Date & Time Etiquette – Writing Your Invitations

So many times we write the date or time on an invitation, letter or text to a friend and we don’t even think about the right or wrong way to convey the information to the other person.  When I began my journey into the wedding business many years ago, I read an amazing etiquette book that explained that there actually is a right and wrong way to write the date and time on your party invitations, and you’d be so surprised to learn that you may have been writing the date and time incorrectly for years!

Writing the Date:

Formal: When writing the date, your day and date should be on one line, followed by the year on the next line.  All double digit days need to be hyphenated, for example: “the twenty-fifth of June”.  The day of the week should precede your date followed by a comma, to read “Saturday, the twenty-fifth of June”.  The year below your date should read “Two thousand twelve” or “Two thousand and twelve”.  Either is correct, and your “T” should be capitalized.

Informal: When writing the date informally, the date should be followed by an “rd” or “th” *as long as it is not followed by the year*.  For example, “November 24th” or “Saturday, November 23rd”.  If you are writing the year, the use of an “rd” or “th” is not needed.  The proper way to write an informal date with the year would be, “November 23, 2012”.

Writing the Time:

Formal: When writing the time, the time of day will depict what usage you use of the words “morning”, “afternoon” and “evening.  The most common mistake we see with the time is people writing “five o’clock in the evening”, when evening does not begin until six o’clock.  Below is an easy-to-follow list of times which will help you make a decision when creating your own invitations.  Remember: when you write out the time formally, you only use whole and half hours – no quarter hours allowed!

Morning 12:00 AM – 11:59 AM
Afternoon 12:00 PM – 5:59 PM
Evening 6:00 PM – 11:59 PM

Informal: When writing out the time informally, proper etiquette lists that you should use “PM” or “p.m.” after the time.  Or, you can simply follow the time by “o’clock”.  Periods should not be used when using capital letters for PM, but they should be used if you’re writing p.m. lower case.

Tags: how to write the date, how to write the time, Invitation Etiquette, Writing Your Invitations

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