Last Updated: Apr 4, 2017
There’s more to creating the perfect graduation invitation than merely printing the date on a card, adding a few graduation quotes and dropping it in the mail. Using proper etiquette, choosing the right tone, and being brief are all factors that should be considered otherwise, your invitation may not be as effective as you’d hoped.
We’ve created this easy Graduation Invitation Wording Guide to help navigate you through the steps to creating the perfect graduation invitation. Take a few moments, and learn how to design an invite that will guarantee your grad party a celebration to remember.
Scroll through our entire guide or quickly jump to the graduation invitation wording tips and tricks you need:
- Graduation Invitation Wording: What to Include?
- Graduation Invitation Wording Style
- High School Graduation Invitation Wording
- College Graduation Invitation Wording
- Graduation Invitation Wording: Ceremony or Celebration?
- Graduation Invitation Templates
- Graduation Invitations Wording Examples
Graduation Invitation Wording: What to Include?
Graduation invitations are used to directly request someone’s presence at either a commencement ceremony or the festivities that follow. Many graduation venues limit the number of guests a graduate can invite so, throwing a graduation party is the perfect opportunity to celebrate with all of your loved ones. It will be important to present clear language and proper wording on your graduation invitations so your guests know what is being asked of them.
Whether you are creating your high school graduation party invitations or your college graduation party invitations, there are a few logistics that should be included no matter what style or type of celebration. Be sure to include the following information on your party invites.
- Full name
- Name of high school/college/university
- Graduation year
- Time, date, location of ceremony or grad party
- RSVP date and instructions
- No gifts clarification (if applicable)
Graduation Invitation Wording Style
The language you choose to include in your graduation invites will ultimately set the tone for the entire event. You’ll want to be sure to take a few moments to decide on what it should be. Consider the formality of the graduation party, whether or not you’ve selected a theme for the event, the degree of graduation and your own personal style.
Will your get-together be a casual affair, such as a BBQ party or a backyard get-together featuring summer party ideas? Will it be a formal dinner? Is this your high school graduation, college graduation or have you earned your graduate degree?
Make a decision about what kind of graduation event you will be hosting, and then tailor the voice and tone of the invitation to match. For example, if you are hosting a BBQ party you’ll want the wording you select to be more laid back and casual. On the other hand, if you are planning a catered dinner party then you’ll want to be sure you’re using formal wording and proper etiquette.
High School Graduation Invitation Wording
Most high school graduation celebrations are informal, with guests arriving at non-specific times, in whatever comfortable attire they prefer. As such, the wording on your graduation invites will likely be informal as well. Use some of your high school graduation party ideas to inspire your invitation. Here are some high school graduation invitation wording ideas and tips to help get you started:
Be conversational. Keep the focus on the excitement of the celebration, by using casual wording in your invitations. How is this accomplished? Simple, just ask yourself how you would invite someone if you were speaking with them face-to-face.
- Recognize that the graduation invite should be half of a conversation, rather than a formal declaration. Be sure to include yourself in the wording as well and avoid using the passive voice instead, rely on the active voice. For example, replace The party is being held at ____ with We’re having the party at ____.
- Keep the wording simple and brief by cutting longer sentences in half. Don’t be afraid to start your sentences with conjunctions such as and, but, because, etc., or to use contractions such as we’re, she’s, you’ll, etc.
- Above all, be sure that while you’re limiting your formality, you’re retaining clarity—you want your guests to be able to actually understand what your invitation is trying to say
Be brief. First and foremost, your invitation is designed to share pertinent information. So, keep it simple and share the most important details first.
- A quick introductory sentence, such as Celebrate with us, followed by the party logistics including the event, date, time, location, RSVP contact number, etc should do the trick.
- Consider including future plans.
- Close with a friendly farewell.
Be visual. They say that a picture is worth a thousand words, so why not let your images do the talking? Using a photo graduation invitation can elevate your invite and warm the hearts of recipients who are proud of your journey:
- When it comes to visuals, you can use senior pictures, images of the grad through different stages of his or her life, or photographs of the grad with friends or family, etc.
- If the graduate can’t choose just one photo, try a collage invitation where you can display more than one photo from the graduate’s beautiful senior shoot. This way, the graduate can incorporate a variety of photo selects such as a photo of their grad cap style if they’ve added any special design to the top.
College Graduation Invitation Wording
Because college graduation is often seen as the first step into true adulthood, college graduation invitations are generally more formal than high school graduation invites. Use your college graduation party ideas as inspiration for your invite wording. Here are some college graduation invitation wording ideas and tips to help get you started.
Be specific about accomplishments. College graduation is the culmination of a number of other accomplishments including extra-curriculars, athletics, academic achievements and other items that are worth noting.
- Let recipients know what those accomplishments are, by briefly mentioning them in the invitation.
Be ceremonial. College graduations are all about fanfare. Use formal college graduation invitation wording and proper etiquette in your graduation invitations.
- Use formal titles, the graduate’s and hosts’ full names.
- Avoid contractions.
- Spell out common abbreviations and all numbers.
Consider the theme. If your invitation is to a graduation party that has a specific theme, then the wording you select should reflect that.
- If, for example, the party has a Luau theme, then use the Shutterfly graduation invite personalization options to select a bright color scheme, as well as an appropriate font (such as ‘Zalderdash’ or ‘Felt Tip Roman’).
Don’t be afraid to add some fun to your invitations, your recipients will surely appreciate it. Use appropriate graduation quotes to reflect the theme of your celebrations. Reference our guide for graduation bible verses to celebrate your faith as you honor this academic achievement. You can also create your own special graduation messages and wishes for your guests.
Remember: the most important job of the invitation wording is to invite the intended recipient in a way that is clear and accessible. So, make sure that your choice of wording doesn’t detract from that.
Although you will likely be sending invitations and announcements to a wide range of acquaintances, it’s important to keep your general audience in mind as you write. Here are some things to consider:
Consider your relationship. Many of the invitees will likely be members of you immediate or extended family, while others will not.
- For invitations being sent to family members, or even close friends, consider including a separate, personal newsletter-style note detailing what the graduate has been up to, and what his or her plans are for the future. This note can either be placed directly in the envelope with the graduation invite, or sent separately. Including a short newsletter will allow you to make the invitations more personal for specific recipients, without needing to change the wording or the design of the invitation itself.
Consider the personal family situation. In all likelihood, your invitees will have a wide range of family and living situations. Make sure that your wording is respectful, and non-dismissive.
- Instead of tailoring your invitations only towards the classically defined family (husband, wife, kids), make it more open, and less specific.
Graduation invitations should be brief and informative. Generally, this means a few lines of information, often presented as individual points (name of graduate, date of graduation/party, location, etc.). You’ll want the invitation to be easy to read and unique to you.
Graduation Invitation Wording: Ceremony or Celebration?
The invitation itself is really a means to an end—getting your guests to attend the graduation event. In order to be able to do this, the event needs to be clearly referenced. Be specific in naming the event; don’t just say that you are celebrating a graduation. Is the invitation to the actual commencement ceremony, a family party, a semi-formal dinner at a local restaurant, or to something else entirely? Briefly explain what the event will entail, and include a telephone number where guests can reach you should they have any questions.
Graduation Invitation Templates
Of course, your graduation invitation wording is going to be unique to your own circumstances, but if you follow our guidelines, you’ll be able to create something that retains that uniqueness, while also providing a clear and engaging call-to-action for you invitees. Here are a couple of examples of what your graduation invitation might say:
Graduation Invitations Wording Examples
Mr. and Mrs (name of parents)
Are pleased to announce
The graduation of their son/daughter
(name of graduate)
(name of school)
Please join us to celebrate this success
Dinner will be served
Please RSVP by (date)
(Host contact information)
The days and years have flown right by
And now it’s time to learn to fly
And prepare at last to face the world
To soar to the future, with wings unfurled
(Names of hosts)
joyfully invite you to a
in honor of their little bird
(name of graduate)
Let’s get together
& toast the grad
After four years,
we’re more than glad!
(name of graduate)
& the class of 2017
at (time ) in the evening
(Name of Hosts)
(Hosts contact information)
Mr. and Mrs. (name of parents)
Are proud to announce
The Graduation of their daughter
(name of graduate)
Class of 2017
(name of school)
Please share in their happiness
at Commencement Exercises
at (time) o’clock in the morning
Arrive early due to limited parking
Reception to follow at (location)
Graduation, whether it be from high school, college, or any other educational program, is a recognition of achievement, and a celebration of what’s to come. But even more than that, it’s a time to honor your child—it took a lot of hard work for them to get where they are, and that kind of accomplishment is worth the proper recognition. Make sure that the special people in your graduate’s life have the opportunity to follow graduation gift etiquette, and to celebrate your graduate’s accomplishments.
Looking for specific direction and examples for your graduation announcement? Take a peek at our guide to graduation announcement wording to complete your flawless grad correspondence. Once you’ve got your graduation invites ready for a flawless send off, reference our guide for how to address graduation invitations to be sure your good news properly gets to where it’s going. After your celebrations, be sure to send graduation thank you cards with the proper wording.