Graduation Announcement Etiquette

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Use the right announcement etiquette and successfully announce your graduation .

There are some great reasons for issuing Graduation Announcements:

Family and friends will be delighted to receive the good news.

High Schools and Colleges will not be able to accommodate everyone and must limit the number of visitors. So, it is important to send announcements to family and friends who cannot be invited. Include in this list those who will be at another celebratory function such as the parties.

 They can be a prelude to a formal invitation to a graduation.

 Also important to let those who do live too far away know all about your good news - a great way to keep in touch. 

People in your life who have helped you will love to hear about your success.

The Announcement is a great keepsake.

I have included Checklists to help.

Graduation Announcement Etiquette - When

Mail the announcements from 2 weeks before and up to 2 weeks after the graduation. Be sure to word the Announcement appropriately.

However if you are including invites to the Graduation Ceremony or Party then you might need to mail them 4 weeks before graduation to allow guests to make arrangements.

Graduation Announcement Etiquette - Who To

There are many people who will love to receive the good news about the Graduate and treasure the Announcement.

Think of family, friends, neighbors and perhaps colleagues who have taken a real interest in the progress of the Graduate over the years.

You may have moved city and wish to include those who were special to the graduate in your previous city. 

One thing to remember is that most recipients feel they would like to give a gift. You may cover this with "No Gifts" or be careful with the list of recipients. One simple idea is to consider restricting the list to those the Graduate does know and who you send holiday or birthday cards to. 

Graduation Announcement Etiquette - Pack

The announcement pack you receive will contain

  • Announcements

  • Outer Envelopes

  • Inner Envelopes

  • Name Cards

  • Tissue Paper

  • Graduation Seals

  • Return Address labels

The announcements should be on the same stationery as the graduation invitations and thank you notes.

You may also add a photo of the graduate, a ticket to the ceremony plus reply card, and aparty invite.

(Keep a copy Announcement in your Scrapbook.)

All you need to do is follow the straightforward etiquette rules below and put the items in the envelopes correctly

Graduation Announcement Etiquette - The Envelopes

graduation announcement outer envelope

Addressing and filling the envelopes in the right order is important. There are some simple rules for inner and outer envelopes.

Addressing the Envelopes

The envelopes should be addressed by hand in a blue or black pen.

Outer Envelope

The outer envelope is the mailing envelope and should be addressed formally. (When the recipient opens the outer envelope they will be able to read the informal address on the inner envelope.)

Use the names of the adults you are mailing and avoid address abbreviations such as Dr for Drive. For example:

Mr and Mrs B MacDonald
2113 Abbots Way
Chessington, Washington 65432

Add a return address, the labels normally fit on the upper left side of the front of the envelope.

Inner Envelope

graduation announcement inner envelope

The inner envelope should be addressed informally, for example, Grandfather or Aunt Rachel. Leave the inner envelope open, do not tuck the flap in.

The inner envelope holds:

  • The Announcement

  • Name Card

  • Graduation Picture if sending after the ceremony or great photo of the graduate is sending in advance of Graduation.

  • Ceremony Ticket (or Invite) (if appropriate)

  • Party Invite (if appropriate)

  • Tissue Paper

Filling the Envelopes

Filling The Inner Envelope is quite straightforward:

  • Place the Name Card inside the Announcement
  • Place the Photo on top of the Name Card
  • Add the Ceremony Ticket or Invite (if appropriate) on top of the Photo
  • If you are including a Party Invite add it inside the Announcement, perhaps with a reply card in its own envelope
  • Put the Tissue Paper on top of these insertions and close the Announcement
  • Put the Announcement, folded edge inserted first, in the Inner Envelope. Note, the front of the Announcement faces the flap.

Outer Envelope

Filling the Outer Envelope is quite simple. You may have a Reply Card for the Ceremony (addressed and postage paid) to add too.

  • Place the Inner Envelope, with the flap facing the mailing side into the Outer Envelope.

  • Place the Reply Card inside the Outer Envelope facing the flap closest to the mailing side of the Outer Envelope.

  • Close the Outer Envelope and add the Graduation Seal.

Announcement Etiquette - Wording

Graduation Announcement Wording

Just as you would expect the announcement gives the exact graduation educational details. That is the qualification, the educational institution and the date.The Graduation Announcement wording page has a great range of wording ideas.

You may want to specify “no gifts“, particularly if you are not inviting the recipient to he ceremony. That is optional. 

Graduation Announcement Etiquette - Questions

You may still have some questions on announcements etiquette. There is a wide range of visitors etiquette for graduation announcements questions answered here. 

The questions asked include: 

  • Can the announcements and invites be mailed together?
  • Announcements which include an invite to a Joint Party - how to be sure that the recipients do not buy gifts for the Graduate they do not know?
  • Gift etiquette

  • Must the envelopes be handwritten?

  • We are not having a party, should we still send announcements?
  • Should Valedictorian be noted in the Announcement?
  • Should a photo be included?
  • Should Graduating In Absence be noted?
  • How to word Announcements for Single Parents?

  • Do 8th graders send announcements?

Alternatively feel free to ask your own question which I will be delighted to help with.

Graduation Announcement Etiquette - Recipients

  • Recipients do not need to send a gift, particularly if they are not invited to the ceremony or party. (Perhaps to be strictly polite you might not set up a gifts register and leave any gifts entirely at the discretion of the giver.)

  • Sending a card is a great idea.

  • If invited to the Commencement Ceremony reply promptly.

  • Graduation Announcement Etiquette - Why Do It

    So why go to all the trouble of following the etiquette?

    Perhaps if you imagine being the recipient.

    You open the serious looking formally addressed envelope.

    First you see an envelope with your name on it, then you open it up to reveal the announcement with the graduate's photo and all the details on someone they care about's success. Add to that perhaps a ceremony or party invite.

    I think it provides an insight into the importance of the occasion and draws the recipient into the experience of graduation. We all receive fairly standard invites to various events but this announcement really does bring the occasion to life.

    Graduation Announcement Etiquette - Thank You

    You may well receive gifts after sending out the announcements. This is a wonderful expression of how the sender feels about you. 

    You do need to send off a personal thank you as soon as you can, no later than 1 month after the graduation. Gift givers like to be reassured they have given the graduate a good gift and the thank you card is a great way to do that. Use these free printable cards.

    Try and say what you are doing with the gift, love the sentiment and if the gift is money what you will be buying.

    Show your appreciation and keep in mind who you are thanking. Gran is a bit different from a peer, for example.

    Remember to send a thank you to teachers, coaches, mentors and all those who have helped you. 

    I hope all your graduation announcement etiquette questions are answered!

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