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When Should You Mail Graduation Invitations

High schools and colleges limit the number of visitors a student may invite to commencement because of space.  Announcements should be sent to close family and friends who would otherwise be invited to the ceremony.  Include these individuals at other festivities that take place such as parties, luncheons, etc. It is also important to send to friends and family who are too far away to join in the fun, to share the good news of your accomplishment.

How to Address the Envelopes

The outer envelope, with the gummed flap, is the mailing envelope. It should be hand-addressed using black or blue ink. It should be formal. Do not use abbreviations, except in the title. Example:

Mr. and Mrs. Robert Jones
1554 South American Street
Plaines, Idaho 12345

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The inner envelope, without the gummed flap, holds the announcement, graduation picture, etc. It should be addressed informally. Examples:

  • Grandma
  • Josh and Katie
  • Uncle Harry

If your announcement includes the card slot, insert your card into the slot. If not, place the personal card in the fold of the announcement so that your name faces away from the text. The announcement is then placed in the smaller envelope with folded edge inserted first. The announcement front faces the flap. You may fasten the flap using a seal. If you do not use a seal, do not tuck the flap. This envelope is placed in the mailing envelope with the flap facing the mailing address side.

When to Send Announcements

If the announcement is being sent as an invitation to the ceremony or a graduation party, they should be sent out 10-14 days before the event.


If it is being used to announce the accomplishment of graduation, it is still appropriate to send it up to 14 days after the ceremony.

Note About Gifts

Gifts shouldn’t be expected from all who receive announcements.  Please be sure to send thank you notes to those who do send cards or gifts.

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