Cornerstone Graduate Supply

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Graduation Announcement Etiquette


Graduation Party or Open House?

If you are planning to hold an Open House, normally everyone with whom you are associated would be invited. This celebration is typically held in the afternoon.  Refreshments and light food may be served. Guests may come and go at any time during the hours of the open house. Those who receive an open house invitation are not normally asked to "R.S.V.P." and it is generally assumed that they may bring friends along with them. Open house cards can be inserted in your announcement or mailed separately.


Graduation Parties are "invitation only" events for close friends, acquaintances and special guests. Invitations should be sent out separately from graduation announcements. Graduation parties can be held at any time of the day or evening.  Refreshments and a meal may be served.


  • Enclose directions or a map if necessary to help guests find the location

  • Make it clear whether or not a meal is planned, especially if the party is in the evening


Mailing Graduation Announcements

If the announcement is being sent as an invitation to the ceremony and/or a graduation party, the recipient should have them at least 14 days before the event. Three weeks ahead of the ceremony is ideal, and four weeks is even better, if people from out of town are being invited who need to plan ahead. If the card is just being used to announce the accomplishment of graduation, it is proper to send it up to two or three weeks after the ceremony. 


Name Cards...
Place your card in the card slotsr, if your announcement includes this feature. If not, place the name card face-up in the fold of the announcement. However, if the announcement verse is printed on the front of the card, then the name card should be placed on top of the announcement. 


Whether or not you include a name card, the announcement should be placed in the smaller envelope with folded edge inserted first. The front of the announcement faces the flap so that when the inner envelope is opened, the front of the card is seen. You may fasten the flap using a seal. If you do not use a seal, leave it un-tucked. This envelope is placed in the mailing envelope with the flap facing the mailing address side so that the front of the inner envelope is seen when the outer envelope is opened. Seals are often used on the outer envelope instead of the inner... this is a matter of preference.


The outer envelope, with the gummed flap, is the mailing envelope. It should be hand-addressed using black ink. It should be formal. Do not use abbreviations except for titles and state. Example:

Mr. and Mrs. William Jones
1554 South Wallace Street
Saint Paul, MN  12345

The inner envelope does not hav a gummed flap. It holds the announcement, name card, graduation picture, confetti, etc. It should be addressed informally. Examples: 

Bob and Susan 
Uncle Pete


Return Address...
Use either a printed return address (printed on back flap of envelope), a return-address label (on the back or on the front of the envelope) or a hand written return address in black ink (upper left corner of the envelope). Complete your presentation with an envelope seal!


Single Envelopes
If you have purchased a photo announcement OR a Budget announcement with a single lined envelope, address the single envelope as though it were an outer envelope. The full names of the recipients should be written in black ink, abbreviating only the titles and the state.