(Closed) Writing start time on invitations

posted 4 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 2
7982 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

I’m more used to hearing half past. I’ve actually never heard anyone say ‘half after five’. Same would be quarter to 5, I’ve never heard someone say quarter before 5. Even the extra syllables don’t sound good to me. Now I’m overthinking it 😂

Post # 3
763 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2017

Is your reception at a different location? If not, are you opposed to the wording “Reception to follow”

This is how we worded our invites, and then on our ceremony program we will be adding the official reception start time.

If you don’t like that wording, I personally prefer keeping the o’clock….but I think half past five o’clock sounds better than after five….

Post # 4
9256 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

View original reply
emsie :  I’ve never heard or seen “half after” and think it sounds weird rather than formal. If the line with the reception time is immediately after the line with the ceremony time, I would word it as “Reception at half past five” (with no “o’clock”).

Post # 6
1692 posts
Bumble bee

“Half after five o’clock” is one of those old-fashioned phrasings, like “luncheon” instead of “lunch”, that supposedly sounds more refined than the slangy modern usage of “half past five”. My great-aunt Vespasia  would never have used “half past”, even in telling the children when to come indoors for luncheon. Etiquette mavens love to hold on to these relics of the past even when they make no functional difference whatsoever. But remember, the first rule of good manners is to avoid pretension. Your formal good manners should be the highest form of the range of manners practiced in your circle of friends and family; they should NOT involve adopting forms and practices that are unheardof in your day-to-day life outside of weddings. So unless you make a point of saying “half after five” when telling your stuffy great-aunt what time you will pick her up at the grocery store, go with “half past”.

TLDR: If you weren’t born in the first half of the twentieth century, you probably don’t need to worry about it.

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