Create A Custom Graduation Announcement Online

Congratulations! You’re graduating, and now it’s time to celebrate. The difference between graduation invites and announcements is how you word your announcement, and who it’s addressed to. In this guide, you’ll find the tools you need to create stunning graduation announcements so they fit your one-of-a-kind style and personality. Also, you can check out our Graduation Headquarters which features many graduation essentials that you will love when celebrating your incredible accomplishment.

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What Are Graduation Announcements?

A graduation announcement is used to announce your academic achievement. In contrast, graduation invitations are the actual invitation to the ceremony or party. Most graduations limit the number of people a graduate can bring to the ceremony, so a custom graduation announcement is for everyone else in your circle.

The end of any school year can be overwhelming. You have to plan a grad party, come up with graduation gifts for friends, and not to mention the stress of finals. Creating a reasonable timeline can help you better manage all the tasks you have to complete as the last month of school creeps up and you’re on to the next chapter of your life.

2024 graduation announcement cards

Don’t shy away from sending grad announcements to your acquaintances. Graduation announcement cards can signal that you’re open for job opportunities and internships, and sometimes, you might make a connection from a family friend who’s hiring for your skillset.

Teachers or individuals who influenced you throughout your education should also be included. Think of that AP English teacher that made you fall in love with language. They would be thrilled to find out that they influenced your degree in linguistic studies, and helped you on your path to becoming a speech therapist.

Grad Announcements vs. Graduation Invitations

Graduation announcements help you celebrate your accomplishments with all your family and friends, even if they’re far away. You might also choose to send out announcement cards if you just aren’t have a graduation party or aren’t inviting many people to your ceremony.

With Shutterfly grad announcement cards, you can send a beautiful notice with just the most important information. Our graduation announcement template offers flat cards, folded, and tri-fold cards, so you have all the room you need. Different from a graduation party invitation, your announcement lets you offer information about your degree and future plans instead of your ceremony and party details.

How To Address Graduation Announcements

When addressing graduation announcement cards, it’s important to follow proper etiquette to ensure a respectful and organized approach. Start by addressing the envelope with the recipient’s full name and title, if applicable. If you’re sending the announcement to a family, include the family name followed by “and family.” Use formal titles such as Mr., Mrs., or Dr. for adults, and use appropriate prefixes like Miss or Ms. for unmarried women. If you’re unsure about the recipient’s preferred title or name, it’s always best to err on the side of formality. Remember to double-check the spelling of names and addresses to ensure accuracy. By addressing graduation announcement cards with care and attention, you can show your respect and appreciation for the recipients as they celebrate this milestone achievement.

When To Send Graduation Announcements

Experts have different takes on when announcements should be sent. Etiquette points to two weeks prior to the ceremony if you’re including an invitation, and up two weeks following for standard college grad announcements.

The end of a school year can be packed with graduation parties, finals, and overall stress, so try to spread out the tasks that go along with creating these announcements.

  • Four Months: Take senior portraits.
  • Three Months: Design the layout and order your announcements.
  • Two Months: Gather recipients’ names and addresses.
  • One Month: Address and assemble the announcements.
  • Three Weeks: Send your grad announcement cards.
  • Post Ceremony: Send out graduation thank you cards.

Graduation Announcement Ideas

Your graduation cards should embody your personality. The recipients want to see you at your best, and a great way to show them is through a unique grad announcement. Get creative, or keep it traditional. Either way, make sure you’re sharing your favorite parts of your academic journey.


Nothing says accomplishment like the tassel on a grad cap. Signal your celebration with a detailed grad cap front and center and build with the textual details of a tassel. Take it a step further by using your alma mater colors as the palette.

Full Photo

Acquaintances and maybe even some relatives haven’t seen you in years. What better way to show your achievements than with a photo update?

graduation announcements

Graduation Party

Send your announcements out after celebrating with your inner circle of family and friends. Don’t forget to take informal pictures at the event. You’ll save a bundle on professional photography, and everyone loves a candid shot.

Photo Cards

To keep things formal, you can include a text-only graduation invitation and add some photo prints inside. If you’re sending high school graduation announcements, be sure to include your senior portraits. You’ll get the best of both worlds with extra space for personalization on the announcement, plus the fun grad photos.

My Favorites

Your tastes have most likely changed since you’ve seen a lot of the people you plan to send your invites to. Your interests are a great representation of what you’ve been up to, and often shed some light on where you might go in the future. Customize your graduation announcements with photos of you and your favorite things, like a sports ball if you’re an athlete or even photos of you with your pets.

Graduation Quotes

Whether inspirational or humorous, sharing a graduation quote is a great way to add some personality to your announcement. You can even create a themed string of quotes that embodies where you started school and how far you’ve come.

Multi Photo Grad Announcements

Add some depth to your grad announcements with a fun fold-out design that has a collection of your favorite photos. If you had a professional photographer, multi-photo grad announcements are a great option to showcase all your favorite shots without having to limit your choices. Multi-photo cards can be an excellent choice if you’re sending out college graduation announcements. Get creative by including photos of you in different places around your campus.

Graduation Thank You Cards

Graduation thank you cards are almost just as important as the announcements themselves. Imagine your loved ones spent ample time creating personalized graduation gifts like canvas wall art for your dorm or a photo blanket featuring your most cherished memories. Keep it short and sweet, but make sure to send a handwritten note to everyone who sent a gift to you. Write your thank you cards as soon as you can and send them out a few weeks after the graduation ceremony or grad party.

Wrapping Up

When designing your grad party invites, think about how you want to present yourself with the trim and paper type. Your trim can be classic square for a traditional look while a bracket, ticket, or scallop trim can create a modern invite. If you want a sleek, shinier finish, go for photo paper. For an elegant print, use a pearl shimmer cardstock.

With a little bit of thought, creating a custom graduation announcement is a simple and effective way for your family and friends to be a part of your accomplishments. Still stuck on what to say? Follow our guide to graduation announcement wording for even more inspiration.

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