Author Topic: Graduation Announcements Vs. Invitations  (Read 6782 times)

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JaneJensen

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Graduation Announcements Vs. Invitations
« on: April 02, 2013, 12:01:41 PM »
 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.

baritone108

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Re: Graduation Announcements Vs. Invitations
« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2013, 12:19:52 PM »
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.

TootsNYC

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Re: Graduation Announcements Vs. Invitations
« Reply #2 on: April 02, 2013, 12:56:29 PM »
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.

Zizi-K

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Re: Graduation Announcements Vs. Invitations
« Reply #3 on: April 02, 2013, 02:45:17 PM »
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.

mime

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Re: Graduation Announcements Vs. Invitations
« Reply #4 on: April 02, 2013, 03:00:32 PM »
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.


TootsNYC

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Re: Graduation Announcements Vs. Invitations
« Reply #5 on: April 02, 2013, 03:38:05 PM »
Announcements are nice when they come from kids I don't know that well.

Because I'm always saying, "How old is your kid, now? Isn't he about due to graduate?"

And when I get the announcement, then I know!

Surianne

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Re: Graduation Announcements Vs. Invitations
« Reply #6 on: April 02, 2013, 04:07:59 PM »
Announcements are nice when they come from kids I don't know that well.

Because I'm always saying, "How old is your kid, now? Isn't he about due to graduate?"

And when I get the announcement, then I know!

So true!  A photo would be nice to have as part of the announcement, too.  Grad announcements/invites aren't really done where I am, but if I received one I wouldn't see it as a gift grab at all.

katycoo

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Re: Graduation Announcements Vs. Invitations
« Reply #7 on: April 02, 2013, 07:06:54 PM »
This comment is not very helpful, I know but this is just one of those things I find quite baffling/fascinating about US culture. 

Graduations here (whether High School or University) aren't really a thing to be announced.  Parents and perhaps siblings or a partner might be invited to the ceremony but if there's any kind of celebratory party its an "I'll be drinking in this pub if you wanna come too" style.

jaxsue

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Re: Graduation Announcements Vs. Invitations
« Reply #8 on: April 03, 2013, 09:33:34 AM »
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.

This. In my experience, graduates are given only so many tickets for the graduation ceremony. My younger DS got 4. And you're right...the ceremonies are pretty tedious!  :)

jaxsue

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Re: Graduation Announcements Vs. Invitations
« Reply #9 on: April 03, 2013, 09:36:49 AM »
This comment is not very helpful, I know but this is just one of those things I find quite baffling/fascinating about US culture. 

Graduations here (whether High School or University) aren't really a thing to be announced.  Parents and perhaps siblings or a partner might be invited to the ceremony but if there's any kind of celebratory party its an "I'll be drinking in this pub if you wanna come too" style.

Oh, it gets better! We now have graduation ceremonies for preschool, Kindergarten, elementary, and jr. high school! This is where, honestly, I prefer the European way. YMMV.

CLE_Girl

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Re: Graduation Announcements Vs. Invitations
« Reply #10 on: April 03, 2013, 03:25:57 PM »
Snip

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).


POD, especially if announcements aren't common in your extended family.  My mom sent announcements for my HS graduation and had quite a few relatives try to RSVP that they couldn't come. 

Promise

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Re: Graduation Announcements Vs. Invitations
« Reply #11 on: April 03, 2013, 03:57:58 PM »
My favorite invitation was for my exchange student's in Brasil. My husband called me at work to tell me he booked a ticket for me to go! So apparently their celebrations are similar as to the U.S. I went to the ceremony, had a family party at their home, and then attended a huge dress-up party put on by the university with drinking/dancing/food/bands.

We could only have 6 people attend with an actual ceremony invitation and so we sent announcements to relatives which included an invitation to a party. In MI the party is never the same day as the graduation. Only grandparents tend to attend the actual ceremony while family and friends attend the party. We sent out just party invitations to our children's friends and our friends and hosted a party. This included a general invitation for everyone at church. People don't give big gifts (perhaps cash of $10-25) and it's really not a big expectation. I'm sure there were some who attended who didn't give a cash gift. That's not the reason we had a party. We had a party to celebrate with family and friends.

kareng57

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Re: Graduation Announcements Vs. Invitations
« Reply #12 on: April 04, 2013, 01:22:00 AM »
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.

This. In my experience, graduates are given only so many tickets for the graduation ceremony. My younger DS got 4. And you're right...the ceremonies are pretty tedious!  :)



It's pretty similar in Canada.  Of course I'm not going to criticize US traditions but it's just different here.

Overall, HS graduation is treated as an expectation rather than a special accomplishment.  With very few exceptions - any student who wants to graduate does so, even if it's within a special program - such as one that accommodates learning disabilities.  Generally, gifts are given only from parents and perhaps very close relatives such as grandparents.

Yes, there are ceremonies and parties - but usually parties are given by parents of a graduating senior and include only their kid's friends.  There are generally not parties that include adult neighbours, parents' friends, extended family such as great-aunts etc.  I am not saying that anyone who did such a party here would be considered "rude", but it would be in raised-eyebrow territory.

But late Dh and I recognised that things were different in the US when we booked a night in Coupeville WA (we needed to catch the ferry the next day).  We'd previously seen (on a prior trip) some picturesque B&Bs but found that they were all fully booked even for a Thursday in early June.  Even for the nice hotel that we were able to book a few weeks ahead - the manager informed us that it had been the last room available and she seemed to figure that this was perfectly normal at that time of year - "it's graduation weekend!"  And yes, while strolling the town (it's pretty small) we saw plenty of license plates from California, Montana, Arizona etc.  Naturally not all of these people would have been attending the graduation ceremony, but it would seem to convey that in the US it's very mainstream to drive for a day or two to attend a HS graduation.

So overall, I'd think that this would be a know-your-audience situation.  While no announcement or invitation is a gift-summon - if I received a graduation announcement, I would indeed think that a gift was expected.

Thipu1

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Re: Graduation Announcements Vs. Invitations
« Reply #13 on: April 04, 2013, 08:45:36 AM »
This comment is not very helpful, I know but this is just one of those things I find quite baffling/fascinating about US culture. 

Graduations here (whether High School or University) aren't really a thing to be announced.  Parents and perhaps siblings or a partner might be invited to the ceremony but if there's any kind of celebratory party its an "I'll be drinking in this pub if you wanna come too" style.

In some circles, graduations can be huge deals. This is especially true in immigrant families because the child who finishes High School may be the first in the family to do so.

In season, the museum where I worked was host to a number of Commencements.  The institutions ranged from elementary school up to and including a local university. It was interesting to watch
because the younger the graduates, the more attention was paid. 

After a middle school commencement, every kid came out with more medals and trophies than an Olympic champion.  On the other hand, some PhDs I know went to their Graduations only for the chance to have their pictures taken wearing the soft caps and velvet-trimmed robes. 

Parties, however,  tend to be small and gifts are often given only by close family and friends who know the Graduate well.  Others may send cards but that's about it. 


gellchom

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Re: Graduation Announcements Vs. Invitations
« Reply #14 on: May 24, 2014, 12:22:09 AM »
Reviving this old topic because we received a combination announcement and invitation to a brunch for a cousin's (daughter of my husband's first cousin) college graduation.

2000 miles away.

I know that an invitation isn't a summons (we are not attending), and I know that announcements are proper and aren't gift grabs.

But I truly cannot imagine that they believe that there is even a remote possibility that we (and all the other relatives that they are presumably sending these to) would fly out for this.  I like these cousins a lot, but we aren't especially close to them.  Nor is it an especially historic occasion because no one in the family has yet graduated from college; they all do.  In my experience (and both my husband and I have big extended families that love to get together for life cycle events), college graduations are attended by parents, siblings, perhaps grandparents and maybe a close aunt or uncle, but not the whole huge extended family. 

Probably they just intend it like an announcement or a courtesy invitation.  We've sometimes gotten high school graduation announcements, but I don't think I've ever seen a college graduation announcement. 

As I said, I know that etiquette doesn't require us to send a gift when we receive an announcement (which is what this invitation amounts to).  But I always feel like we have to anyway.  Do you?

Do you feel like a note of congratulations, which I know is proper, nevertheless comes across like it's saying, "Did you send us this because you are hoping for a gift?  Well, too bad, we figured it out, and it didn't work" -- ?

I am going to let my husband decide how he wants to handle this!