Who to Invite to My Graduation Ceremony and Party

Published March 8, 2019
Student celebrating his graduation with his family

Graduating is an incredible milestone. Because tickets and space are often limited, it can be tricky to decide who should take priority and get invited to the ceremony and post-grad party.

Invitations to the Graduation Ceremony

It can be really exciting to invite people to watch you graduate, especially if they've supported your journey to get there. Tickets are often limited, so it can be challenging to decide who you will invite.

Middle School

If you are graduating from middle school, you'll want to invite the people who you are closest to. This may include your parents or parental figures, aunts, uncles, cousins, or close friends. If you only get a small number of tickets, prioritize inviting the adults you live with, and possibly a sibling or other close family member.

High School

If your high school graduation only offers two to four tickets per student, consider inviting anyone who helped pay for your education like parents, grandparents, or other family members. If there are enough tickets, you can also include siblings and close friends so they can celebrate this day with you.


Often times college graduation ceremonies accommodate a lot of students. This means that the number of tickets you get is probably pretty limited. Prioritize whoever helped pay for your college education so they can celebrate with you.

Invitations to the After Party

Although you don't need to send out formal invites, you can consider sending texts, emails, or evites to whoever you'd like to attend your graduation after party. In planning your party, think about cost and whether you will be serving food before deciding how many guests you'd like to come. Keep in mind that whoever is invited to the ceremony should also be invited to the after party.

Graduation cap and graduation

Large Parties

Large parties can be casual or formal depending on your style. If you are planning on having a large party, you can invite your classmates, family friends, teachers, friends, and family members. You can even consider asking out-of-state family members and friends to visit so they can attend the party and celebrate this exciting moment with you. If you are planning on asking out-of-state people to come, you should give them several months notice so they can book appropriate travel accommodations.

Small Parties

If you'd like to have a smaller party, consider inviting just your closest family members and friends. You don't need to invite all of your classmates, extended family members, or people who are out of state. If you'd like to include the folks you aren't inviting, feel free to send them a picture of you in your cap and gown. Small parties can be held at your home, a family member's home, or at restaurants.

Multiple Parties

If you want to have multiple parties to celebrate this incredible moment, you can break them up into a friends' party and a family party. This way, you can celebrate with your friends, and also allow your family members to share this moment with you. You can invite friends of the family, teachers, and any other important adult in your life to your family party as well.

Formal or Casual Party

Depending on your style, you can plan a more formal party or a casual one. Keep in mind:

  • Casual parties tend to be less expensive.
  • Formal parties take more planning and should include an invitation with an RSVP option to help you estimate the food amount and cost.
  • Formal parties should include a dress code on the invite so guests know what to wear.
  • Since everyone will be dressed up, you can arrange to have some pictures taken to commemorate the day.
  • Casual get-togethers can be invite only, or you can send out an open invite stating that guests can bring friends to the party.
  • Parents can invite their friends or coworkers to a more casual event since guests will be filtering in and out of the party.
  • If you're hoping to keep costs down, you can serve snacks and drinks, without having to serve full meals to guests- just be sure to specify that on the invitation.

Enjoying Your Graduation Ceremony and After Party

Graduating is a huge accomplishment, no matter what age you are. Be sure to celebrate with your loved ones and always send a thank you note or text for any gifts you receive.

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Who to Invite to My Graduation Ceremony and Party