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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. Feathered paper edges, foil-embossed details, folded designs, and engraved printing added a touch of elegance to these significant milestones. Each announcement was a tangible symbol of academic achievement, carefully crafted to reflect the gravity of the occasion. These ornate invitations went beyond mere notifications, becoming cherished keepsakes for both graduates and their families.

A particularly cherished inclusion was the senior portrait, carefully tucked into the announcement. And there was usually a separate enclosure card, inviting recipients to the graduate’s open house celebration.

These formal graduation announcements still exist, but they’re not nearly as common as they used to be. Today, most grads create online graduation announcements. It’s easy, quick, and you can make a custom look with just a few clicks of your mouse.

    Do I Need to Send Graduation Announcements AND Grad Party Invitations?

    So what exactly is the difference between a graduation announcement and a graduation party invite? The answer is simple:

    Your graduation announcement formally shares the news that you’ve graduated.


    Your graduation party invitation invites people to your celebration.


    The great news is that you can easily combine these two greetings into one card. 


    But if you’re having an intimate celebration, and want to send announcements to a larger number of people, you can create and mail them separately. It’s also very common for college graduates to send announcements only.

    Difference Between Graduation Announcements and Invitations Image 1

    Featured Graduation Announcement: Front and Center Graduation Announcement

    Who Should I Send a Graduation Announcement To?

    High school grads should consider sending announcements to:

    Family Members

    Families of High School Friends

    Parent’s Friends

    Parent’s Close Co-Workers

    Special Teachers Through the Years



    College grads should look at their college graduation announcements as an opportunity to network! Add these people to your list:

    Co-Workers From Any Internships

    Parent’s Coworkers and Associates


    Should I Invite People to My Commencement Ceremony?

    Probably not on your announcement or invitation, since usually only a small group of close family attend the commencement.

    Even if you’re not inviting everyone to your graduation ceremony, you can mention the date and location on your announcement or party invite. Wording examples that include your commencement might look something like this:

    We’re proud to announce

    the graduation of

    John James Barron

    from Hillsboro High School

    on June 3rd, 2023

    Please join us to celebrate!

    June 12th from 1:00 – 4:00

    1274 Marigold Lane

    Edina, Minnesota

    If you’re not having a graduation party, this wording is perfect:

    We proudly announce

    The graduation of

    John James Barron

    from The Ohio State University

    on the tenth of June

    two-thousand and twenty-three

    John has accepted a position at

    McGarvey, Henry & Krauss

    in Minneapolis, Minnesota

    Who Should I Invite to My Graduation Party?

    A graduation deserves a party! And remember - your graduation announcement can double as your grad party invite. Even if you’re sending a card to friends or family who you know can’t make the party, they’ll appreciate the kind gesture.Probably not on your announcement or invitation, since usually, only a small group of close family attend the commencement. In fact, many high schools only allow a handful of people to attend the ceremony.

    Be sure to invite these folks to your grad party:

    Family, even if they cannot attend

    The Parents and Families of Close Friends

    Parent’s Friends, Including Co-Workers

    Parent’s Close Co-Workers

    Current and Former Teachers

    Coaches and Music Teachers

    Neighborhood Friends

    Remember – 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. Have fun choosing your favorite announcement and customizing it just the way you want.


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