Thursday, February 19, 2009

Addressing Wedding Invitations

As usual, Meg at a Practical Wedding stirred what seems like everyone's thoughts in her post on Addressing Wedding Invitations (and staying a feminist).

I agree with the spirit of her post, but I would do a few things differently. So here's my post on the subject!

Here is my interpretation of how I address envelopes:
  • When the couple has the same last name, it is listed as "Mr. and Mrs. Smith" on the same line.
  • I do not typically name couples as "Mr. and Mrs. John Smith" because I do not like to identify women through the identity of her husband. She has a name, too! I would list "Mr. and Mrs. Smith" or if I knew them well, just "John and Jane Smith" or "Jane and John Smith" (depending on if I know the couple as "John and Jane" or "Jane and John"). (Unless, of course, I know the woman prefers to be known as Mrs. John Smith. But I don't know any women like that.)
  • The woman's name is listed first when the couple has different last names, because of the old expression that ladies come first. At least, that's why I think it is.
  • Two women married or in a common-law relationship? I would either list the person I know best first or list them alphabetically. Ditto for two men. (Of course, if their names don't fit, I would put them on two lines, but that's only if the room's tight!)
  • A couple with different last names? Technically, I believe the etiquette book I've read says that if they're married - the names are on the same line, but if they're not married - their names go on different lines. Personally, whether they're married or in a common-law relationship, I'd probably list them on the same line. Unless they didn't fit on the same line! So "Jane Jones and John Smith" or "Ms. Jane Jones and Mr. John Smith"
  • A woman who's a doctor in a relationship? I'd list "Dr. Jane and Mr. John Smith". Or if different last names, I'd list it as "Dr. Jane Jones and Mr. John Smith". (Or just "Jane and John".)
  • If I'm sending mail to a little boy, I do send it to "Master Smith", because I think that's a cute title for little boys (under 12). If I'm sending mail to a little girl, I send it to "Miss Smith". When I send it to two sisters, I write to "The Misses Smith". I can't recall off-hand how to address it to two brothers, but I think it's "The Messrs. Smith" or "The Masters Smith".
  • For unmarried adult women, I typically send it to "Ms Smith" unless I know she prefers to be known as "Miss Smith".

Honestly, if my name was Jane, I probably wouldn't change my name to Smith. And I certainly wouldn't name my son John Smith! :)

And that's my response to Meg's post! Feel free to comment, or write your own post on how you do it!


London bride said...

Very sensible, I just did first names and avoided the worry of who to put where and with what titles! Although the envelopes were a bit more of a challenge! Think we did titles and last names on those though.

Krista said...

I have two friends who are doctors - Pamela has a PhD and Kristy is a medical doctor. I put "Dr" in front of their names because I get such a thrill out of doing it! :)

The Professional Bridesmaid said...

I love 'Master Smith.' So cute. Great idea. I agree with all your points, first and last name for everyone. The titles thing is a bit harder. Are you a Mrs. if you're married but have kept your maiden name?

melissa said...

I stressed over how to do this right. In the end I felt it mattered more that I spelled the names right than what went in front of it. :) Besides most of our friends wouldn't even notice.

I am giving you an award over on my blog today!

Krista said...

Professional Bridesmaid: typically, if you're married with your maiden name (Jones), you're "Ms. Jones".

AmyJean said...

I did a post about this too a while back b/c a lot of my friends are attorneys... and i want to put ESQ after, but i learned that i'm not supposed to... but i may anyways :)

The Professional Bridesmaid said...

Ok, AmyJean, all my lawyer friends would love you!

Krista said...

If I was a lawyer, I'd get a laugh(and secret thrill) out of seeing ESQ after my name. :)

Rachel said...

In the UK, the modern usage of the phrase Esq is another way of saying 'Mr'. So instead of Mr. James Bond you would write J.Bond Esq.

Rachel said...

Also, in a social situation (i.e. wedding invitations) you would only address someone as Dr if they are a medical doctor. My father is a Dr as he has a PhD yet on our invitations it says "Mr and Mrs Dad's first name TheirSurname invite..."

Krista said...

You're right ... but if I was a new PhD, I would be thrilled to get an invitation addressed to "Dr"! :)