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What's the difference between graduation announcements and invitations?

If you were born before 1990, you may remember that official graduation announcements were once very traditional in design and often included a photo and/or an invitation to the open house. These formal graduation announcements still exist but they’re not nearly as common as they used to be. You’ll notice that many of today’s high school and college graduates find their own announcements and invitations online. So the question becomes:

What's the difference between graduation announcements and invitations?

The short answer is...the wording. The long answer requires a little more thought. We suggest answering three questions before you start shopping.

1. Who needs/wants to know that I'm graduating?

It’s really quite simple. Graduation announcements “announce” your graduation. The word “announcement” means you are sharing the news, not necessarily inviting the recipient to the ceremony or party. This is more common for college graduates who want to let friends, family, teachers, professors, etc. know they are graduating but are probably doing a very small party to celebrate and communicating that by word of mouth.

2. Who is invited to my graduation ceremony?

This is usually a small group of people. Some high schools only allow a handful of people to attend the ceremony whereas some may allow quite a few. Many private colleges have a cap on graduation attendees as well while larger universities with giant venues leave it open to anyone. Even though you can put the details of your ceremony on your announcements and turn them into ceremony invitations, we usually don’t see this. More often than not, graduates choose to invite people to the ceremony by word of mouth since it’s often just immediate family and maybe grandparents or a few other friends and family.

3. Who is invited to my graduation party?

For high school graduations, the graduation party invitation is really what most people are after! Again, it’s just a difference in wording. So anything that’s called an announcement can be used as invitations and vice versa. These are what you send to anyone who is invited to your graduation party or open house celebration. It announces that you have graduated but it also includes the party details so everyone knows when and where to be so they can congratulate you in person.

The really great news is...

you can do whatever you want with whatever announcement or invitation you want! That’s the beauty of fully customizable, professionally printed stationery from Pear Tree. Shop graduation announcements or graduation invitations and have fun choosing a favorite design!


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