Congratulations! It is almost time to throw your cap in the air.
Years of school are complete, and now it is time for your graduation, as well as all the parties and activities that go along with it. There are many details to be concerned with, along with many unanswered questions that arise on how to handle some basic situations.
Read on and you will find out how to make the most of this very special event.
Announcement vs. Invitations
Remember there is a difference between invitations and announcements.
An invitation equals an invitation to the actual event. An announcement is simply letting you know the big news – I’m graduating!
Distribute the graduation invitations only to close friends and family members, and send them at least three weeks prior to the ceremony. It is never a bad idea to send a “hold the date” card or even an email as far in advance as possible.
For formal graduation announcements/invitations, send in two envelopes.
The outer envelope should be personally addressed in blue or black ink.
Use complete addresses with no abbreviations when addressing the envelopes.
Mr. and Mrs. Charles S. Corbin and Family
2132 Singleton Avenue
Houston, Texas 75029
Personally write the names of the recipients on the front of the inner envelope as if you were speaking to them. You should list children by name on the inner envelope only. For example:
Aunt Robin and Uncle Chuck
Allie and Reid
Place the graduation announcement in the inner envelope with the front of the announcement facing the envelope flap.
Wear the cap parallel to the ground, with the point of the cap between the eyes. The tassel hangs to your left and will be moved to the right upon graduation.
Know the school dress customs, traditions, and expectations. You might need to wear a tie, and remember that shoes are just about the only part of the graduate’s attire that is visible to the audience. Wear tasteful shoes—avoid flip-flops, sandals, tennis shoes, or bunny slippers!
Avoid wearing dark clothes underneath a light-colored graduation gown. You might not even notice until the pictures are enlarged for frames. Yikes!
Encourage your guests to dress graduation appropriate, and also for the weather, especially if the commencement is outdoors.
: Be sure to thank, with a handwritten note, everyone who sent a graduation gift. This note should simply acknowledge the gift, and should be sent immediately—however, if it takes you a month, a late note is better than no note!
: do not forget that gift giving is appropriate if you are invited to the graduation or to a party. If you are sent an announcement, it is not necessary to send a gift, but a graduation card is a nice gesture.
: Consider giving money. It is certainly an excellent gift to give to the graduate. Other appropriate gifts include luggage, a camera, jewelry, or gift certificates: these gifts should be mailed or given to the graduate as close to graduation day as possible. It is still acceptable to deliver gifts to the graduate up to two months afterward.
One big party is fun, but can be overwhelming for the graduate to entertain very different audiences. Consider having two – one for family and one for the graduates friends.
Bonus Tip for Graduate and Guests— Everyone, PLEASE silence your cell phones during the ceremony!
Joy Weaver is a renowned etiquette expert, speaker, and author of “Just Ask Joy… How to Be Socially Savvy in All Situations”—a book highly endorsed by Jean and Zig Ziglar. Joy represents designer Joseph Ribkoff and is a regular guest on ABC’s Good Morning Texas. Her clients vary in range from corporate giants such as Raytheon, Sprint and Balfour Construction to Junior Leagues and National Charity Leagues across the nation. Joy is nationally published and has been featured on ABC’s The View, in the Associated Press, New York Times, USA Today, Southern Living Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and The Dallas Business Journal. Protocol Enterprises/Just Ask Joy is based in Dallas and has served clients across the country since 2000. You can follow Joy on Facebook and Twitter at Socially Savvy, and learn more at www.justaskjoy.com.