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Everything you need to know about College Grad Announcements

This is a sponsored post for Basic Invite, but as always these are my own thoughts! 

I applied for graduation this month literally got goosebumps imagining myself walking across the stage this May. Theeeeeeen the panic hit. Senior of college is a whole new level of stress for a few reasons: job hunting, graduation and still keeping up with classes.

I'm beyond ready to graduate, so today I'm sharing everything you need to know about senior photos, announcements and thank you notes for your senior year of college. 

Announcements Vs. Invitations

Announcements are a little different from invitations and it's important to know the difference. Announcements are for friends and family to just let them know that you've graduated while invitations are for the actual commencement ceremony.

Invitations will normally include the time, specific date, and location of the ceremony, while an announcement will just mention a date like in the photo above.

I'm planning on sending out announcements to let all my friends and family know I'm done with school. Then the few people I'm inviting to the actually ceremony I'm just telling in person, then giving them their ticket when they get in town.

Basic Invite has some adorable options for custom graduation announcements–which is what I was on the hunt for– but they also had personalized Christmas cards, wedding invites, baby announcements, thank you notes and more.

Design to match your personality

I got some free samples from Basic Invite and was soooo impressed with the entire process. I have some pretty high standards for designs because (duh) I went to school for graphic design. There were tons of pretty options for any personality including golf foiling–swoon.

What's nice is they have T O N S of different color options for each element of the card.
My school's colors are Orange and Blue, which can look a little harsh. I found some super pretty muted colors to go with bold typography to match my personality.

When you order samples you can get multiple colors of the same card like I did, but they'll also send you a physical swatch sheet show above. In the design world I can't stand when a color looks different from on screen, so now you can know exactly what you're getting.

I was able to order physical samples with my actual info to make sure my announcements were exactly what I wanted before I ordered a big batch. Their editing software is super easy to use and you can customize any design on their website.

Make Addressing Easy

Announcing your graduation is supppppper important, because let's be honest we want presents and to brag that we're done with school. The only thing I still have classes to keep up with, so I needed my invitations to be easy to make, print and ship.

Basic Invite also has a free address collection service to request your addresses with just three simple steps. Share a link, collect addresses, and get free envelope printing. This means you don't have to call people to make sure their address hasn't changed or spend an afternoon hand writing address from your mom's address book.

I didn't have a ton of announcements to send out, but I could only imagine if I were planning a big wedding or something. Save yourself, and your hand, the hassle of having to write out addresses.

Senior Portraits

This can either be a lot of fun or super awkward, but regardless you really should take senior portraits. You'll want something to put on your announcements and share on Facebook leading up to commencement, but also remember and celebrate your time in school. 

Take Photos Early

Try to take them as soon as you get your cap and gown so your photographer has plenty of time to edit and get them to you.  Getting someone who knows what they're doing is totally worth paying someone.

If you're looking to save money, ask a friend who's handy behind a lens, see if they'll give you a discounted rate.

What to Wear

You'll want some portraits in your cap and gown, and others in a more professional outfit, so plan on wearing something nice under your gown the day you go take photos. Think job interview.

Don't knock the idea of a second, more casual, outfit too. This will add some more variety to your pictures and show a little more of your personality with your choice.

How to Pose

Your photographer should handle most of the posing for you, but always be sure to relax and feel natural.

Consider using props like balloons, confetti or campaign for your photos too. These will be a lot of fun to take and really show your personality. Grad photos are meant to celebrate you so have fun with it even if you're a little awkward in front of the camera.

Send Thank you Notes

I don't care what anyone says or how lazy you feel after graduation, you still should send out thank you cards. Anyone who gave you a gift, attended your grad party or ceremony should get a thank you card, even if they're related to you.

Always try to mention the person's gift in the thank you card and how you're using it. If they gifted you money mention how you plan on spending it.


Graduation marks an exciting milestone in your life. Sending out announcements lets family and friends know you're entering the next stage of your life and invites them to celebrate with you. Invitations and announcements should match your personality and be easy to design and order. What other tips do my recent grads have for graduation? Comment below!

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  1. I highly recommend starting a Pinterest board super early with inspiration for senior pictures so you have lots of time to figure out what you want - there are so many cute ideas on there! I can't get over how cute your announcements are!

  2. This is such great advice! I ended up being so busy and distracted during my senior year of undergrad that I never took all of the cute senior portraits, and I regret it so much! I've honestly considered going back and taking some now... and it's definitely on my priority list for when I graduate from grad school!