Everything you need to know about graduation invitations

graduation invitations

There’s nothing quite like graduation: It’s the end of an era, and your entire future stretches out before you. The idea of binning the books, tossing your cap in the air and walking off campus for the last time is exciting and nerve-wracking all at once. Whether it’s your high school graduation, university graduation, college graduation or graduation from another course, finally making it through is a huge achievement. What better occasion to bring together your nearest and dearest for a party!

 

Graduation invitations or graduation party invitations?

Before you even start thinking about graduation invitations, it’s important that you know exactly what you are interested in. The term ‘graduation invitations’ is often used interchangeably with the term ‘graduation party invitations’, and mean the same thing to most people. We use them interchangeably throughout our site and this article. Technically, though, the two things are different. One invites you to the graduation itself, the other to a graduation party. If you’re not sure what you’re dealing with, ask!

The graduation proper is put on by the school, uni or other institution where you are graduating form, and tickets must be reserved or purchased through them. Students usually receive an allotted number of invitations they can make use of. This often means two invitations to purchase a ticket, intended for your parents or your partner.

A graduation party, on the other hand, takes place on your own time. You organise it yourself, invite who you like, and meet wherever you want. A graduation party is usually held on the day of graduation or sometime nearby (often the same weekend, but sometimes within a month or so) and  is just another opportunity to celebrate your graduation.

In other words, your school is in charge of graduation invitations, and they’re in short supply, while you’re in charge of graduation party invitations, and there can be as many of those as you want there to be.

If you’ve never been to a graduation party (or you’ve never even heard of one!) don’t be offended. You probably just don’t live in the United States. Americans love a good graduation party, and it’s a pretty big tradition. Australians and people in other parts of the world are still coming round to the idea.

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Who should I invite to my graduation party?

A graduation party can be an opportunity to catch up with family and loved ones, thank your parents for their support, or kick up your feet with your classmates or friends who are also graduating. So who should you invite? You might send graduation invitations to all your friends and extended family, keep it to a close family gathering, or just plan to hit the club with your besties. It’s entirely up to you. Every graduation party is as unique as the person throwing it. Just remember to think about the practicalities: how many people will comfortably fit in the venue and can you cater for everyone?

 

When should I send out my graduation invitations?

Like most event invitations, graduation invites should be sent out 4-6 weeks ahead of time to ensure your guests have plenty of time to make the necessary plans to attend but not so long to wait that the entire event slips their mind. Of course, if your parents or relatives are planning to travel a long distance to be part of your graduation, you should let them know dates as soon as possible. It’s entirely appropriate to do this over the phone or with an email or text message.

 

Graduation invitation wording:

Wording your graduation party invitation is all about clearly giving your guests all the information they need to be able to attend the celebration. What sort of information?

  • Who – Make it clear who is being invited, who is graduating, and who is hosting the event (if it’s not the graduate themselves).
  • What – Specify what your guest is being invited to. In this instance, that’s a graduation party! It’s good to be clear about what that entails. A family barbecue? Cocktail hour? A formal dinner? Make sure everyone knows what to expect.
  • When – Guests need a date and time to be able to actually make it to the event.
  • Where – Make sure the location and the address of the location are easily understood and can’t be mistaken for anywhere else.
  • RSVP Information – Give guests an email address, phone number, or an RSVP card to fill out and return and let them know when you need to hear back about their attendance. The easier you make it for guests to reply

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Graduating is exciting and a great milestone to mark with friends and family. If you’re throwing a graduation party for the occasion, your invitations matter! Follow these pieces of etiquette and wording advice, and your graduation party invites will be perfect.

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