High school and college students everywhere had to think outside of the box (or the building, anyway) just to make it to the end of the 2020 school year, let alone get their graduation announcement cards in order!
We felt it was helpful (and timely) to offer a quick guide to graduation announcement etiquette, and some tips on how to send them out in style.
What’s the Difference Between a Graduation Announcement and an Invitation?
The difference between graduation announcements and graduation invitations are right in the name. Graduation announcements are just that: an announcement that includes details about your student’s degree and graduation.
Graduation invitations are an invitation to the ceremony itself.
Because students are usually only offered a limited amount of tickets, you have to be selective about who they invite to attend the graduation. The list usually includes:
- Aunts / Uncles
- Anyone else who is considered near and dear
Hence the need for two different ways of notifying friends and family of the big occasion.
Graduation Announcement Etiquette
Chances are, you won’t have enough invites to send to everyone you’d like. Not everyone knows or understands this. For some, even if they did, they may be offended at being omitted from the list of people you invite to the ceremony.
For this reason, it’s considered good etiquette to wait until after the graduation ceremony to send out announcements, but it’s not completely necessary. We’ll be talking a little more about when to send out announcements later on in this article.
Social media announcements and blanket emails won’t get you thrown in etiquette jail, but it’s always a better idea to send out printed announcements. It may be a bit of a chore to gather addresses, but it’s well worth it.
Most everyone loves to receive post mail. And a beautiful announcement conveys how proud you are of your graduate!
It’s appropriate to print “No gifts, please” on your grad’s announcements if you don’t feel comfortable with gifts. If you’d like to make it an option, include small return-addressed and stamped envelopes with the announcements for the recipient to send cash or gift cards if they’d like.
Why send a Graduation Announcement, and to Whom?
Chances are, there will be a lot of friends and family, who will be delighted to receive an announcement of your student’s important milestone.
Don’t be shy about who you send an announcement to. Anyone you can think of who would be interested in hearing that your student has graduated should receive an announcement.
When Should I Send Graduation Announcements?
As mentioned earlier, sending out announcements after graduation may avoid potentially hurt feelings. If that’s not an issue, a good window is up to two weeks before graduation, to six weeks after.
Of course, extenuating circumstances (hello COVID!) may make this choice for you. It may be worth it to hold off when you’re anticipating things like special achievements, as your grad may want to make sure she graduated with honors before including it on the announcement.
What to Include in Your Graduation Announcement
College Graduation Announcement Etiquette
Information like what kind of degree your grad is receiving, their major, and any other relevant accomplishments such as graduating with honors should be included in a college announcement. As a rule, college graduation announcements should be more visually formal than high school announcements- they can be used for networking purposes when it comes time to begin looking for jobs.
High School Graduation Announcement Etiquette
High school announcements can be a little more playful and casual if you wish. Listing any special achievements is appropriate (editor of the school newspaper, honors, etc.) as is a brief note on where your graduate is headed in the future, including where he or she is going to college if applicable. Including photo of the graduate is customary, but not required.
Examples of Graduation Announcement Wording
Graduation Announcement Ideas
Many choose to include inspirational quotes on their graduation announcement. This is a great way to convey an attitude or message without too much verbiage to take up space. Here are a few quotes we like- some poignant, some cheeky, but all convey a great message:
“All our dreams can come true … if we have the courage to pursue them.”— Walt Disney
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”— Mark Twain
“The only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary.”— Vidal Sassoon
Your grad’s announcements should convey their personality along with their accomplishments. Choosing announcements that feature a few creative extras is a good way to do that. Here are a few of our favorites:
Vellum Overlary Cards
Vellum overlays are not only aesthetically pleasing, but they’re a good way to present a photo of your grad with a personalized message.
Graduation Insert Cards
If you’d like to include a thank you note, or a (virtual?) party invite with your graduation announcement, an insert card is a beautiful way to do so. It’s nice for your recipient to have the option of keeping only this part of your announcement to save the date or as a keepsake.
Graduation Booklet Cards
A booklet announcement is a good option if you’d like to send an announcement as a keepsake. It’s like a separate card for each point on your grad’s announcement with a little more detail. For instance, listed accomplishments will have its own card, as will school information, etc. Each card can include a different photo if you choose to include them.
We hope this guide has provided you with answers to commonly asked questions about graduation announcements and invitations. If you’d like to browse further, check out more attractive and creative graduation announcements ideas from Minted.
A big congratulations to this year’s graduating class!