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Wedding Invitation wording – What does Carriages at Midnight mean? (and other weird wedding invite lingo)

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.

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

Regrets only

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”.

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. 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.

Jo was an absolute joy to work with. She provides a completely bespoke, personal service and has such experience that the whole process of designing and producing stationary is incredibly easy to achieve – even during a pandemic! Highly recommended for an individualised, unique style for your wedding stationary.

Cara & Jack, 2020

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