How to Send Graduation Announcements

The Proper Way to Address and Assemble Formal Graduation Announcements

Graduate with her family
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A graduation announcement is not the same as a graduation party invitation. The announcement is designed to tell your family and friends that you did it, you are graduating!

Formal graduation announcements are popular for both high school and college graduations. They can often be ordered directly through the school via the same company that you order the cap and gown from.

Who Should Receive a Graduation Announcement?

Most high schools and colleges limit the number of visitors a student may invite to the commencement ceremony because of space constraints.


It is important to send announcements to close family and friends who would otherwise be invited to the ceremony. Include these individuals at other festivities that take place such as parties, luncheons, etc. 

It is also important to send announcements to friends and family who are too far away to join in the fun. It is a quick way to share the good news of your accomplishment!

If you already have a party plan, take this opportunity to invite everyone (or select guests) to that as well.

How to Address the Envelopes

Traditional graduation announcements that are offered through the school have a few pieces. There is a certain way that these are designed to be assembled and it can be confusing to know what goes where.

The Outer Envelope

The outer envelope (with the gummed flap) is the mailing envelope.

  • It should be hand-addressed using black or blue ink.
  • It should be formal.
  • Do not use abbreviations, except in the title.


    Mr. and Mrs. Robert Jones
    1554 South Wallace Street
    Deer Park, Pennsylvania 12345

    The Inner Envelope

    The inner envelope (without the gummed flap) holds the announcement, graduation picture, etc. It should be addressed informally.


    • Grandmom
    • Rob and Gail
    • Uncle John

    How to Assemble the Announcement

    1. Place your card. If the announcement includes a card holder, insert it there. If not, place the personal card in the fold of the announcement so that your name faces away from the text. Do the same with a photo if you have one.
    1. Insert the announcement. The announcement is then placed in the smaller envelope with the folded edge inserted first and the front facing the envelope flap.
    2. Fasten the flap using a seal. If you do not have a sticker for the seal, do not tuck the flap.
    3. One envelope inside the other. The smaller envelope is placed into the mailing envelope with the flap facing the side that has the mailing address.

    Why Is This Important?

    To understand the importance of these steps, it may be helpful to picture how the receiver is going to open the envelope...

    1. They will open the mailing envelope's flap and see their (informal) name as they pull out the inner envelope.
    2. When they break the seal and open the next flap, they will be greeted with the face of the announcement card.
    3. When they open the announcement, your personal card (and photo) will be facing them.
    4. Behind your personal items, they will find the details of your graduation!

    The formality of these cards is designed to give the receiver an experience. It is like peeling back the layers of a perfectly designed package until the surprise is revealed!

    When to Send Announcements

    It is nice to give guests enough notice so they can add the party or ceremony to their schedules (if they are invited). Ideally, one month is preferred for any party though this is not absolutely necessary.

    • If the announcement is being sent as an invitation to the ceremony or a graduation party, they should be sent out 10-14 days before the event.
    • If it is just being used to announce the accomplishment of graduation, it is still proper to send it up to 14 days after the ceremony.

    A Note About Gifts

    Gifts should not be expected from everyone who receives the announcement. Be sure to send thank-you notes to those who do send gifts.

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