Whether you have a child graduating from high school or college, there are certain questions that seem to come up again and again. To avoid hurt feelings and confusion I will address some of your most frequently asked questions that have plagued the proud parents of graduating seniors for generations!
Graduation Etiquette Questions Answered:
Our family is only allowed a certain number of attendees at the graduation. How can I choose among family and friends knowing that I am inevitably going to offend someone?
The most important thing to remember is that most people will understand and appreciate your honesty when you say, “While we would love for all of our close friends and family to attend Susan’s graduation, we are only allotted 5 tickets. You will be with us in spirit and we would love to have you join us at our home after the graduation ceremony.”
What is the difference between a graduation invitation and a graduation announcement?
A graduation invitation is a request to be present at the graduation ceremony. A graduation announcement is a proclamation that someone has graduated from either high school or college.
If I receive an invitation or an announcement am I required to send a gift?
Although a gift is not required, the decision to give a gift should be based on your relationship to the graduate or their family, as well as your personal financial situation. If you decide not to send a gift, a congratulatory card or hand written note is a nice gesture of acknowledgment and will be noticed and appreciated. If you are hesitant to send an announcement because it may look as if you are “fishing” for a gift, print “No gifts please” on the announcement and your concern will be resolved.
When should the gift be given, at the graduation, the graduation party or in advance of the graduation itself?
It is much easier to take a gift to the graduate’s home than to hand a gift to the graduate on the eve of the graduation ceremony. When you choose to deliver it is your choice but most people will bring the gift to the party unless they are not planning to attend. In that case they may drop it off or mail a card with a monetary gift enclosed.
What is an appropriate graduation gift?
At the risk of sounding crass, money is always appreciated. If you prefer to give a tangible gift, consider a phone card, a GPS or an area guide to help them get accustomed to their surroundings. You may also want to consider gift cards to mega stores or a box of stationery and a nice pen.
Can my son or daughter email the thank you notes?
A well thought out, handwritten thank you note is the best form of correspondence. Don’t forget to mention the gift and how he or she plans to use it. Double check spelling and grammar and make sure to include a return address and stamp. Yes, these things are often overlooked in a person’s haste to get the thank you notes out in a timely manner… again, within two weeks to a month at the longest.