Proper etiquette for graduation guests

Graduation ceremonies celebrate the accomplishments of students who worked hard to earn their diplomas and degrees. As significant as these ceremonies can be, they also tend to be lengthy, which can make guests uncomfortable and antsy.
Etiquette is important at graduation ceremonies, and that goes for graduates as well as their guests. Everyone receiving a degree during a graduation ceremony worked hard to do so, and it’s important that guests adhere to proper etiquette so every graduate can enjoy their well-deserved moment in the sun.
· RSVP as soon as possible. Graduates are typically alloted a predetermined number of tickets to their graduation ceremonies. Some may wish to invite more people than their allotment allows, so RSVP as soon as possible after receiving an invitation. If you can’t make it, this will open up a spot for grads to invite another loved one in your place.
· Arrive early. Guests should aim to arrive to the ceremony early, as traffic tends to increase the closer it gets to the start of the ceremony. Arriving early ensures guests will find parking, and it saves them the trouble of asking guests who have already arrived to stand up so they can get to their seats. In addition, late arrivals may make it difficult for fellow guests to hear their loved one’s named called.
· Don’t celebrate too loudly. Graduates’ names tend to be read aloud rather quickly, so guests should not celebrate too loudly when their loved one’s name is called. Doing so decreases the likelihood that families whose loved one’s named is being called immediately after your loved one will hear that name called. Save the loud, lengthy celebrations for after the ceremony.
· Remain seated during the ceremony. Guests want to see the stage where the graduates are given their degrees, so they should avoid standing during the ceremony. Doing so blocks the views of those behind you. If you want to take photos during the ceremony, find a spot where you can do so without blocking anyone else’s view.
· Speak quietly during the ceremony. Graduation ceremonies can last several hours, so it’s alright to speak with fellow guests during the ceremony. But do so quietly and in a way that respects other guests.
Guests who adhere to certain etiquette during graduation ceremonies can make sure everyone enjoys the festivities and shows respect for the graduates and their families.

Author: Rachel Howell

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