General Etiquette > Family and Children

Graduation Announcements Vs. Invitations

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 My dd is graduating high school and I was planning on sending announcements rather than invitations. For several reasons, one that most people are out of state and I can't imagine folks would want to get on a plane and travel for that. The few that do live locally are rather elderly and I can't imagine would enjoy a giant stadium crowd type event like this.
  What is the etiquette involved in this? I'd like to send it after the fact saying my dd has graduated, but what kind of wording do I use? Is it tacky to say she graduated with honors or other endorsements ( Usually I only see this on college announcements) Do I put the date and location she graduated? I plan on enclosing a photo of her actually graduating in cap and gown rather than senior pictures too.

If you got one of these would you think it was nice?  I'm conflicted because I have a friend telling me it's rude to do this. That it's like saying " you're not good enough to invite to the graduation, but hey, send a gift anyway" and that's so not my intention.

It's not rude.  Some people see everything as a gift grab.  Send the announcements to people with whom you want to share the news that your daughter is graduating.  It's nice that you're adding the photo.

The gift grab thing mostly comes up when announcements are sent to people who haven't heard from you in years.  Those with whom you regularly share other important family information don't fall into that category.

The classic "announcement" language usually involves a third party (used to be the school; it could be the parents) doing the announcing.

Sometimes the school will offer a way to purchase announcements, and will have appropriate language.

otherwise, something like:

Mr. and Mrs. John Doe
are pleased to announce
the graduation of their daughter
Jane Marie Doe
summa cum laude
from Mount Pleasant High School
Mount Pleasant, California

If it's just an announcement, it might be smart to leave off the exact date, so people don't think it's an invite (people often just don't "get" announcements).

You could say "Spring 2013" or "at the close of the spring semester of 2013"
Or "May 2013" perhaps.

Yes, include honors, because that's what people are interested in.

You could also do something less formal, and it might seem less like a gift grab. A letter, mostly.

We're so proud to say that Jane has graduated summa cum laude this spring from Mount Pleasant High School. Her plans for the summer are XYZ, and she'll be attending Intelligent College in the fall.

The actual graduation ceremony is often difficult to attend unless you are immediate family. Not only are there restrictions on how many tickets you can obtain, but they are often hours long and mind-numbingly boring. People who get offended about not being invited to the ceremony seem quite ignorant about how these things work.

I am coming from a different perspective: where I live, graduation announcements are the norm and invitations are not. When I graduated, each student could only invite up to 6 guests with the possibility of more only if other students didn't use their full allotment of invitations. Since this was typical for me, I've never expected an invitation from anyone. In fact, in some of my relationships, I would actually feel a bit left out if I didn't get an announcement.

I have always been happy to get announcements. They feel special: usually quite elegant and mark a milestone for my neices, nephews, and friends (whether the friend is the graduate or the proud parent).

I think an announcement rather than an invitation can leave the recipient less obligated to send a gift. You're not implying that you had any intention of hosting them in any way, where they would feel more obligated to respond with a gift. Instead you're just announcing the accomplishment... and speaking of that, if your daughter has graduated with honors then that is even more of an accomplishment, so absolutely share that! If she is excited about future education plans -- college in fall? share that as well.


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