Ask Alex

Alex Belt

Alex Belt

Alex Belt is a mom, business owner and all around in the know kind of gal. Friends call on her relentlessly for advice on how to plan a party and what trend is “in.” Now that we are in full graduation mode with graduation invitations rolling in, it’s time to prepare. So, we’re doing what everyone else does – asking Alex!

Q: What is the general rule on sending graduation announcements? Who should you send them to?

A:  When my daughter graduated from high school, we sent an announcement to all of our family members and friends of our family. In other words, we sent one to anyone who wanted to know about this accomplishment. Do not send out an announcement to just anyone. Make it special by sticking to the people who truly care for you. Also, do not send an announcement to another graduate’s family.

Q:  With the time frame of graduation being so short and everyone wanting to host parties for their graduates, what is your opinion on hosting joint parties? Is there any advice you can give on the   best way to accomplish this?

A: A joint party is okay as long as the two graduates are friends. Some guests might not know both graduates and if they should bring a gift for both. If throwing a joint party, put on the invitation “Please do not bring gifts.” If the partygoer knows one or both of the graduates well enough, he will give a gift at a later time.

Q:  Should I bring a hostess gift for someone who is throwing me a graduation party?

A: A hostess gift is a lovely way to thank someone for her hospitality. It does not have to be elaborate, so keep it simple. A small trinket for the home or a sweet bouquet of flowers is always nice. Most importantly, don’t forget to send her a hand-written thank you note after the party.

Q: I received my first graduation announcement today from a friend’s son who is graduating. Should I send cash or a gift?

A: Giving a cash gift as a graduation present is one of the most popular and practical gifts. A $50 cash gift is the average. However, I usually give a gift. I feel that it is a little more personal than giving money.

Q: What are some of the trendy graduation gifts this year?

A: College gear is always a great choice. Or, choose an item that goes along with the college the graduate plans to attend. Another popular trend is dorm items. Decorating the dorm room is all the rage! A nice wooden monogram or a picture frame to match the décor is perfect. I like to tell parents to get something their children can take with them to remind them of home and the love they have there.