Graduation is quickly approaching, and while “Senioritis” may just be starting to set in it is time to get to party planning if you haven’t already started! Read on for the scoop and guidelines to graduation announcements and invitations in our first part of our three part blog series on graduation party planning.
The first thing on your graduation party planning agenda is your announcements and invitations. A lot of times, students will be encouraged to order their announcements and sometimes even invites from a business through the school such as Jostens. There is nothing wrong with these announcements and invites if they are your style. If so, or if you have already ordered your invites, skip down a couple paragraphs for a guide on announcement and invitation etiquette.
If you have not yet ordered your announcements and invitations and want something more unique to spread around there are a few options for you to consider. If you are computer savvy and have the resources to do so, designing your own and having them printed for you is a fun and often a less expensive way to go. What you save in funds you may spend in time, however, as you will usually be starting from scratch. To have your own designs printed you can send them to Walmart or any other box store’s photo center, call a local printing company for quotes, or look up Vista Print online. If you do the latter, I highly recommend looking for a half price coupon for the printing as they are very easy to find.
The next, and most times easier and most efficient option for unique announcements and invitations is to order then from a stationery company. Most places that have wedding invites and announcements will also carry graduation options. At Dan D Party Corner, for instance, we carry an entire line of fun and unique graduation announcement and invitation options that can be customized and ordered within as little as two weeks. Many of the designs we offer include spots for photos or other customization.
You can see our entire line of graduation stationery at http://dandpartycorner.carlsoncraft.com/Graduation
Now that you have your announcements and invitations it is time to begin the process of sending them out. First, let’s start with who gets what. There is a big difference in a graduation announcement and an invitation. Typically a graduation announcement is way of sharing your achievement with your family and friends. The announcement should be sent to all family members and with any party invitations that are sent out. The invitation is for your graduation party and dose not have to be sent out with every announcement such as those to your great aunt in Australia who you know would be unable to come. You can include the invitation if you would like, especially if it is cute or has your picture on it but it is not necessary.
That being said, there are certain “rules” one is expected to follow when preparing and sending out announcements for graduation.
#1. All envelopes should be addressed by hand. No cheating and using labels or stamps.
#2. On the outer envelope, when using titles such as “Doctor” or “Street” spell out the entire word rather than using the abbreviations. It is ok, however, to use Mr. and Mrs. for titles. (I looked this up and while some etiquette guides say you should spell out Mister, I have not been able to find the spelt out versions or Ms., Mrs., and Miss. So I will be siding with the 50% of guides that say Mr. and Mrs. is a-okay.) When you are addressing a couple or a family always address to the “head of the household.” I know this could bring up a lot of other comments, however we will roll with it. It should look something like this:
Mr. and Mrs. Philip Sherman
42 Wallaby Way
Sydney, NE 69162
or if Philip is a doctor it would look like this:
Doctor and Mrs. Philip Sherman
42 Wallaby Way
Sydney, NE 69162
#3. The inner envelope should be addressed to each individual and is to be less formal. Here you can use titles such as Grandma and Aunt Julie instead of their formal titles. You want to be sure to include everyone that you are intending that particular announcement and invitation to include. If it is to a family it may look something like this:
Uncle Philip, Aunt Julie, and kids
or if you want to have more to write you could say this:
Uncle Philip, Aunt Julie, Cameron, and Vanessa
#4. Your return address can be either handwritten or a label. Either way, this should go on the flap of the outer envelope. An envelope seal should also be used to seal the flap down for mailing.
#5. Your invites, if they fit, may be placed inside the announcement along with your senior picture and name card (if you have those.) You want the invitation to be facing towards the reader when opened. Your senior picture should be placed behind your name card to hold it in place. If you don’t have a spot for a name card treat them the same as your invite. Your invitations may also be mailed out separately if you would prefer.
#6. When packing your announcement, the announcement itself should sit in the inner envelope so when someone opens it they will see the front of the card. Do not lick or tuck in the inner envelope flap; instead you should use a seal or leave it loose. Then, slip the inner envelope into the mailing envelope so the front addressed side of the envelope is seen in front when removed from the outer envelope.
#7. Your announcements and invitations should arrive at their destinations no later than two weeks prior to your graduation. It is highly recommended to send these out at least a month if not two in advance to be sure they arrive on time for your out-of-town family and friends.
Remember, if you have any questions with your graduation party planning process, feel free to call or visit us at Dan D Party Corner! We would love to help you with any questions you may have!