When it comes time for graduation, be it high school, college or post-grad, navigating the celebration doesn’t need to be stressful. Mixbook has a few helpful graduation invitation etiquette hints for to make your accomplishment the focus of the day.
Dear Mixbook, My daughter wants to throw a graduation party that includes her friends, but my mother-in-law doesn’t do “rowdy.” What should I do? Sincerely, Degree Drama in Wisconsin
Just say no to drama! If you daughter and her friends can’t agree to keep things calm and polite until the family leaves, throw two parties. A quiet, sedate affair for older relatives and a rager afterward for your daughter and her fellow graduates. Remind your daughter that it’s the grandparents who might be giving gifts. Maybe the thought of that new computer will convince her to compromise with you. If it were my daughter, I’d push for the one affair, but that’s just because I’m a stickler about good manners.
Dear Mixbook, Due to size restraints, my son’s high school only allows 4 guests per graduate. My side of the family alone is 10 times that. What should we do? Sincerely, My Big Fat Greek Graduation
Good for you for being such a tight family that you’d all want to go to your son’s graduation ceremony. Obviously, your immediate family gets first dibs on the 4 seats. After that, your son can give the remaining seat or seats to whomever he chooses. It’s his graduation after all! Explain to your family the size restraints and how the limit of attendants is out of your hands. Be sure to invite them afterwards to a graduation party where you can show off pictures of the ceremony and toast your son’s achievement.
Another way to help make family members feel better is to include a photo in the graduation announcement and to address the envelope more informally. Small touches like these will remind loved ones how much your son cares. Remember, the announcement is sent out after the event, not before!
Dear Mixbook, My daughter is graduating from medical school and her close classmates are getting together to throw a large party at a bar near the school. Should I bring presents for the other graduates? Sincerely, Going Broke in NYC
Dear Going Broke, I feel your pain. You’ve paid for elementary school, middle school, high school, college, medical school… and now you have to buy gifts?! You’re going to need a drink when you get to that graduation party because – I’m sorry to tell you – good manners suggest that if you receive an invitation to a graduation party (whether you go or not) you should give a gift. Flowers, something engraved, a meaningful book or anything that your daughter’s friends can use out in the real world will be appreciated. Just remember, they’ve been working for most of their lives to get this degree. Even if it’s just a homemade card with a meaningful, handwritten note, show the grad how much you respect their hard work. Also, your daughter will need to send out thank you notes for each gift she receives, including cash gifts. Which brings me to my final gift idea: thank you cards. One thing your daughter and all of her friends will definitely need out in the real world.
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