Last Updated: Mar 6, 2017
With graduation approaching, it’s important to take the time to appreciate all you have accomplished and celebrate with the people who mean the most to you. This is your day— the moment when all of your hard work pays off. Although, before all the pomp and circumstance, there is a traditional graduation announcement that should be made.
Graduation announcements serve as the beginning of a long line of traditional personal correspondence. And if done correctly, will make a touching impact. You’ll want your announcement to be sleek, easy to read and unique to you.
With a few graduation announcement etiquette tips and tricks, your graduation planning will remain stress-free and you’ll be one step closer to basking in this momentous occasion.
We’ve compiled a list of beneficial tips and answered a variety of common graduation correspondence questions you may come across while creating, addressing and sending your formal graduation announcements. Whether you’re celebrating a high school graduation or a college graduation celebration, this day marks an important milestone that deserves formal attention and proper etiquette.
Browse through our complete graduation etiquette guide or click on one of the options below to ensure your meaningful correspondence gets where it’s going:
- Why Send a Graduation Announcement?
- What to Write on Graduation Announcements?
- How to Assemble Graduation Announcements
- Who to Send Graduation Announcements to?
- How to Address Graduation Announcements
- When to Send Graduation Announcements?
- Graduation Gift Etiquette
Why Send a Graduation Announcement?
There are many reasons to argue why you should announce your graduation and if anyone is more excited to boast about your academic accomplishments than you are it’s, you guessed it— Mom and Dad. If you’re still not as committed as your parents are to sending out graduation announcements, read through our reasons why you should!
- Your family and friends want to know. Granted, the people you keep in touch with on a daily basis probably already know the details of your big day, those you’re not close to will appreciate that you wanted to share your news with them.
- Your family wants to brag about your accomplishment. As mentioned, if anyone is more excited to boast about your academic accomplishments than you are it’s your mom and dad. If not for you, the least you can do is send out your announcements on behalf of your parents’ excitement to share the news.
- Great way to start networking. Now is a great time to start networking and your graduation announcement is the perfect first step to creating connections with your parent’s friends or family members who may have positions in fields of your interest.
- Sending personal correspondence is traditional. As mentioned, graduation announcements are the first line of life’s traditional correspondence. Among others like save-the-dates, birth announcements and holiday cards, your graduation announcements are the perfect place to start building your contact list.
- It’s a keepsake. Graduation announcements and party invitations always seem to make their way into photo books. Finding a copy of your graduation announcement years down the road will not only make you smile but, will also be a great way to look back on this exciting time of your life with your kids and grandkids.
- Great way to thank those that helped you earn your diploma. Anyone who has influenced your academic career should be informed of the news detailing the almost alumni. Your graduation announcement also serves as the perfect way to thank anyone who has helped you along the way.
What to Write on Graduation Announcements?
The graduation announcement wording you choose to include on your correspondence should reflect your own personality and style. Along with important information, a graduation announcement can include an inspirational graduation quote to set the overall tone for the ceremony and celebrations that follow. A few words or graduation wishes that highlight the importance of education and hard work would make for a great addition to your announcement.
Aside from tone and aesthetic, there are some important logistics you’ll need to include in your grad announcement. You’ll want to retain clarity and be straight-forward all the while showing off your excitement with the words you include. If you are sending out invitations along with your announcements, you’ll also want to reference out guide to graduation invitation wording. With all of these resources you can reassure you’re using proper etiquette and that your good news will get to where it’s going!
Keep in mind, you may also follow the lead on the announcement design you’ve selected if you’re looking for proper graduation announcement wording guidance or you can recreate something like below:
- Full Name
- Graduation Year
- Name of High School or College
- Date of Graduation
How to Assemble Graduation Announcements
When assembling your graduation announcements be sure to insert your announcement face up towards the flap of the envelope. Some announcements come with an outer envelope and an inner envelope, if this is the case for you make sure that your announcement is assembled correctly in the inner envelope.
When your recipients receive your graduation announcement in the mail, you’ll want them to open up the envelope and be able to read the good news right away. If you are sending a photo graduation announcement, you’ll also want them to be able to see your smiling face as an almost alumni. Be sure to follow the addressing instructions below after you’ve put together your correspondence.
Who to Send Graduation Announcements to?
You should send graduation announcements to anyone your family would send a holiday card to. This is a great rule to go-by when creating your announcement guest list. No matter what guidelines you decide to follow when deciding who should receive an announcement, it’s important that anyone who has impacted your academic career and journey be informed of the good news. If you’re still stuck, follow our more detailed guest list below:
- Parents and other important family members. Even though these folks have probably already been informed of all the details, we’re sure they wouldn’t mind hanging a personalized graduation announcement on the fridge for all to admire.
- Extended Family. Think grandparents, aunts, uncles, great aunts and uncles and cousins that you may not see everyday, but still have a great part in your life. Even if they live out of town, they will surely want to hear about your accomplishments and see the official announcement.
- Friends. Your friends will want to celebrate this special accomplishment with you as well.
- Tutors, Teachers and Classmates. Don’t forget about the people you spent the most time with during your academic career.
- Yourself. Last but not least, if you the graduate are creating and sending out your own custom announcements don’t forget to save one for yourself. These little cards also serve as a memorable keepsake for years and years to come.
How to Address Graduation Announcements
Sending graduation announcements is a formal occasion for many and your envelopes should reflect that formality. Addressing graduation announcements may seem stressful as you put the pen to paper. There are a few necessary details you’ll need to follow when addressing your envelopes and above everything you’ll want to ensure you’re using proper etiquette.
If it’s been awhile since you’ve sent snail mail, our tips and tricks for addressing graduation announcements will ensure that your announcements are flawless before send-off:
- Use blue or black ink and handwrite your addresses legibly. You can make the process easier on yourself by designing custom return address labels for your envelopes.
- Use formal titles when addressing envelopes, such as “Mr. John Doe” or “Ms. Jane Doe”.
- Avoid abbreviations. Don’t use abbreviations for street names and be sure to spell everything out. For example, instead of writing “St.” spell out “Street.”
- Don’t forget your postage stamps!
If you’re looking for more detailed instruction, you can reference our specific “how-to” guides on letter etiquette. When it comes to specific graduation correspondence, you can reference our article on how to address graduation invitations and announcements. For more helpful tips, you can reference our article on how to address a letter which provides formal and informal etiquette.
When to Send Graduation Announcements?
Graduation announcements that also double as invites to the graduation ceremony, should be sent at least two to three weeks before your graduation ceremony. This will give guests enough time to receive their invitations and RSVP early. It’s a nice gesture to give your guests enough time to make arrangements to attend the celebrations if their schedules will allow them to. If you know beforehand which guests will be traveling from out of town, you can give them advanced notice, in addition to sending an announcement.
If your announcement does not include an invitation to the commencement celebrations then it is permissible to send it within a wider timeframe specifically, two weeks before the date or up to four weeks after the event is acceptable. Be mindful when you are sending your announcements and don’t send them too far after the event.
Looking for more detailed instruction? Visit our guide on when to send graduation announcements for more helpful information.
A Note About Graduation Gift Etiquette
Although graduation gifts are not required, those close to you who receive an announcement may feel obligated to do so or they may just want to do so. Be sure to keep track of the gifts you receive and send proper graduation thank you notes in a timely manner. If you order your thank you cards the same time that you order your announcements they’ll be ready to go as soon as you receive gifts. Send your thank you notes out as soon as possible. Reference our guide for what to write in a thank you card or our sample Graduation thank you card sayings to simplify your writing process.
This time of the year is especially busy for soon-to-be high school and college grads that may be wondering about the proper graduation announcement etiquette. The good news is— you’re not alone. Use our tips and standard etiquette guidelines to make sure your custom announcements are flawless and uniquely you.
After you’ve got your announcements squared away, you can continue to prepare for your big day. As the excitement rises, reference our guide for how to wear a graduation cap to assure you’re wearing your tassel on the correct side and following proper ceremony etiquette.