Graduation season is approaching, but if you haven’t already decided who to send a graduation announcement to or who should make the graduation party invite list, don’t panic. We have compiled the most pertinent graduation etiquette information, so you (and your grad) know exactly when to set up a graduation registry, who to invite to the graduation ceremony, and how long to wait after receiving a graduation gift before sending a thank you. So let’s start…!
What is Graduation Etiquette?
It’s a set of social norms and respectful behaviors associated with the commencement ceremony and related events. Graduation etiquette aims to create a positive and dignified atmosphere, ensuring that everyone can fully enjoy and appreciate the significance of the occasion.
As summertime approaches, not only do we begin to anticipate sunshine and a good time, but many students and their families are preparing for the big day, graduation. Graduations are very joyous and monumental occasions. Whether you are preparing to graduate, throw a party, or attend one, here is a dose of graduation etiquette to help things run smoothly.
Why Graduation Etiquette is Important?
Graduation etiquette is important as it’s a collective effort to honor graduates’ achievements and create an atmosphere that benefits the importance of the occasion. There are several reasons listed below to understand the importance of graduation etiquette.
- Etiquette ensures that the ceremony is treated with respect maintaining the gravity of the occasion
- It gives a positive atmosphere.
- It gives each graduate an equal opportunity to be recognized and celebrated.
- It is a once-a-lifetime experience. Etiquette helps to create a memorable and enjoyable event for graduates, families, and friends.
- A well-conducted ceremony, where etiquette is respected, contributes to the overall reputation of the educational institute.
- The ceremony symbolizes the transition from student to graduate. Hence, etiquette helps in maintaining the dignity of this symbolic moment.
Tips for Graduation Etiquette
With graduation season come ceremonies and parties celebrating the accomplishments of soon-to-be graduates. And where there are ceremonies and parties, there are rules of etiquette to help things go smoothly and amicably. To make life easier, we’ve provided some useful graduation etiquette tips.
1. Graduation Announcements
Technically speaking, the announcement merely informs recipients of the graduation and does not invite guests to an event. In communities where space at the commencement ceremony is limited and attendees are issued tickets to attend, the announcement’s sole purpose is to let friends and family members know that someone has graduated. When drafting these announcements, be careful to ensure it is not misconstrued as an unintended invitation. It should be made clear in the wording that it is just an announcement.
Given that there are usually several events associated with a gradation (the commencement ceremony, party, or celebratory dinner), any invitation should indicate to which event(s) the guest is invited.
3. Graduation Party Etiquette
On graduation day, there are typically many parties. In the invitation, it’s a good idea to specify a party start and end time to allow both the graduates and guests to move to the parties of other graduates. The graduate, as the guest of honor, should stay for at least an hour though, to greet guests and talk to everyone that made an effort to attend.
4. Graduation Ceremony Etiquette
Graduation ceremonies are usually the pinnacle of pomp and circumstance, and traditional graduation etiquette around the ceremony should be followed. Schools generally give each graduate a limited, set number of tickets. Once you know the date and venue of the graduation ceremony, as well as how many people can be invited, you should begin sending out formal invitations.
5. Graduation Gift Etiquette
If you receive a graduation announcement, sending a gift isn’t required, although a card congratulating the graduate is always appreciated. If you’re invited to the ceremony or the graduation party, then you should ideally bring a gift. Should you choose to bring a gift, consider something symbolic or practical for the graduate’s future endeavors. Popular choices include personalized items, professional accessories, or even a contribution towards educational pursuits. You can also explore MyGradStoles for customized grad stoles/sash providing unique and thoughtful gift options.
Are Thank You Notes Necessary?
This is an occasion where sending an email or text won’t do. If a graduate has received a gift, they need to send a handwritten thank you note. In the note, reference the gift and mention your plans with it. Graduates should send a handwritten thank you card for every gift received. The professionals agree that sending e-mails or text messages to express gratitude is inappropriate. Thank you notes should go out as soon as possible, but no later than two weeks after the present is received.
Commencing With Courtesy
In the intricate dance of graduation ceremonies, etiquette serves as a graceful impact on the collective experience. Understanding and embracing graduation etiquette not only elevates the occasion but also amplifies the sense of respect and achievement. Congratulations to the graduates and here’s to a future adorned with the grace of commencement etiquette.