pretty blush pink wedding invitation with white lace laser cut detail

What does Carriages at Midnight mean on a wedding invite?

Wedding invites have their own little lexicon of weird and wonderful words. I mean – what does ‘carriages at midnight mean’ and why is a wedding breakfast served at three o’clock in the afternoon? In this blog I’ll explore some of the fancy words and phrases used in wedding invites, explaining what they actually mean and how you can use them.

green and white pocket wedding invitation
Pocketfold wedding invite from my Green & White collection

What does carriages at midnight mean?

It really just a polite way of letting your guests know what time the celebrations finish, and what time they should go home! It’s helpful to include it on your wedding invites. It allows your guests to pre book taxis or transport home after your evening reception. You can either include the phrase at the bottom of your actual invitation wording or within the guest information section, perhaps with some suggestions for local taxi companies.

What other info can you include on your guest information card?

9 details to include on your wedding information card

What does R.S.V.P. stand for?

R.S.V.P. is an abbreviation of the french phrase ‘repondez, s’il vous plaît’. In english it means ‘Respond, if you please’. You should include it on your wedding invites so that your guests know you expect a reply. You can add a ‘reply by date’ as well if you need responses back by a certain time. Always make sure you include the method by which you want your replies e.g. postal address, email, phone or website.

Want to read more about RSVP cards?

12 things to know about RSVP cards

8 details to include on your wedding reply cards

pink wedding reply card
Concertina wedding invite with a detachable reply postcard

What does ‘Regrets only’ mean?

You may occasionally see ‘regrets only’ (sometimes preceeded by RSVP). This simply means that a reply if required only if you can’t attend. I wouldn’t advise using this on your wedding invitations. It’s far better to ask for all replies, both decline and accept, so that you have a good handle on the guest numbers you are expecting. You could use it on your evening invitations if your numbers are a little more flexible.

What is the wedding breakfast?

Invitations often refer to the wedding breakfast. This is the meal that is served at the reception after the ceremony. No, it doesn’t mean you have to offer a full Welsh! The phrase dates back to the 17th century when the couple would have fasted before the wedding ceremony. The celebratory feast that followed would break the fast and would be the first meal eaten together as husband and wife. It all makes perfect sense right?! How would you use it in your invitations? “The ceremony will be followed by the wedding breakfast and an evening reception”.

pretty floral wedding invitation with pink roses and a striking royal blue pocket fold
Pocket invitation from my Coral Roses collection

And now you have the answer to “What does carriages at midnight mean?”

So there you go, my quick rundown of some of the more fanciful words and phrases you might come across when working out the wording for your invitations. I hope it was helpful. Some of this language will be more suited to traditional, formally worded invites but there’s no reason you can’t use it in informal ones too. How are you planning to word your invites? You can pick up some top tips and read more about how to word your wedding invites here:

See all my posts about wedding invite wording

When you book me to make your wedding stationery I will guide you through the process of wording your invites and what to include with them. I can answer any questions and make suggestions, it’s all part of the design and proofing process. When you book me to make your wedding invitations and stationery, you will have the benefit of my 15+ years of experience. You will also have access to my exclusive client web page where there are loads of guides and templates to help you with all the wording for your invitations.

Here’s what my happy clients say about working with me:

We are so grateful for your service! We were out of our depth, had next to no clue what we wanted and you made us feel so at ease from start to finish. Thank you so much for your help.

Julia & Rhys, 2022

If you’d like to book a quick chat with me to find out how I can help with your invites & stationery get in touch.

Click here to book a call or ask me a question

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a graphic with a pictures of a pink and white laser cut wedding invitation, with the text: wedding invitations, what does carriages at midnight mean?

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