booth is also good fun even if you have to use masks. Yup, we said it. Those images will make for interesting stories for children and grandchildren down the road.

Whatever you decide to do — enjoy it. Whether it’s an air hug from a few feet away, a real hug, an elbow bump or a fist bump, we’re confident you’ll feel the love when you see you’re able to bring together besties, family and friends in person. 

Check our blog for even more event-planning resources and our preferred partners for the region’s best event vendors.

Events are back!

Did you have to postpone in 2020 or early 2021? Or are you just starting to look to book? We’re here for you to put your plans in motion in 2021 and beyond. We’re in this together! Schedule a consultation with one of our event managers when you’re ready to find your place or to reschedule your special event. 



Robert Ryan Catering & Design plans and executes over 400 events each year, boasts a 5-star rating on WeddingWire, and has received WeddingWire’s Couples’ Choice/Bride’s Choice Award seven years in a row. Learn more about Robert Ryan Catering & Design and tour our venues. Subscribe to our e-newsletter for exclusive offers, up-to-date news, and recipes from our executive chef.

Nina Malone

Featured photo: Pexels