Graduation Gift Etiquettte

For any graduate, the commencement and celebrations that follow will be treasured as one of the most momentous occasions of their life. If you are honoring someone who is graduating this season and are unsure of what to get them, our graduation gift etiquette and gift-giving tips below will help you make the perfect choice.

When Is A Graduation Gift Appropriate?

Graduation season is more often than not marked by the sprinkling of graduation announcements and graduation party invitations throughout the usual junk mail pile. After receiving personalized graduation correspondence it’ll be important for you to consider the details before sending a gift.

If you’ve received a graduation announcement, not a high school graduation party invitation or a college graduation party invitation, graduation gift etiquette states that you are not required to give a gift. Many families use announcements to simply share the exciting news with family, friends, and co-workers. In fact, most announcement wording will include a phrase such as, “no gifts.” Although you may feel obligated to give a gift, keep in mind that announcements do not necessarily translate to a seat at the commencement ceremony or invite to the graduation party. Replying to the announcement with a sincere congratulations and sending a card to commemorate the day is appropriate though if you’d like to. Be sure to craft a sincere graduation message and try including a few graduation quotes as inspiration for the graduate. Etiquette also states that no matter your relationship with the honoree, if you want to send a gift you can choose to do so.

However, if you’ve been invited to a graduation party or commencement ceremony, you should definitely bring a gift with you to the event, along with a graduation card. If you’re unable to make it to the party or ceremony, you can still send a graduation gift or card in the mail and let the graduate know how happy you are for them. If you’ve been invited to a graduation party, the host likely considers you important so you’ll want to acknowledge their invite with a gift.

Take these three factors into consideration to determine who’s on your graduation gift list:

  • 1. Consider the type of graduation you’ll be celebrating and the degree achieved. Gifts will be more appropriate for a high school or college graduation rather than a elementary school or middle school graduation.
  • 2. Consider your relationship with the honoree. You will most likely send a gift to your niece who is graduating rather than your neighbor’s child. Think about your relationship with the honoree when deciding what you should give him or her for graduation.
  • 3. Consider the needs of the graduate. Is the new grad traveling across the world? Are they headed off into the working world? Consider where he or she is headed in this new and exciting chapter of their life and how your gift could help.

What Are Popular Graduation Gifts?

Personalized items are popular gifting options for graduates, as well as traditional flowers or cash. Meaningful gifts are the perfect way to mark this occasion if you’re unsure about giving cash or gift card. Whether you’re shopping for the trendy graduate who wants to show off style or the practical grad who has been saving up for a big move, you’ll want your gift to be useful to the honoree, sincere and heartfelt — something that will remind the graduate of their dreams and the adventures that lie ahead.

Personalized Graduation Gifts

High school graduates going off to college are looking forward to moving away from home and having a space of their own. Send them off with little reminders and personalized items to make their dorm feel just like home. College graduates may also be in need of a piece of home as they enter the working world. A personalized graduation gift can elicit sweet memories from their four years at school and can be cherished for years to come. From home decorating pieces to desk plaques and custom photo books, you can give your grad the gift that keeps on giving.

What Kind Of Flowers Do You Give A Graduate?

You don’t have to splurge on an expensive gift to let the graduate know how proud you are. Flowers are given as a gift to celebrate many of life’s occasions so, it’s no surprise that they are given at graduations too. Beautiful bouquets are an easy way to celebrate the graduate whether you can be there in person or not and will really make a statement.

Types of Flowers:

With so much variety, it can be hard to choose the perfect flowers to celebrate the new grad. Popular flower bouquets for graduations include carnations, roses and orchids. Although, you can never go wrong with selecting flowers that match the school’s colors or picking a bouquet of the honoree’s favorite florals. Flowers also make for great keepsakes when dried and saved between the pages of a photo album.

How Much Money Do You Gift For A Graduation Gift?

Money is also a common gift for graduates. Few of us are sure what amount is appropriate to gift and carry the notion that graduation money gifts may seem too impersonal. But in fact, many graduates would prefer to receive money as a gift and you can get creative with your cash.

If you’re not close to the graduate, you should give a cash gift in the range of $20-$100 to remain modest and appropriate in light of your relationship. If you’re close to the graduate or a family member, you can give a larger amount of money if your personal finances allow for it. However, the bottom line is to give whatever you are comfortable giving. You can get creative with your money gifts and make a presentation the grad will never forget. This time don’t just slip cash into your graduation card, use one of the creative graduation money gift ideas below:

A money tree gift

Calendar with money attached to each month

Money flowers

Make sure to include a note or heartfelt graduation message in your greeting card to show how proud you are too. After you send your graduation gift or take part in the celebrations keep a look out for your graduation thank you card from the newly-grad!