Social Etiquette and Good Manners/High School graduation


My daughter will be graduating from high school in late May. Her father passed away 2 years ago and I am remarried.  His mother is wanting me to do an insert in her invitations saying who her parents, step-parent and grand parents are; for people her father knew that may not personally know our daughter. I don't want it on the invitation, I would like to print it off separately. I am wondering how to write this.

Dear Marcie:

Thank you for your question.

Two things to keep in mind when drafting a graduation invitation or announcement:

1.  Unlike a wedding announcement, the names of the parents of the graduate are not usually included in the text of a graduation invitation or announcement.

2. A graduation invitation is sent to a very small circle of family members and friends because, in most cases, each graduate is given just a few tickets to the ceremony.  A graduation announcement also should be sent only to the graduate's nearest and dearest. It is not a bulletin for general broadcast. Recipients of the announcement, because they are near and dear, already know your family circumstances, so I suggest the following text:

The family of
Mary Jones
is proud to announce her graduation from
Thomas Jefferson High School
Saturday, May 24, 2014
No need to over complicate the matter.

Congratulations to your daughter and happiness to all parts of the family as you celebrate her milestone.  

Social Etiquette and Good Manners

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Nancy Mitchell


Social etiquette; Business etiquette; Entertaining etiquette; Wedding etiquette; Protocol, domestic (US) and international; Flag etiquette; Dining etiquette; Restaurant etiquette; Spa etiquette; Travel etiquette


Nancy R. Mitchell is a nationally recognized etiquette and protocol consultant and trainer with more than 30 years of experience in the field. She owns the firm The Etiquette Advocate and is an owner and founding partner of the firm Protocol Partners-Washington Center for Protocol. Currently, she is an adjunct faculty member at The George Washington University, where she developed and teaches protocol courses in the School of Business and the Career Center, and at Stratford University, Falls Church, VA. She serves also as protocol and special events consultant to the Library of Congress, the world’s largest library and cultural center. For 23 years, Mitchell was director of special events and protocol at the Library of Congress where she and her staff were responsible for planning and managing over 400 events each year. She coordinated the institution’s major special events, visits of heads of state and other distinguished visitors, galas, conferences and meetings. As the Library’s chief protocol advisor, Mitchell served as liaison to the White House, U.S Department of State, the Congress, the Supreme Court and other government agencies, embassies, academia and corporations.

Protocol and Diplomacy - International Protocol Association

Mitchell is quoted on matters of etiquette and protocol by CNN, ABC Nightline, Martha Stewart Living Radio, The New York Times, The Washington Post, the Washington Business Journal, the Associated Press and Washingtonian magazine, has been featured on ABC Good Morning America, Fox News and National Public Radio, and is an etiquette columnist for, etiquette consultant to Alexandria Woman and to Engaged! magazine, and technical editor of Wedding Etiquette for Dummies (Wiley, 2010).

B.S., University of Utah, 1969

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