As soon as you’ve picked your date, let out-of-town family and friends know so they can plan a trip. Send an email or call them. Let them know that you will follow up with a formal invitation closer to the date.
Decide ahead of time if you are going to invite people to stay in your home and who gets first dibs. Contact your first choice ahead of time to invite them, even before you mail an invitation. If you have room in your home and your heart for more, contact the runner up as well. Keep in mind that your graduate is going to have a lot of exciting activities going on, so don’t expect them to spend the whole week sitting home with grandma.
Once you have your house guests lined up, don’t hesitate to recommend a nearby hotel to other out-of-town guests and provide a phone number for them to make their own reservations. This way polite people will not ask if they can stay at your house, and you’ll be prepared to explain that there is no room at your inn.