As the school year comes to an end, graduation parties and celebrations are upon many. While not everyone decides to host an official event, even a barbeque or small gathering with friends and family at a restaurant needs some preparation!

If one is planning a graduation party and looking for the details on how to spread the word, this post is the right place to be!

Open or invite-only?

The first thing to decide upon before sending out graduation party invitations is whether or not the event will be open or invite-only.

An open event will mention a span of time that the event is taking place and allows guests to drop in at any time and stay for as long as they want. Parties hosted at a venue are popular for open events as they can accommodate more people.

An invite-only event will include when the event begins and have a small set of invitations sent out to close friends and family. One can have small, invite-only events at their home or a restaurant, or a larger guest list hosted at a venue.

Most will invite close friends, neighbors, immediate and other family members, however, it is up to the student and those hosting the party to determine who they would like to invite!

Information to include

If looking for a graduation invitation template, here are some things to ensure don’t get missed when creating the invitations:


  • Name (full name as it is proper)
  • Name of the school the student is graduating from
  • Year of graduation
  • Time and date the party is taking place
  • The RSVP deadline
  • Any additional clarifications (such as a gift policy, dress code, etc)

Invitation design

There are lots of options when it comes to designing the invitations and most graduation invitation designs will include one or more portraits of the student and other embellishments such as geometric shapes or the school’s colors, but one can also choose a design such as a black background with white script and gold accents, or a photo of the student with a text overlay. Don’t be afraid to get creative!

When to party and when to send

Because graduation happens at the same time for many students, it is best to not plan the party during graduation month (December) as there will be many parties to be had and may mean that not as many of the invited guests can attend due to scheduling their time to fulfill other invites.

It is best to host the party a month prior to graduation to allow the opportunity for more guests to attend. While hosting the party in months following the graduation is an option, it again could cause for low guest attendance due to people gone on holiday.

When sending the invitations, a good time frame is 3-4 weeks for local guests, and 6 weeks for out of town guests.

Don’t forget to say thank you!

Whether guests bring a gift or not, it is important to thank them for their attendance. If a guest has provided a gift, ensure to mention the item in the card. It is best to send the graduation thank you cards out 3-4 days (no longer than a week) following the party.

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