Graduation Etiquette: Do's and Don'ts

Gratuation etiquette on your graduation day

Graduation season is here. It’s time for all of the ceremonies and parties that go with closing one door and opening the next chapter. Whether you are the one graduating or the one attending an event, make sure you are prepared for this important day. Read on as we share some of our biggest Graduation Etiquette Do’s and Don’ts.

Do: If you receive a graduation announcement in the mail then you are not obligated to send a gift – a congratulatory card is sufficient. However, if you are invited to the ceremony or graduation party, then a gift is appropriate, regardless of whether or not you attend.

Don’t: If you are giving the graduate a present, please don’t take your gift to the graduation ceremony. If you do, that makes someone else responsible for your gift. It could easily be misplaced in all the excitement and activity. Send your gift in advance or shortly after the event.

Happy family on college graduation day

Do: Follow the specific dress code. If a graduation ceremony is being held at a parochial or religious school, clothing should be more reserved and/or modest. If you will just be attending the party, ask your host about any clothing questions or follow the request on the invitation. When in doubt, it is always better to be overdressed than underdressed!

Don’t: Ask for an invite to the graduation ceremony or be offended if you do not receive one. Many families receive a very limited number of tickets to these events and do not have extras to give out.

Do: If you receive a graduation present, sending a handwritten thank you note is a must. An email or quick phone call is not appropriate. Thank you notes should be sent within3-5 days of receiving the gift. If you have received a large number of gifts, an email message to the sender that a note will follow can buy you a few more days.

Don’t: Forget to turn off your cell phone. The last thing you want is to take away attention from the graduates because your phone is ringing.

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