10 Graduation Announcement Etiquette

Graduation Announcement Etiquette
Send your graduation announcement after receiving your final grades. You can announce via mail, e-invites, and social media. Use formal language and announce to family, friends, and mentors. Don’t forget to include photos and accomplishments in the announcement.

1. Perfect Timing

After years of hard work and sleepless nights, it’s finally time to share your graduation news. But when you send out your graduation announcements is just as important as the news.

Here’s a tip: Wait until your final grades are in. Your grades are the final, definitive proof of your achievement. 

Timing matters because sending announcements too early takes away the excitement and suspense. Plus, it could leave your friends and family guessing about your final results. Sending them too late could risk your big news being overshadowed by other events.

2. Announcement Strategies

You’ve made it through those long nights of studying and those tough exams. It’s time to let the world know about your great achievement. Here are various ways you can announce your grad:

  • Mailed announcement: It’s like sending a piece of your joy to someone’s mailbox. The tangible feel of the card and the hand-written note is personal and heartfelt. But it takes time and effort to prepare, and the postage costs.
  • E-invites: They’re quick, easy, eco-friendly, and you can design them with as much flair as you want. They may not feel as personal and can easily get lost in someone’s crowded inbox. So be prepared for it.
  • Social media posts: They’re fast, free, and you can reach many people at once. But not everyone is on social media, and your big news might get lost in the daily flood of updates.

Think about your audience and what’s most important to you. If you’re a fan of tradition and personal touches, mailed announcements could be the way to go. If speed and convenience are top priorities, consider e-invites or social media posts.

3. Who To Inform

A graduation announcement is about sharing your joy and gratitude with those involved in your journey. It’s about recognizing their contribution to your success. Here are tips on who to announce to:

  • Family members: From your parents to your siblings, grandparents, and cousins, who always asked about your progress at family gatherings. They deserve to be part of this celebration.
  • Close friends: The ones who stuck with you during those all-nighters and stressful exam periods. Share your joy with them as a token of appreciation for their unwavering friendship.
  • Mentors: The teachers, professors, or advisors who saw potential in you and helped pave your path to success. A graduation announcement to them is a way of saying “Thank you.”

4. Graduation Festivities

Graduation party decoration
Graduation party decoration

If you’re leaning towards a graduation party, it’s all about planning. Whether it’s a small get-together in your living room or a grand bash in a rented venue, make sure it reflects your taste and personality. Set a realistic budget because the goal is to celebrate your achievement, not break the bank.

Don’t forget to enlist the help of your immediate family and friends. Their help in planning and executing the graduation ceremony will be invaluable. They’ve been there for you throughout your academic journey and would love to be part of your celebration.

If you’re more of an adventurer, consider a graduation trip. It can be an epic road trip with friends or a solo journey to a place you’ve always wanted to visit. This is an excellent way to celebrate your new freedom and the start of a new chapter. Whatever you choose, make sure it shines in your grad invites.

5. Graduation Announcement Wording

Your graduation announcement should be nothing less than perfect. It’s a formal occasion, so the language should match.

Start with a courteous greeting, followed by your full name and the big news about your graduation. Include crucial details like your school, the degree you’ve achieved, and your graduation date. 

To make it memorable, include a professional photo from your graduation shoot or one that captures your joy. Sharing a brief personal anecdote about your journey can make the invitation more relatable and heartfelt.

Let your unique style shine through in your announcement. If you’re known for your wit, sneak in a funny line. If you’re more poetic, include a favorite quote or a line of your own poetry.

6. Thank You Notes

writing thank you cards
Writing thank you cards

Graduation is the perfect moment to show gratitude for those who’ve walked alongside you on your academic journey.

In a digital world, thank-you notes might seem old-fashioned, but their value is timeless. They’re much more than a simple ‘thank you.’ They’re a symbol of appreciation and an emblem of respect.

When writing a thank you note, keep it sincere and from the heart. Start with a personal salutation. If you have shared some special moments with the person, mention them. This brings back pleasant memories and makes your note unique and memorable.

For a note that stands out, forget templates. A personalized thank you note speaks volumes about your gratitude. Talk about how the person helped you and how their support made you feel.

7. Envelopes Etiquette

How you address your graduation announcement envelopes can set the tone for this joyous occasion. It’s like the cover of a book, inviting your loved ones to share an important milestone.

Using titles like Mr., Mrs., or Dr. before the recipient’s last name is proper etiquette. If you’re addressing a couple, stick to ‘Mr. and Mrs. Smith.’ For households with children, ‘The Smith Family’ should work.

If you send an announcement to a couple with different last names, include both, like ‘Mr. Johnson and Mrs. Smith.’ It’s a small gesture that shows your thoughtfulness.

Consider using calligraphy or other decorative writing to make your envelopes pop. Your high school or college graduation announcement isn’t just a piece of paper; it’s a memory, so make it count.

8. Picture-Perfect Inclusion

Including photos in your graduation announcement serves a dual purpose. First, it showcases your accomplishment in a way that words simply can’t. Second, it provides a cherished keepsake for your close family members.

Pick a photo that represents your journey and the milestone you’ve reached. A formal graduation portrait with a cap and gown is a classic choice that never goes out of style.

Alternatively, a candid shot from your graduation day or of you engrossed in a favorite class project can tell a story that’s uniquely yours.

Incorporating these photos into your announcement should be done tastefully and appropriately. Choose a design that highlights your photo without overshadowing your graduation message.

9. Showcasing Success

Rather than just listing your achievements, weave them into a narrative that tells your academic story. Talk about when you won that math competition or how you earned that coveted scholarship. 

As you highlight your successes, express gratitude for those who helped – your mentors, teachers, and family. This balance between pride and humility will lend an authentic touch to your announcement.

10. Keep It Classy

Your announcement serves as a snapshot of your journey, and it’s important t keep it classy and sophisticated. Balance celebrating your achievement without slipping into the realm of excessive self-promotion. Focus on sharing your joy rather than boasting about your accomplishments. 

Use words that are simple yet elegant. Steer clear of slang or overly technical language that might alienate some of your audience. Avoid inside jokes that only a select few would understand, and instead, share your heartfelt thanks and excitement universally.


Tabitha is a curious and enthusiastic writer who believes in the power of words and the importance of good manners. Etiquette is her passion, and she enjoys sharing her knowledge with others. When she isn’t writing, she enjoys traveling, reading, and spending time with her family.

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