The Feminist Guide to Addressing Wedding Invitations


AKA the five things you'll want to make sure you absolutely nail

by Meg Keene, CEO & Editor-In-Chief

APWPlanner

addressed wedding invitation from printable press

It happens with startling regularity. An envelope comes to our house that contains a very formal wedding invitation. You can tell at a glance—creamy paper, fancy black script. And before I even pick it up, I know what it’s going to say: Mr. and Mrs. HisLast. Nevermind that my last name is MyLast, and as such I don’t use Mrs. (Ms. is my address of choice anyway—it’s nobody’s business if I’m married or not.) That means nothing on that envelope approximates my name…though since my husband isn’t married to anyone else, I generally assume it’s me that they meant to invite.

I know exactly why this happens. In the process of planning a more formal wedding, somebody decides that formal honorifics must be used on the envelopes for the sake of Etiquette. Nobody stops to think that etiquette is all about treating people with respect, and it’s not very polite to address people by things that are not at all their names.

But the truth is, the etiquette of addressing wedding invitations can feel a little byzantine and hard to mesh with our current feminist and genderqueer reality. So with some help from the #APWplanner, I’ve put together a handy Internet-friendly guide that you can use for even the most formal of wedding invites. (In fact, please use it for the most formal of wedding invites.)

Addressing Wedding Invitations (And Staying Feminist)

Mrs., Ms., and Mx.

Figuring out the right way to use honorifics in our wonderfully progressive time can be a real pain. (Options are the best! Till they’re the worst.) So feel free to skip them altogether, except for the older folks on your list who use them religiously. But if you do use honorifics, please put in the legwork required to use the right ones for the right people.

  • “Miss” and (the adorable) “Master” are appropriate terms of address for children.
  • Once a woman is grown, address her as “Ms.” if unmarried (just like you would address a man as “Mr.”).
  • Married women who don’t share their husbands’ last names have the honorific of “Ms.,” not “Mrs.”
  • Many married women who do share their husband’s last name also use the honorific “Ms.” Hopefully you know which of your friends this applies to!
  • “Dr.” is a term that some people use socially, and some don’t. You can use it or not, but if you use it, please use it for everyone who is a doctor, not just men. (Because there is legit a theory out there that you should drop Dr. from a woman’s name so she doesn’t feel too… educated? I can’t.)
  • Widows should be addressed in the same form that they preferred when their partners were living, unless they’ve decided to change their form of address. If that’s “Mrs. His-First His-Last,” that remains the same.
  • If you’re looking for a gender-neutral term for your gender queer friends, use Mx. Mx. is typically the gender-neutral title for anyone who is non-binary and/or does not wish to reveal their gender. The best way to Internet-stalk the right answer to this new-ish question is to check a person’s pronoun on Facebook. If they use “they” (see what I did there?), go with Mx.

Include the Kids

If children are invited, list them on the envelope. (Or on the inner envelope if you have one.)

Handling Different Last Names

Traditionally people with different last names are listed on different lines, and women’s names go first. I’m kind of down with that, because while women make $0.79 on the man’s dollar, I’m scooping up any extra prizes you throw at me. But if that doesn’t work for you, skip it.

The Golden Rule of Envelopes

This one is the golden rule of wedding invitations. Maybe you’re not using honorifics, but you know that your grandmother likes to get her mail addressed to “Mrs. His-First His-Last,” even though her husband died years ago. She’s earned it, so address her invite that way. Once you’re married, you’re going to be dealing with trying to get people to address you in the form you prefer, so earn some points with the universe now.

Forgive Yourself in Advance

This is particularly true if you have a slew of friends who just got married and you can’t remember what names they’re now using. Try your best to figure out their current form of address (that’s what social media is for), apologize when you make a mistake, and then let it go.

A Practical Wedding Planner

This post was excerpted from the #APWPlanner. For more useful advice like this, get your #APWPlanner at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, IndieBound, or on iTunes.

Meg Keene

Meg is the Founder and EIC of APW. She has written two best selling wedding books: A Practical Wedding and A Practical Wedding Planner. Meg has her BFA in Drama from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. She lives in Oakland, CA with her husband and two children. For more than you ever wanted to know about Meg, you can visit MegKeene.com.

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  • savannnah

    I kinda think I made this up but when I was sending out our save the dates I used Mz. for all my newly married girlfriends who did not take their husbands names. Facebook was a real life saver for looking up everyones spelling and kids names too!

    • Amy March

      Just curious why Mz. instead of Ms.? I haven’t seen that variation before.

      • savannnah

        I saw it somewhere as a feminist version of Mrs. and thought it would be fun and these friends are all recently married and thought it would be a nice little nod to them. My grandmothers generation got Mrs. and my mothers got Ms.

        • Kayjayoh

          I believe it is pronounced with a Z but spelled with an S. I’m guessing that is what Amy March was asking about.

  • Jess

    1) I’m always really excited when I get to address things to “Mr. and Dr. Last Name” and strongly considered inviting acquaintances to our wedding just to get to do this.

    2) But what I’m really interested in is this: Do I get to use “Mr. and Ms. SharedLastName” or do I have to write “Mr. and Ms. HisFirst SharedLast Name”

    I’ll do the latter for people in my parent’s generation, but it feels too skeevy for people my own age.

    • Elizabeth

      I strongly dislike receiving mail for “Mr. and Ms. HisFirst SharedLast Name.” I chose to make his last name my own, not his first.

      • Jess

        I really dislike it also!

    • Ashlah

      Depending on how much room you have, you could do “Mr. and Ms. HisFirst & HerFirst SharedLast.” Otherwise, skipping the first name altogether is much more preferable to me than using just his.

      • Jess

        The lists both our parents gave us were 100% addressed HisFirst SharedLast.

        I would much prefer skipping first names altogether, too.

      • savannnah

        I also did something like this: Mr. HisFirst SharedLast and Ms. Her First SharedLast. That way the formatting looked the same for couples who kept separate names, couples who share a last name and couples who are not yet married.

    • AmandaBee

      #2: I skipped using his first name for all generations, because I find it really offensive and dehumanizing. My experience has been that no woman is offended if you call her by her first name, but many women are offended if you call them by their husband’s first name. So etiquette or “tradition” aside, I did Ms. and Mr. HerFirst and Hisfirst SharedLast. (I also put the woman first on many of them, because why not.)

      That said, know your crowd – mine is not super traditional, even the older or more conservative folk.

    • Keeks

      Also, the person with the “higher” title gets addressed on the invite first, so in your first example it would actually be “Dr. and Mr. Last name”. How cool is that?!

      • NotMarried!

        THIS!

      • No

        Not cool at all. Unless you believe people should be ranked according to their education, which often is a result of privilege.

        • Cellistec

          Ok, then how about alpha order for honorifics? ;)

        • toomanybooks

          Hey, my fiancée didn’t go into thousands of dollars of student loan debt (all community & state colleges, while working) to be called privileged #DrEvil

        • Cleo

          I believe people should be honored for their level of education. Not in a “only save the college graduates in a nuclear holocaust” sort of way, but when you’re addressing wedding invitations…why not?

          While privilege may have afforded some people with higher degrees the opportunity to get it done, one doesn’t necessarily follow the other. And it’s not like you can just check a box on a form, pay your $xxx,xxx and get a degree — it’s a LOT of work. And I believe those who have taken the time to do the work should get some small perks. But you do you.

          And speaking of privilege…what did men ever do to get Mr. listed first on an envelope?

          At least with this Dr. rule, you’re rewarding someone for hard work which may or may not go alongside privilege.

      • Jess

        The coolest!

    • Sara

      I have a female doctor and a female veterinarian on my list and can’t wait to write “Dr.” either!

  • Elizabeth

    So maybe I messed up, but I just addressed to “The LastName Family” or “The HisLast-HerLast Family” for my Puerto-Rican fam. If addressing to an unmarried couple, I used “Our Friend’s Name and Our Friend’s Partner’s Name,” and put the lady first if we were close to both of them.

    My mom was only low-key horrified. She mostly said “if you came to me I could have helped you.” Oh well, I guess.

    • LindseyM

      I did the exact same thing and no one seems offended so far …

    • Ashlah

      I went super casual and used first names for everyone, unless there were too many people to list, then I also used The LastName Family. No one seemed to care, and I was more than happy to avoid the byzantine honorific/last name etiquette!

      (The single exception was my great grandma, who was widowed but still preferred “Mrs. HisFirst SharedLast.” It pained me to write it, but I was respecting what she wanted.)

      • LindseyM

        Haha, yeah, I did as Elizabeth did for every invitation except for one, which was going to my best friend’s midwestern parents, and they got Mr. and Mrs., because I wouldn’t dare to call them anything else.

      • cna

        I would be upset if someone send me an invite to The LastName Family. My husband has one last name. I have another. Either way, it would feel like one of us was getting erased. First names would be fine though. I’d be totally cool with that.

        • Ashlah

          Well, I certainly wouldn’t do that for non-shared-name families! All of the “The LastName Family” invitations I sent went to families who all shared the same last name. If it were a multi-name family, I would potentially do “LastName-LastName Family” (what are your thoughts on that?) or simply stick with first names.

          • Mjh

            Count me in as another person who writes The Lastname-Lastname or The Lastname/Lastname family on mail sent to households with partners and/or kids with differing names.

            I hadn’t thought of it as likely to offend, but I’d love to know if it is.

          • Vanessa

            I do the same on Christmas cards. “The LastName Family” if they share a name; “The HerLast-HisLast Family” if they don’t.

    • sofar

      The only issue I can see with using “The LastName Family” is that you’re leaving it up to them to decide what “family means.” My fiance is Indian. We had to track everyone down and get their spouse’s and kids’ names so we could list them all on the envelope so that it was SUPER clear who was invited. My future MIL told me that, if you invite an Indian “family,” they’ll take that to mean their grandparents, their in-laws and whatever aunt or uncle is visiting from India that month. And I’m sure this isn’t just cultural. I could totally see my own relatives getting creative with “and family” too.

      • Elizabeth

        I see what you mean! In my case, I meant “everyone who lives at this address.” Luckily, that’s what our guests took it to mean as well. But knowing your crowd is important, otherwise, you could be rolling the dice with who shows up.

        ETA: Also, our families are were priority #1 for our guest list so if somebody wanted to extend the meaning of “The Last Name Family”, chances were very good that that person was invited anyway.

        • Lisa

          I did this, too, especially with my mom’s side of the family. I used it as “everyone in the immediate family at this address.” I also used it in lieu of sending individual invitations to all of my 18+ year old cousins. I know that’s not technically correct etiquette, but I think it’s an issue of knowing your crowd. My side of the family typically does wedding invitations this way, and it’s understood that it applies to the adults and children of that nuclear family. We didn’t end up with any surprise RSVPs.

      • We where cautious of that too with my Mexican family and even so an invite addressed to Jack and Jill Smith was RSVP-ed by “Mr & Mrs Jack Smith & 6 cousins”. It literally said “6 cousins” with no indication as to who they would be. So not addressing to “Lastname Family” might prevent some of this from happening, but eh, it could totally happen anyway.

        • Lizzie

          Hah! We got an RSVP back that said “and guest”. We were like no no this is the point where you TELL us who the guest is! (And this guest was an older friend of the parents, so not like one of our single friends who wasn’t sure who they’d be dating in 2 months or anything.) We got the guest’s name about a week before the wedding but it was a real PITA to change the placecards and escort board by then. (Yes, we were fully prepared to have a placecard for “guest.” If you can’t tell me their name, that’s your own damn problem!)

          • sofar

            I am going to go ballistic if people put “and guest” (instead of the name of that guest) on the response. It’s four weeks from the wedding! You should know who you’re bringing! Are you holding auditions or something?? I need to make the seating chart! I swear to God, I am going to put “Side piece” on the seating chart for people who can’t be bothered to provide a name of their date.

            ETA: Yes, I know, in etiquette world, you’re not supposed to even put “and guest” on the invitation and only invite people with official significant others whose names you know and blah blah blah, but I decided this was not the hill I wanted to die on and just invited single people with “and guest” to avoid conflict.

          • Eenie

            I’ve never heard about it being against etiquette to put “and guest” on an invite to someone not in a relationship with anyone else. How else would you let them know they have a plus 1? They are however supposed to RSVP with the name.

          • sofar

            So, officially, that rule is from Miss Manners. She is against plus ones.

            Her reasoning is that you invite specific people to your wedding, as it is not a performance or dinner theater or other “date.” If someone has a significant other, you honor that relationship by inviting that significant other by name. If the person is single, you invite them only (no “plus-one”). The ONLY exception she makes is if it’s a destination wedding (because you don’t want to force someone to take a vacation alone — and you are technically inviting them on a vacation and not to a wedding).

            Anyway, I followed nearly all of MM’s rules when planning my wedding. But, since 90% of guests are traveling (and I hate conflict), I just gave all single people a plus one.

          • squirrelyone

            Man, Miss Manners needs a primer on anxiety disorders. Some people cannot walk into a room full of people alone. We just can’t. For most of my adult life, if I wasn’t allowed to bring a +1 to an event, I physically could not go to that event. Even when it’s mostly people I know inside, it can’t be done. Well, not unless in my panic attack collapse, I happen to fall forward, into the door.

            But even for people who don’t have crippling anxiety, it’s hard to go to a formal event by yourself. Or worse: an informal event! Yikes. Invite plus ones!! It’s better for everyone!!!

        • Bethany

          Bahaha, that is amazing and horrifying! If I could an RSVP back like that I would die. I remember a friend telling me that her aunt and uncle RSVP’s yes for them plus their 4 children (who were invited) plus a date for each of the kids (who were NOT invited). Are people really that clueless??

          • JLily

            I went to a wedding as my bf’s guest in high school. It was a wedding of one of his many cousins and I’m pretty sure I wasn’t actually invited. I think my bf’s parents assumed I could come–I still cringe when I think about it!

          • The motivations of someone RSVP-ing that way where hotly debated amongst my immediate family. The consensus ended up being that people weren’t that clueless as much as they were pushy/presumptuous.

      • Anjli

        You use The Lastname Family on the addressed envelope and write the specific names on the invitation itself. All the invitations I saw growing up (Indian ones) had names written on the cards, it’s only now I’m being invited to friend’s (non indian) weddings that I’m seeing invitations with no specification of who you’re inviting save for the outer envelope. And then the RSVP cards are left blank! No wonder I’m reading about so many confusions in these comments. I don’t get it, if you’re inviting me is it that much troube to write my name on the invitation?

        • sofar

          We only put the names on the outer envelopes because there was no easy/inexpensive way to put them all on each individual invitation without messing up the design (we were inviting families of 12 in some cases!). We intended to hand-write all the names on the response cards. But, when the time came, we decided that most people would hopefully look at the outside envelope (because we didn’t actually want to spend hours writing 500 names on the response cards and mucking up the pretty cards with our bad handwriting lol). So far, it’s all worked out fine. A couple people have sent back blank response cards, but we wrote tiny numbers on the back corresponding to a spreadsheet, so we can cross-reference.

          I’m used to checking the outer envelope (it was drilled into me by my mom to not throw it away) to find out who is invited. We’ve received Indian wedding invites too, for my fiance’s family, with the names on the outer envelope only. Early on in our relationship, my fiance got an invitation from a cousin and tossed the envelope. We had no way of knowing if I was invited or not, and I was like, “Who throws out the envelope???? That’s how you know who’s invited!” And he was like, “How am I supposed to know I shouldn’t throw the envelope away??”

      • eating words

        We had the opposite: addressed to “The XYZ Family” and then had the parents ask if they could bring their kid. Totally sweet of them to check, but we didn’t think they’d have to!

    • Amy March

      I don’t think The LastName Family is offensive, if they do share a last name, just potentially confusing- like, I would assume that includes kids, and maybe my mother who lives with me, or that cousin who has been staying with us for a while because you know him too.

    • Bethany

      I’m planning on using “The LastName Family” when there are kids included (and most likely listing names on the RSVP to avoid any confusion) and skipping honorifics for the rest. I definitely don’t think that is offensive, and hopefully no one else will either!

  • sarah

    I know facebook is a tough subject for people (I’m trying to quit it myself, I swear!) but if it’s not good for looking up people’s names I don’t know what it’s there for. I recently received a wedding invite address to “Mr. and Mrs. Hisfirst Hislast” (I know a lot of you have had this experience too) and while I didn’t want it to sting it really really did. My husband is standing up in this wedding, we’re using up our only vacation time this entire year to travel over 2,000 miles, we’re spending more money than I’d like to think about on accommodations, flights, clothes, a rental car, AND my husband is hosting the bachelor party at my house (and I have to “get scarce” for that) and between these two people (and possibly families?) nobody could look up my first and last name?? Seriously?? I wish articles like these were required reading for engaged couples because wow if these two wanted me to feel welcome they are failing hard.

    • JLily

      I would have been super mad about that, too, because its not like they weren’t having regular contact with you and at SOME point they could have asked you. It would have taken two seconds. I think facebook doesn’t always work for that though, because at least in my experience, a lot of people have a different/modified name listed on facebook (to hid from employers or to be funny or whatev) and some people I know just never changed their “facebook names”. However–if someone hasn’t changed their name on fb and get an envelope addressed accordingly, hopefully they probably wouldn’t be offended.

      • anon

        It might take only two seconds to ask you, but it takes a whole lot more to just ask every single person you’re inviting, and their plus-ones, and then keep track of it all.

        • JLily

          I mean, hopefully you know some of the people you are inviting to your wedding well enough to know their names? I agree that it’s a pain to keep track, but I’m looking at my impressive spreadsheet as something I will be able to use/update forever.

          • Another Meg

            Oh my god yes. I have been married for two years and I cherish our spreadsheet. We used it for thank you notes, we’ll use it for baby announcements and holiday cards when that time comes.
            And when you look at it as a master name and address list that you’ll use for years, it suddenly seems much more reasonable to take the time to get everyone’s name right.

    • Not Sarah

      I actually have many friends who have changed their last names, but didn’t change them on Facebook, or who didn’t change them, but did change it on Facebook. There is sadly no ruling source no this.

      • Cellistec

        Except for just asking the person directly.

        • Not Sarah

          Yes – this is a great solution, just not scalable to a large number of people, which is probably how so many people end up misaddressing wedding invitations. I just meant there’s no way to know for sure without asking them.

          • Cellistec

            I totally get that.

          • Clementine

            I don’t think you have to ask every single person invited, rather only those whose name status is uncertain to you. It isn’t a huge job to call and ask those people, and in fact, might be a nice time to to catch up with them momentarily.

      • Eenie

        The rule is if you care about this type of thing being correct, it should be correct on FB or other easily accessible means (gmail, linked in, instagram, etc). If it’s not, it’s really your own fault for making it hard on everyone. Like in sarah’s instance, they should have looked it up!

      • Mjh

        Not a ruling source for their legal name, I agree. But I imagine the name someone would use on their social media would, at least, be one with which they are comfortable being addressed. Not perfect, but I think it’s better than flying blind.

    • eating words

      Yeah, there’s something about this — someone cares enough to invite you to their wedding but then doesn’t care enough to figure out your names correctly — that absolutely stings.

  • Eenie

    If you don’t have FB (or don’t trust FB’s accuracy) just email or text people (or ask in person!). This is amazingly effective and direct. Is it supposed to be a surprise they are invited? Didn’t think so.

    We did this to confirm the spellings of partners we didn’t know super well and people who were recently married and unsure of the last name decision.

    • sofar

      Yes! Just ask! It took me FOREVER to reach out to our big guest list, but we did our best to find out how people prefer to be addressed. Lots of people didn’t respond, so we addressed them as the standard: “Mr. & Mrs. hisfirstname hislast name.” I figure if they cared enough to be offended, they could have responded to my damn email.

      We probably made some mistakes (especially on my in-laws’ side), but I hope people won’t get too mad.

    • MC

      YES, ask/do your research and DON’T ASSUME. The assumption that a woman will take her husband’s name is rooted in problematic patriarchal tradition and really frustrates me. Husband and I had a lot of conversations about this post-wedding because I would get so upset at mis-addressed mail and he would say, “Well, they didn’t mean anything by it, they just didn’t know.” Nevermind the fact that all our STDs/invitations had both of our full names, I did not change my name on Facebook and even posted something on FB about why I kept my name, did not change my e-mail – they had literally NO information that would lead them to think I had changed my name, and the fact that their assumption overruled all evidence to the contrary is hurtful.

      • AP

        This x 1 million.

      • Lizzie

        I can’t agree with you more on this. I was shocked to see that, of the cards/checks we got on our wedding day that had both our names on it, *every*single*card*except*ONE had my name wrong. I understand that, if they wrote the card/check before the wedding, they don’t have the evidence of, say, our thank-you notes (which have envelopes with both of our names prominently listed on the back) to know what we were doing. But I was absolutely flattened by the fact that even now, in 2016, with a fairly liberal-northeast-big-city guest list, the assumption was that I would change my name.

        I also noticed – but didn’t make a stink about it – that all of my friends just said Myfirst and Hisfirst because, ya know, they are my friends and know my process. But all of his friends did the shitty assumption thing. Guess dudes don’t sit around debating whether they are gonna change their names, or whether their female fiancees are either…

        The bright spot is that his aunt, who is super old school and very into Mrs. Hisname stuff, was the only one who put my actual name on the card! She had asked my husband beforehand. It felt AWESOME. I felt so seen and loved. All the more reason to ASK AHEAD.

        • Keeks

          My husband’s friends were SO BAD with the Mr. & Mrs. Hisfirst Hislast thing that I actually asked them if they had ever bothered to learn my actual first & last names in the 3 years prior to our wedding. One of the wives even said she didn’t care what my name was, she was still going to call me Mrs. Hislast. This is a 30-something woman! For serious?!

          • Lizzie

            Insane. And hurtful! I’m sorry – that sucks a lot!

          • Keeks

            Thanks! She got corrected by another wife friend that that was super-rude so i think she got the picture. :)

        • clarkesara

          This is insane to me because, regardless of the politics of all of it, if it’s the day of the wedding, you haven’t even officially changed your name(s) with the bank yet. Cute to want to write a check to the couple under their (presumed) new names, but a little impractical both because of the Names Question and also because even if the couple is ultra-traditional, it seems unlikely that they are going to wait to deposit your check until all the name change paperwork is done.

          • Lizzie

            I know rite?! The name-on-a-card thing was like ugh yall nah, the name-on-a-check thing was like NO BUT REALLY THO.

          • clarkesara

            Also…. what if the couple isn’t planning to do joint checking? There is a whole lot of assuming going on when you make out a check to Mr. & Mrs. John Doe, as a wedding gift.

          • Keeks

            I wonder if people just don’t write as many checks as they used to, so they aren’t up on all the bank rules & procedures? When we cashed ours, the bank teller was so excited that we had one made out to “Ms. Her Name OR Mr. His Name.” And that was written by an older family member, so I’m guessing she writes more checks in general. (All this said by someone who is still working on her first book of checks from 10 years ago…)

          • ART

            My landlord (well, the husband of the couple) made a HUGE point of telling us to write our checks to “Him OR Her LandlordsName” (not “and”) so that only one of them would have to endorse it to deposit it. Sometimes I think oh, banks never pay any attention, they’ll put anything through…but still, writing a check to a name that doesn’t exist (yet or at all) is one way to complicate things, right?!

          • Not Sarah

            Sure, but if I address the check to John Doe or Jane Doe, then either of them can deposit the check into a separate account, which seems a little odd.

          • clarkesara

            Why does it seem odd? Someone sent a check as an engagement present to my fiance and I, and tbh I forget how they made it out, but we don’t have a joint account yet and haven’t even made any last name decisions. Somehow we managed to get the money and it was all good.

          • Amy March

            Why is that odd? If they only have separate accounts, that’s what they will do. I suppose you could just go the wad of cash route, but I usually do First Name Last Name and/or FirstName OtherLastName, just to give them options.

          • Ashlah

            But if you address to to John & Jane Doe, there’s a chance they won’t be able to deposit it at all, or at least not until they both have the same name and a joint bank account reflecting that, so which is the bigger risk? Some banks won’t care, but some are real sticklers. I’m going to stick with using “or” for the sake of convenience for the newlyweds.

          • Not Sarah

            I always address the checks to “Jane Smith and John Doe”, the names they had at the time they invited me to the wedding, which are most likely the legal names they will have at the time they go to deposit the checks.

          • Ashlah

            I think that’s usually fine. I have heard stories, though, of people being unable to deposit a check made out to two people when they didn’t have a joint account, but maybe that was a particularly stringent (and unusual) bank. I use “or” just to be extra safe. Sticking with legal names prior to marriage is definitely a good thing.

          • Another Meg

            I actually had to call an aunt and have her send another check because I didn’t change my name and my bank is very strict. Suuuuuper fun conversation. “Or” FTW.

          • Lisa

            We had similar issues. Our joint bank wouldn’t take the checks without an endorsement from Lisa HisLast. We ended up depositing all of them into my husband’s old checking account, and then he wrote our family a check for the total amount. It worked out fine, but it was such a pain!

          • Kara Davies

            This is when you open a joint account together before you marry and you explicity arrange with your bank that there may be some oddly combined names on the checks being deposited! We were gifted checks with both our names on them at our engagement party. Off to the bank we went, opened an account in his name and my maiden name with the instructions that once I had new ID in my married name we’d be changing my name on the account. Our bank was cool with that and haven’t had any issues with it.

          • Lisa

            But what if neither of you is changing your name? We did open in joint account prior to our wedding in preparation for the money we were receiving. However, several people wrote checks to Husband and Lisa HisLast, and our bank refused to accept the checks without an endorsement from Lisa HisLast. There is no such person. (Well, I suppose she exists somewhere else in the world, but I wasn’t going to track her down and get her to endorse my wedding gifts.) We ended up having to deposit them into my husband’s old checking account (because his bank would take the checks with one signature), and then he had to write a check to our family to transfer the funds.

            All of this could have been avoided by using “or” on the check or by using just one name. Other people making incorrect assumptions about what we should be doing with our names caused us a lot of headache during a very busy time. Of course we didn’t make a big deal about it in the aftermath and thanked people appropriately, but it’s such an easy thing to avoid.

          • Kara Davies

            We had to deposit some checks into my husband’s personal account before my name change, then transfer that to our joint. There’s ways of doing it! Thankfully people don’t do checks much here in Oz. You’re more likely to get cash or a bank transfer! We had more drama trying to get a check deposited in my account stateside (written to both of us) with my american bank than we ever did with our aussie bank!

        • Clementine

          Your frustration is totally understandable, but the old school Aunt did the right thing by doing her homework. Thumbs up to her!

          Another related name problem: Even if guests get that a bride is keeping her own name, how often is that name misspelled on wedding checks and other correspondence? A LOT. That’s a pet peeve of mine, as I have a name that is more often than not misspelled, even when the offending person can clearly see how my name is spelled from emails, other communications, etc. How hard is it to check before writing it? Because I’ve been repeatedly misspelled throughout my lifetime (and my first name is only five letters in length), I am a careful checker of how a person spells their name before I commit it to paper or an email.

      • Eenie

        Without any indication of change, assume it stayed the same. I feel like that’s a lot less hurtful. A lot of my friends don’t use last names on FB due to privacy reasons, or the last name is intentionally spelled incorrectly.

    • Dess

      This! Did I want to address everyone as Firstname & Firstname SharedLast or Firstname Lastname & Firstname Lastname? Yes. It took more time to check names before addressing envelopes, but it was so worth it to feel more confident that we were using guests’ preferred names. Was it still ultimately kind of frustrating to address some envelopes to Mr & Mrs HisFirst HisLast (especially when I am rooting for those relationships to become less patriarchal?) Oh yes. But, that’s not a choice I can make for them.

  • Amy March

    On the one hand, I loathe Mr. and Mrs. Hisfirst Hislast, but on the other hand I have recently married young friends who are just dying to be addressed that way! I think its really tough to get right for everyone without checking individually and that is such a big task to take on.

    • Ashlah

      If I’m not 100% sure, I tend to lean towards the option less likely to offend. There might be a newlywed young woman who wishes to be referred to by her husband’s name, but she’s not likely to be offended if you do include her name. The opposite (dropping the woman’s name) holds more risk of offending, as opposed to just not being someone’s ideal.

    • Eenie

      I agree, I think you have to make a choice and be consistent with the honorifics – unless you already know they prefer something else. In terms of knowing spellings and correct last name for married partners, that is worth the effort to individually ask.

    • Cellistec

      Agree- and in my experience it’s the ones who are dying to be addressed “Mrs. HisLast” who 100% of the time call me that too, even though that’s not my name. Minor case of projecting?

    • Vanessa

      I also have friends who love-love-love Mrs. Hisfirst Hislast, and it makes my skin crawl. I send their Christmas cards to “The LastName Family”.

    • Another Meg

      I agree that it’s a big task, but I do it when I verify addresses. Gotta do that anyway.

  • Lizzie

    I got a wedding invite in the mail on the MORNING OF MY WEDDING that was addressed to Mr. and Mrs. Hisfirst Hislast. (I did not change my name, nor did he.) I had to just be like “girl BYE” and not even think about it – didn’t want that juju on my wedding day!

    Hilariously though, my husband’s wedding band that he bought on Amazon is totally gender-neutral in actuality, but is for some reason called a “Bride’s Wedding Band” on the site. We immediately agreed that it was fair karmic payback for the wedding-day Mr & Mrs Hisfirst Hislast. (Tee hee.)

    • A few weeks before our wedding we got an invited addressed to Mr. and Mrs. HusbandsFirst and Celina HusbandsLast. 1. We weren’t even married yet. 2. I was not planning on changing my last name. 3. My first name is Kamala! Mostly this has led to a LOT of jokes about my husband’s “other” wife. But man I was pissed at the time.

      • Lizzie

        Hah! That’s very funny. In retrospect. : )

    • AP

      Ugh, the gendered wedding band thing. When my husband and I were looking at bands, he gravitated toward narrower bands because his fingers are on the shorter side and narrower bands just look better. At one store we went to, the saleswoman started referring to the narrower bands as “less masculine” and you bet your ass he immediately started trying on wider bands. I reassured him on the way home that he could get whatever band he wanted and not to let her get in his head, and we ended up going the online route anyway. This idea that we need to apply gender to small circles of metal is bananas to me.

      • Lizzie

        RITE?! My husband was like “o wait it’s a bride’s ring?” and I was like dude. It’s a 5mm round brushed titanium band with no ornamentation, ya good. Though with even just the object title being enough to give him pause, I can’t IMAGINE having an actual live human telling him it wasn’t masculine enough! Gawd.

        • AP

          I know. I was super pissed.

      • raccooncity

        Unrelated to weddings, but how awesome is it that glasses stores are starting to go gender neutral? I love it.

        • AP

          This is happening?? I had no idea! I bought my last frames a million years ago and haven’t had a reason to change. But I drool over Warby Parker stuff.

          • raccooncity

            It is! I don’t wear glasses except for long bouts of reading, but every optometrist i’ve been to and the trendier stores in town no longer separate frames by gender. Even Lenscrafters here has small gendered sections and a large ‘whatever’ section.

            unfortunately, kids’ glasses seem to be left out of this trend.

      • This happened to us too! A chain jewelry store told him that any band less than 7 mm was a ladies wedding band. WTF? We left immediately.

        • Spot

          I had to glance at my not-small hands and 7mm is like…my whole knuckle. Wut.

          • Haha right? Totally absurd!

        • Shawna

          WTF?! That is totally insane. My fiancé has giant fingers and 6mm was as large as he wanted to go (7mm looked totally ridiculous). And anyway as Lizzie said it’s a ring of metal!! With or without ornamentation I don’t get the gendering (but then it doesn’t ever make sense).

      • ART

        This is why we got all our rings online. Neither of us could stand the idea of going to a jewelry store for some reason. Amazon free returns FTW – we got our wedding bands there.

      • Sara

        I’m just here to applaud you for saying “I did not change my name, nor did he.” This is how I plan on responding to any questions about changing my name… nope I’m not, and he isn’t either!

    • Manperson’s wedding bands were part of a his and hers set. But I already had a band so now he has two, one wide and one narrow. Whenever he wears his narrow band we joke about his delicate ladylike fingers.

  • Ebloom

    So here is what I want to know: what is the appropriate etiquette for lovingly and kindly letting people know that they’ve screwed your name?

    • Amy March

      “Actually, it’s Ms. Ebloom Fabulous.”

      In responding to a wedding invite, writing out the appropriate name on the RSVP card and including it on any card you are giving them is helpful.

      But in general I don’t think you need to go for loving and kind- assume they’re just mistaken, and shoot for calm and matter-of-fact. Like, you don’t need to lovingly and kindly tell someone “Actually, it’s Beth, not Lizzie.”

      • Lizzie

        I did just that for my first “Mr & Mrs Hisfirst Hislast” (baby’s first! sure it won’t be the last…) – I put my name first on the M__________ line on the RSVP card, plus I wrote our names (mine first) nice and big for the return address on the envelope. Who knows whether it’ll register on their end, but it felt like a good solid Harumph from mine!

        • MC

          True story: I do not run in formal circles where honorifics are used, and my first name began with M so the first couple wedding invites that had a “M_______” on them I just wrote my name using the M as the first letter of my name. It truly did not occur to me to write Ms.! I was like, maybe they customized the RSVP cards for every person’s first initial…?

          • ART

            I love that story.

          • Lizzie

            Hah! omg LOVE that. “Here, we know some people feel self-conscious about their handwriting… We’ll start it off for you, and really feel free to go wild! Let loose!”

          • Cellistec

            “Wedding Invite Hangman! I OWN this!”

          • Eh

            My sister does this with her husband’s name which starts with an M.

    • raccooncity

      For me it’s depended on the context. Here’s how I generally prioritized things:
      1. if it happened in front of me and my husband was there, HE generally corrects the person because that takes a lot of the tension out of the moment, I find…plus then we’re sharing the weight of the annoyance to some extent.
      2. if he’s not there I correct them myself.
      3. if it’s mailed and I am close with the person so it’s obvious they don’t know but SHOULD know, and will need to know on an ongoing basis, I tell them.
      4. if it was a gift in the mail from my in-laws high school friends who I will never see in my life, I just forget about it and spend the gift card.

    • Not a parent. MockMyInsights.

      My general rule of thumb is to ignore it if they’re over 50. (Though this is just for when people address something Mr. and Mrs. His Name AGGHHHHH!!!!! Because my husband and I do share a last name). They don’t mean any harm, and if my 90+ grandmother writes me a card, I’m not going to quibble over how it’s addressed. But, that’s me.

      • raccooncity

        Over 50 includes my parents…..I might give some leeway over 80, like your grandma, but I’m definitely telling my parents, aunts and uncles and the in-law equivalents that my last name is remaining unchanged and to please use it. 50 year olds today were born in 1966…they graduated high school in 1980…they can work it out.

        • History Nerd

          Anyone who was old enough in the 1980’s to pay attention to current events, has already lived through the invention of “Ms.” and the first big go-round of women keeping their names.

      • Ebloom

        Totally, I’m of the same mindset. Elderly people always get a pass in my book. It’s strange, however, to see so many people my age (I’m 29) trying to use this type of etiquette without getting that it doesn’t work for everyone.

        • Not a parent. MockMyInsights.

          I mean–certain friends (that are my age) that I know well get a pass because again, they don’t mean any harm. I do reply to it as “Mr. his name and Mrs. Her name Our last name” but I think it boils down to what another commenter said–some people are REALLY excited about being referred to as “Mr. and Mrs. His Name.” I’m a big believer in looking at the intentions behind an action, and not just the action itself.

          • Ebloom

            You are incredibly kind, because I would not be able to give anyone my age a pass, intentions or not. To me it’s about lovingly challenging people’s assumptions around gender, and women’s autonomy. I would never be mean to anyone who made this mistake, but I would subject them to a conversation about it, at least once.

    • Sarah E

      I feel you. My dad, after an entire year of sending me cards/packages with the appropriate moniker, just sent us a first anniversary card to “Mr. and Mrs. HisLast.”

      Facepalm to the extreme. Like- Dad, you got it right the first ten times, wtf? (To add to it, my usual route of gentle ribbing could easily slide into the “remember how Mom never changed her name and it always bugged you and now you’re divorced? like that.”)

      • Ebloom

        Yessssssssssssssss! This is exactly it. Sometimes when this happens it’s with people who one is already close with, and then you have to correct them and it gets awkward. This is not the same thing, but in the same grain: My FIL referred to me as my partner’s “friend” last Christmas. This is a guy is super nice, and you could tell that he just made an unconscious mistake, but we had to correct him and it was awkward. It wasn’t awkward because we had to correct him, but because of what it brought up for us and for him. The names thing is the same. I personally love that we get to choose to keep our last names upon marriage (so-long coverture!), but it sometimes ends up being misconstrued as a judgment on people who changed their last name, or be reminders of uncomfortable family history etc, when actually it’s just a personal choice.

    • Eh

      Usually I laugh it off, unless it’s actually important (e.g., financial, medical stuff), and when I send things back (RSPs, thank you notes or Christmas cards) I make sure it has our correct names. We have a pretty confusing name situation, I kept my last name, my husband kept his last name, and we hyphenated for our daughter (and we use the hyphenated name as a “family name”, e.g., we are “the HisLast-MyLasts” so everyone is included). After we got married my in-laws were referring to us as “the HisLasts” (which is weird since that’s their last name too, and also my BIL/SIL). My husband was offended for me (that they were just excluding me) and on the fly he decided that we were “the HisLast-MyLasts” (note: the order is due to flow – it would sound weird the other way). When we get wedding invitations addressed to Mr and Mrs HisFirst HisLast we RSVP with our full names (and every time our names have been correct on the seating chart/cards). It took my aunt 2 years to address things to me correctly (she sent our wedding present by courier and addressed it to Mrs HisFirstInitial HisLast and I almost couldn’t pick it up). My Aunt is on FB where my name hasn’t changed and during those two years we sent her Christmas cards and a thank you card for the wedding present with our correct names on them. Since our daughter was born we have been getting some mail addressed to Mr and Mrs HisLast-MyLast which is also funny and at least inclusive.

      • Ebloom

        That’s so awesome that your husband was offended for you! I feel like we need more of that in this society. And I absolutely get the flow thing. My partner’s and my last names hyphenated actually create a thing (a certain kind of flower) and while that sounds cool, it actually sounds and looks more ridiculous on paper. We often mourn how terrible it would be for any child we have later to end up with a plant-themed first name. Of course, hyphenated the other way, it just sounds awful. There is no winning.

        • Eh

          My husband has gone through life being ignored and minimized by his family. He 100% supported me in keeping my name and he was upset that his family would minimize my decision or exclude me when talking about us as a couple/family. He has a hard time defending himself with them but he stands up for me.

          My last name is a homonym for not so flattering adjective, so if it was before my husband’s last name it would seem like it was qualifying it. My last name on it’s own was bad enough growing up I wouldn’t want to give my children a name that was unflattering. When it’s hyphenated (His-Mine) it more or less sounds like two last names.

          The biggest criticism we got about our choice to hyphenate for our daughter was that it was a mouthful. We considered this when we decided to hyphenate. Our last names are each six letters and two syllables. My sister took her husband’s last name. His name is probably a combination of two last names (as it’s two words in one name, no hyphen). Her last name is 12 letters long and four syllables and a mouthful.

  • SuperDaintyKate

    We skipped the honourifics (except for children, because Miss and Master are adorbs) and used full names only. No one said a thing. I doubt that anyone in our crowd even noticed before they ripped the envelope open and stuck the invite on their fridge. Know your audience, of course, but there are enough things to obsess over when planning a wedding. We budgeted zero fucks for the honourifics questions, and went about our day.

    • Same. I did my own calligraphy on my invites, and I was NOT wasting precious time/space/opportunity for error on each envelope with honorifics.

    • Lizzie

      Same! So easy! A++++ would skip them again

    • ktmarie

      Yep. We skipped honourifics entirely as well (and a no children wedding so didn’t get to use those either!) and it was so much easier! Everyone was addressed as HerFirst + HisFirst LastName. I also specifically asked my married lady-friends if they kept their last name or not because I felt like it’s important to honor those choices.

      • Clementine

        Omitting honorifics doesn’t entirely address the problem, though. When a woman keeps her own name, I list HerFirst Her LastName and HisFirst HisLast Name on invites, on the same line. The same goes for same sex couples, except that I list them alphabetically.

    • Sara

      I think this is what I plan on doing as well. If we don’t know you well enough that you can’t handle us addressing you without “Mrs” or “Mr” then maybe you should not come? This is already how I address party invites and have not heard a peep about it.

    • Alice

      I also skipped them. I didn’t even do calligraphy, but I’m just writing them in print in sharpie. If it’s a family with small children I don’t want to list everyone so I just put “The Jones Family”. I’m actually almost through addressing my envelopes and invitations are at the printer this week!

  • lady brett

    many moons ago my ex and i (together at the time) got a wedding invite addressed to “mr. and ms. my full name”. i was confused enough by the envelope, but then i opened it to find the names of two people i had never heard of. turns out, it was a friend of my girlfriend (whose name was not on the envelope at all) who i had never met, and only knew of by an unrelated nickname. i really liked that envelope, though (it was a pretty great wedding, too).

  • Not a parent. MockMyInsights.

    Related: I go black in the eye at “Mr. and Mrs. His Name.” I am a human being, not an appendage, thank you very much. I just correct it on the reply or when I mail something back (sometimes underlining my name…)

    • raccooncity

      You probably need to go full “Mrs. and Mr. Her Name” to get the point across.

      • Cellistec

        Totally happens to us when I sign us up for something or make a donation online and the resultant mail merge ignores his different last name. I cackle in delight every time.

        • ART

          I never bothered to make the change with my grocery store club card when I did take my husband’s last name, so every now and then we’ll be shopping together and he’ll be the one paying and they’ll say “thank you, Mr. HerLast” and it cracks me UP! I think he enjoys it.

          • Eh

            We both kept our names when we got married. When I was at the hospital getting checked out at labour & delivery triage when I was pregnant with our daughter, one of the residents called my husband “Mr MyLast” which is made me laugh so hard. My dad was a high school teacher so he’s “Mr MyLast”. Tons of women where I live don’t change their names, and women from Quebec deliver there too and in Quebec women can’t change their name.

    • eating words

      This happened to my wife and me recently, when got an invitation to Mrs. & Mrs. MyFirst OurLast. We were both insanely irritated that her first name didn’t appear anywhere. And this was from another same-sex couple!

      • toomanybooks

        Meanwhile I’m reading this thread thinking, “ooh, are we going to be Ms. And Mrs. MyFirst OurLast?” (fiancée is going to change her last name to mine)

        • eating words

          Ha, I never thought about Ms. and Mrs.! That’s funny. (My wife took my last name too.)

  • ART

    One thing I found helpful to remember was that although I was looking at all our envelopes in a big group, 99% of my invitees would only see theirs (oh, thing two: I kept reminding myself that although it’s the first thing they see, the envelope is also the first part of the invitation to go in the recycling bin). That way, if a format felt right for one recipient and not for another, I just addressed them using different formats and not worry too much about consistency. I guess that’s a know your people thing – are they all going to put the envelopes on the fridge and then visit each other? Mine weren’t. We skipped honorifics, but things like “The LastName Family” worked for some and for others, spelling out every name was best.

    We also printed our envelopes on our home printer from a mail merge file. HORROR! :)

  • Keri

    Bonus of having future mother in law do the envelopes and only having extended family on his side: I just told her, “Here are everyone’s first and last names. Feel free to include the honorifics for folks on the Hislastname side who you think would prefer it!”

    • Keri

      Also I fell in love with those postage stamps in the pic when I saw them online and planned to order them but then didn’t and was so afraid they wouldn’t have them in person. When I went to buy them, I sheepishly asked, “Do you have a 100 of the botanical stamps?” and the lady was like, “Yeah, probably…” and proceeded to pull 5 sheets of stamps out of a stack of HUNDREDS.

      • Greta

        I used those stamps too! They were the best! :)

        • Ashlah

          Same! My husband made it into a game of matching the flowers to people’s personalities.

          • Keeks

            We got the Barnum & Bailey stamps, which have 2-3 clown stamps per sheet. I put them on the invites of people who I knew would “appreciate” them the most. That was fun. :)

  • AP

    I don’t know. I don’t use Miss and Master. I feel like kids get plenty of gender messages that I don’t need to add to.

    • Amy March

      I find “Miss” and “Master” the worst of all. Like, we are literally telling small children designated as boys that they are Masters? In a feminist guide to addresses? Nope nope nope. Sure, I’m all about pretending I live in Downton Abbey and it’s kinda adorbs, but to me it is the least feminist most gendered option possible.

      • AP

        EXACTLY. It’s wildly anachronistic.

  • ruth

    I’m really struggling three years post wedding with the fact I hyphenated my name. No one will use it. Initially, I made it abundantly clear that my surname is mine-his, and politely corrected people when they called me Mrs. His, but everything continued to come addressed to me as Mrs. His Last (or worse Mrs. His First His Last, which just makes me want to scream – at least let me keep my FIRST name, gah!) Even people who will address me in person as hyphenated will still use His First His Last for correspondence – it’s like people don’t think they’re allowed to put two lines on the envelope! But I’ve just gotten to the point where I’m tired of fighting. My hyphenated name, which I love the symbolism of, doesn’t fit on forms, makes filing a crapshoot, and is just so dang unwieldy. Three years in I’ve become Ms. My Maiden Name in my profession and Mrs. His Last Name socially – which was never my intention, but one I feel like I got pushed into. I feel like a bad feminist for stopping correcting people, but it didn’t seem to make much of a difference during the first year when I did every time. It just feels like American society isn’t able to handle hyphenated names

    • Hope

      I’m in medical benefit sales and I look prospects up on LinkedIn before calling them. Hyphenated names are so difficult. I don’t know whether to use both names, which can sound unwieldy, or just use the second last name. Last week, I got a receptionist who referred to my prospect by the first last name of her hyphenated name. I would have used the second last name, which seems to be what many hyphenated people call themselves. People have the right to do whatever they want, but from a salesperson’s point-of-view, my heart sinks when I pull up a hyphenated name. It’s too easy to screw up.

      • Amy March

        From an outsider’s perspective, this is pretty easy to me. If someone has a hyphenated name, call them by that name. You do know to use both, because both is what they have listed as their name, and it’s not your job to decide it is unwieldy. If they prefer just to use one name, they can always tell you that.

        Particularly if you are trying to get someone to buy something from you, calling them by the name they have chosen seems wisest.

        • Ashlah

          Chiming in as a hyphenate to agree with this wholeheartedly.

    • CommaChick

      My last name is hyphenated. When my parents married, they both became Mom’sLast-Dad’sLast, so when I was born, I also became Mom’sLast-Dad’sLast. As someone who was born this way, I can say that American society is not able to handle hyphenated names. So many people like to cut off the first part, and I’m like that’s 3/4 of my last name. I tell them they don’t call Jennifer Lawrence “Jennifer Ce” or George Clooney “George Ey,” so they don’t get to cut off part of my name. The full name also doesn’t fit on forms, and some computer systems don’t accept hyphens, so I’m actually looking forward to changing mine when I marry.

  • JJ

    My personal favorite while engaged was an invitation addressed: To the future Dr. & Mrs. Hislastname. #1: we are both medical doctors, #2: I did not ever plan to and have not changed my name, #3: really??? future??? Bc I’m supposed to be excited to lose my identity

    • Cellistec

      Aaaaaahh so many facepalms.

    • FailBox

      As a currently engaged medical student, I can not even imagine the fury I would have felt at someone minimizing the incredible amount of work getting a medical degree is. I’m sorry someone sent you that!

    • clarkesara

      My father and stepmother are both doctors, and I am SO EXCITED to send their invitation to Dr. & Dr. Theirlastname. (She took his name; I’d never presume!)

      • Lindsay

        Or you can get even more formal and write it “The Drs. Smith”!

        • clarkesara

          I love that!

        • Helen

          YEAH! This is my favourite olden timey construction, like The Brothers Grimm.

    • Lisa

      Ick, that would infuriate me, too. Not only have they erased your personal identity, but they’ve undermined your professional one as well!

      For my part, I was so excited for my friend who graduated with her MD about three months before our wedding because it meant that I got to address her as a Dr. HerName on the invitation. I think I might have even been more excited about that than she was!

    • Sara

      I am cringing just reading this. Ouch.

  • Rhie

    I’m planning on sending out at-home cards after our November wedding in hopes of avoiding the Mrs. Hisfirst Hislast situation. Or more realistically, I’ll tell everyone once and then I’ll know I tried… ha. Other bonuses of at-home cards in our particular situation are 1) I’m hyphenating so now I can tell everyone politely all at once that I didn’t just take his last name; and 2) we’re having a family-only wedding, so sending at-home cards gives us a nice way to announce that we’re finally actually married to all our friends who were so excited for us when we got engaged last February.

    • EF

      this is exactly why we sent out new years cards with a wedding picture on them and our names (unchanged) in block letters on the envelopes! have had very few problems :-)

  • eating words

    Am I missing something? Why are all the examples in this post for opposite-sex married couples? “Many married women who do share their husband’s last name…”
    Some married women share their wife’s last name. It strikes me as out of character for APW to ignore same-sex married couples. (Glad to see Mx. here, though!) Maybe I’m extra-sensitive to it because I got an invitation recently that really ticked us off: it was addressed to Mrs. & Mrs. MyFirst OurLast, as though my wife doesn’t have a perfectly nice first name of her own. And this was from another same-sex couple!

    • Nell

      +1 million to this. My wife and I legit hyphenated our names at city hall and everything — and we still get mail that doesn’t acknowledge that. We have also gotten 2 separate invites, as though we’re roomies and not a couple. In that situation, I believe it was a mother of the bride doing the inviting – but hey, moms of brides should ask questions, too!

      • Sara

        Lord have mercy. I apologize on behalf of heteros everywhere that you got two SEPARATE invites… that is a slap in the face. Yeesh.

        • Kara Davies

          Um, better to be both invited than none invited?

          • Ashlah

            Um, not the point?

          • Amy March

            Is it though? Is it better to be invited by people who pretend your relationship doesn’t exist or, to use your terms, don’t respect the relationship status you “earned”.

          • Sara

            Nope pretty sure I’d rather not be invited at all than have my committed relationship completely disregarded and insulted.

          • Okay, honest question here (and this isn’t relevant to OP, but I think it might be to you, Sara, since you said committed relationship), I was told that it’s more polite to send separate invitations to people in relationships who weren’t married because it’s acknowledging that the person in the relationship who you don’t know as well is still important; not just an “and Guest” Or is that just when the couple isn’t sharing an address?

          • Sara

            If the people in the relationship live at two separate addresses, I can see where separate invites would be the way to go. If there were 2 people in a committed relationship living together (the situation I’ve been in for the last few years), I would personally just address it to “First1 Last1 & First2 Last2” and avoid the “guest” thing altogether.

            This is all so subjective, isn’t it? :)

  • Leah

    We got an invitation to a friend’s wedding that was addressed “Dr. and Mrs. Hislast” – which just made me want to cry because I am the doctor in the relationship – my husband is a plain old Mr. So actually it should be Mr. & Dr., or Dr. & Mr. This is not on my friend, I know for a fact that her mother-in-law did all the invitation addressing/sending, but the fact that we are still in a society in which someone apparently just cannot bring themselves to write “Dr & Mr” or assumes it must be a mistake, or whatever it was that happened, made me very sad.

    (For our wedding, we did not use honorifics except for my grandmother and two other older aunts/uncles. So. Much. Easier).

    • Lisa

      This would be so frustrating. I’m debating using honorifics. Many of my friends have PhDs (or are MDs or judges) and they’ve earned those titles! We tend to be so casual now in our everyday communication, with professors going by their first names, so it seems like a wonderful opportunity to recognize their accomplishments. And it’s important to highlight the education of everyone, but particularly of women and people of color. Although I’m generally inclined to be informal, I think it could be a very meaningful practice to write and send envelopes marked ‘Judge lastname and Mr. lastname’ or ‘Dr. and Dr. lastname’. Let’s take a moment while writing these out to acknowledge the people in our lives who have earned higher titles and be grateful that the demographics have changed over the past century. Also worth noting: etiquette-wise, I believe it’s customary to list the person with an occupational title first.

      • Ashlah

        FWIW, it’s highly unlikely people will be comparing envelopes. Use first names for most, and honorifics for people whose accomplishments you wish to recognize!

      • jb123

        A few of our friends were finishing up PhDs between save the date and invitation so we sent the former to Almost Dr So and So and the latter to Dr. They loved it!

        • squirrelyone

          All right, “Almost Dr. So and So” brought a bigger smile to my face today than anything else I’ve seen or heard. Thank you for that!

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  • Shawna

    I hadn’t heard that keeping your last name means you can’t use Mrs. That makes me weirdly sad. I was looking forward to being the third Mrs. S and celebrating that with my mom and grandma (I keep hearing the story of someone reporting a phone call during my parents’ wedding for Mrs S and 3 generations of women saying, “yes?”) Gonna do it anyway!

    Also, I love my darling, but I’ve adopted his initials “instead of” taking his last name. It so happens that my professional credential L.Ac. (Licensed Acupuncturist) matches his LAC, which I think is really cute and is going to be my go-to “loving and kind” correction or response when people inevitably ask or make a mistake about my not changing my name at the wedding NEXT WEEK!

    • Ashlah

      I had a co-worker who was adamant that women who kept their names weren’t allowed to use Mrs. I suppose it is the traditional rule, but I think it’s silly. I always thought it strange that she cared so much! In my mind, married women get to choose their honorific.

    • MC

      My 86 year old grandmother-in-law addresses all mail to me to Mrs. Myfirst Mylast. If she does it I say it is fine to claim it!

    • Elysiarenee

      I have my own name (or technically we each have double surnames and share half) and I use Mrs. Do what you damn well want because its your name! Convention will likely mean we get addressed with the wrong honorific sometimes but that’s not such a big deal (compared to being addressed Mrs hisfirst hislast) the notion that there’s a rule is nonsense.

  • Abby

    For my feminist married lady friends who took their husbands’ last names, I addressed the invitations to “Mrs. & Mr. HerFirstName TheirLastName”. Because why should the patriarchy get to have all the fun?

    • Not Sarah

      I’m not not married, but coupled and I’ve noticed that our wedding invitations seem to come addressed with names in the order that the couple knows us, so if the couple knows me better, my name is first, and if the couple knows my boyfriend better, his name is first. A far better algorithm in my opinion than man’s name first ;)

      • Abby

        Yep, we did that too! Definitely more equitable, but still a nice logical rule.

    • CateNow

      I love this. I (ciswoman) took my husband’s name when we married (for personal practical, non-traditional reasons) and was immediately bombarded with the Mr & Mrs HisFirst His Last mail, which… just, no. In retaliation, I made us Ms & Mr MyFirst OurLast mailing labels, which I took great glee in sticking on every envelope to his mother.

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  • Eh

    We didn’t use honorifics and we don’t have many family or friends that have different last names than their partners (unless they are not married). We had our parents review the guest list for completeness and accuracy. The only mistake my dad made was that he did not include his friend’s wife’s last name so I addressed the invitation “HisFrist & HerFirst HisLast”. When I got back the RSVP card I noticed that she had a different last name and made sure it was correct on the seating chart. There was a column on the spreadsheet for Guest#2’s last name. I used mail merge to create all the labels and put in logic so that if both people had the same last name then it was “HisFrist & HerFirst HisLast” but if they had different last name then it was “HisFrist HisLast & HerFirst HerLast” (and depending on the situation, the woman may have been first, e.g., if we were closer to her).

    • Keeks

      Concatenate is my favorite excel formula and I was so pumped to get to use it for my guest list/mail merge! Hashtag nerd.

      • ART

        excel [hearts for eyes emoji]

  • Mjh

    On the note of not assuming about names, it’s easy to accidentally carry someone else’s assumption forward. My husband and I have learned not to blindly trust the last names his parents tell us for family members and friends. Whenever they have given us mailing information for a family member, they always use the man’s last name. They assume/genuinely believe that every single one of those women took on their husband’s name upon marrying without necessarily having any reason to think so beyond “they got married, so obviously her name is now x”.

    It didn’t seem likely that both sides of their family and their entire social circle had a hundred percent everyone uses husband’s name rate, so I asked a couple aunts and uncles about their kids’ names and there were a few women who kept their birth names. We make a point of checking by asking around or doing a quick social media search (imperfect, I know, but at least it’s a name we know they’ve chosen to use) before addressing mail to people on his side.

    Even though my husband took my name when we married, it would never occur to them to consider that a man’s name might change after marriage. I wish this weren’t the case, but it isn’t the least bit surprising since a woman keeping her name is still zomg shocking to them. I have to wonder if there are any guys they know who have the invisible name change situation. When my husband announced his name with our marriage, one of his male coworkers told him that he also changed his name with his marriage. He and his wife both dropped their birth last names and took on her grandmother’s maiden name. Anyone who didn’t have a reason to think otherwise assumed it was his birth name. That’s one of those things about male marital name changes- they may make a splash within a specific circle, but people who meet a he-took-hers couple or an opposite sex both-chose-new-name couple after marriage often assume that the woman took the man’s name. I thought it was great to hear his coworker’s story, though. The more discussion among guys about family naming options, the better.

    • jb123

      Responding in solidarity. My FMIL initially refused to tell us how to spell women’s first names (where we needed to double check) because we “shouldn’t need them if we’re addressing the envelopes properly.”

      My FH talked her down from this, I think by stating clearly that we weren’t going to do Mr. & Mrs. HisFirst HisLast unless we explicitly knew it to be the person’s preference (as opposed to his mother’s preference) so either we could potentially spell the names of her cousins incorrectly on the invitations or she could confirm the right spelling.

  • Elizabeth

    My mom was super excited to let me know I could use Mx for formal invites. Personally I’m leaning towards something more capricious, like Dragonslayer FirstName LastName instead.

    • Lisa

      How about “First of Her Name, Queen of Meereen, Queen of the Andals, the Rhoynar and the First Men, Lady Regnant of the Seven Kingdoms, Protector of the Realm, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, Breaker of Chains, and Mother of Dragons”? Would that fit on an invite?

    • Kyle

      United Airlines used to have a dizzying array of honorifics available in the dropdown box on their frequent flyer program application, which is how I came to be known to them as Swami Kyle Mylastname for a period of several years.

      • HinduBride

        Well that’s annoying, because Swami is a legit religious title that I am assuming you do not actually have.

    • Not a parent. MockMyInsights.

      I beg of you–submit your wedding. Anyone that address invites as “Dragonslayer” is going to have an AWESOME wedding. <3

  • Kayjayoh

    And I regularly let my friends and family know that I prefer Mme. for an honorific. I have always hated Ms. and used Miss until I married. I can’t use Miss anymore, and since I didn’t change my last name, Mrs. seems wrong, too. But I learned that Mme. can be used both for married women and unmarried adult women. So, Mme. MyLast works.

    • Not Sarah

      Mme is the French version and Frau the German version and it seems they’re now using both for unmarried and married adult women. It then confusingly gets translated to Mrs. sometimes and people don’t understand why an unmarried woman would object to being called Mrs.! Yay translation :)

      • Kyle

        It’s my understanding that Señora is the same way, which I guess is why Iberia Airlines addresses me as Mrs.

  • Kayjayoh

    For our invites, I just made a spreadsheet with names, skipped the honorifics entirely. If the couple had the same name, they were John and Jane (Or John and Adam or Jane and Eve) Smith. If they had different last names it was “John Smith and Eve Jones”, etc.

  • Kayjayoh

    “If children are invited, list them on the envelope. (Or on the inner envelope if you have one.)”

    We went with “and family” for this.

  • Nell

    One other thing to note. . . you don’t have to follow the same rules for everyone.

    My wife’s aunt wants to be addressed by Mr. and Mrs. HisFirst HisLast. I think that’s crazy old fashioned and silly, but we did it to please her.

    My friend who JUST got her PhD the week we sent out invites got a Dr. FirstName LastName, because why the heck not!

    Your guests will never see each other’s envelopes, so why bother being consistent?

  • jb123

    I clearly have an unpopular opinion on this (which is fine since I’m late and no one will see this anyway), but like, what if we all agreed to not put yet another stressor on each other and just agreed not to take offense? Yea, it’s annoying. I’m not taking my FH’s name, and when people ask either of us, we both respond with a cheery “Nope, neither of us are changing our names!” but I feel like part of this was also deciding that we’re a family, and if we get called by each other’s names (let’s be honest, if I get called by his name), I can choose to not be insulted, and instead appreciate that someone wants to acknowledge our becoming a family together.

    I don’t have a problem with correcting someone politely. But we all have about 1,000 things to stress about when wedding planning, does one really have to be that a friend is going to get passive aggressive and angry if we make a mistake in addressing their invitation? Why not assume that your friend did his/her best when addressing and made an honest mistake?

    • Not Sarah

      Everyone has different things that are important to them and yes, you have to pick the hills you’ll die on carefully and only pick so many, but for some people, their name being correct is it. I personally wouldn’t assume that the friend did their best (though I would politely correct them by writing the correct name on the RSVP card) because I know people who even if they know the names their friends go by, they went by etiquette rules. So yes, some people will make an honest mistake, but others won’t. That doesn’t mean you have to get cross with them, but it can still be important to you.

      • jb123

        Of course everyone gets to pick their own hills. I guess I’d be more frustrated if someone purposefully addressed me by the wrong name than by accident, but the way it sounds in this thread people are literally blowing up friendships/writing people off over this one thing. If that’s worth it to you, go for it, but I hope that if you’re blowing up a friendship over this, that it’s because it’s part of a pattern in which your friend doesn’t care about your thoughts or feelings, and not because in the midst of wedding planning they slipped and fell into the patriarchy by accident. (I appreciate Ashlah’s pointing out above that this is venting and not real life, so maybe I’m over-reading into other people’s comments.)

        But ultimately, yes, of course I agree with you that everyone has the right pick their things to ignore, to handle politely, and to blow up over.

        • Not Sarah

          Part of what you’re seeing here is absolutely what Ashlah said about this being a safe space for venting.

          For me personally, I’ve had people tell me that changing my name when I get married is required to be a family with my husband or just think about the children! I don’t want children, so who cares about them in regards to my name. My boyfriend couldn’t even care less if I changed my name, so why should anyone else? If we think we’re a family now without being married, what would changing names do? What you’re seeing in these threads is the opposite of what is happening in real life. In real life, people get shamed for not changing their last names. People don’t slip and fall into the patriarchy in wedding planning by accident – wedding planning is so full of patriarchy that you have to choose to not fall into it if you don’t want to be in it. One of my favourite things about not being married is that I am always called by my own name with no one ever getting it wrong.

          • AP

            “I’ve had people tell me that changing my name when I get married is required to be a family with my husband or just think about the children!”

            Same. People have also implied to me that keeping my name in my first marriage caused my divorce. Um, not even close, and super hurtful. I’ve also heard “What?! You’re not changing your name?! Well I’m going to call you Mrs. Hislast anyway.”

            The negative comments far outweigh the supportive ones, in my experience.

          • Lisa

            Ugh. “But think about the children” is an argument I’ve heard as well. That is so awful for people to tell you that your lack of name change caused the divorce. I find that kind of funny, too, because I’ve met divorced women who changed their name and had to change it back who then swear up and down they’ll never do it again because it’s too much work and heartache.

            Sidenote: I had a co-worker at my last job who was on her fourth last name (given + 3 marriages). I can’t imagine changing my name once let alone five times!

    • Ashlah

      I mean, I think there’s a wide range of available reactions between not caring at all what someone calls you and getting passive aggressive and angry when a friend makes a mistaken assumption. I’ve never reacted angrily to anyone for messing up my name, but at the same time, it’s my name. It’s important, and I’m allowed to care about it and wish people would respect it. I’m also allowed to be upset about the patriarchal history behind naming conventions that lead people to make mistaken assumptions.

      I think a lot of the anger and frustration you see in these types of threads is more intense than what people actually present to individuals in their lives. Women discussing this amongst themselves are venting about a frustrating pattern in their lives. That doesn’t mean we’re all waiting to attack the next person who calls us by a name that isn’t ours, even if we do intend to correct them.

      At the same time, you are of course allowed to decide that it just doesn’t matter that much to you. You’re allowed to decide that it is another stressor you don’t want to allow into your life, and that it’s a fight you don’t want to take on. That’s okay. But that doesn’t mean other women should have to pretend they don’t care either.

      • jb123

        Yea, that’s a good point.

        I guess I have been assuming that people’s descriptions of their reactions are accurate, when I’m sure you’re right that most people are actually being way more polite about it in real life than they describe here. Like I said, I have no problem with correcting someone, and of course everyone gets to pick their battles and I work hard to ensure I use people’s correct names. It’s just that the reactions here seem so incendiary to me.

        • AP

          I agree with Ashlah, the strong reactions here are because this is a *rare* safe space for venting about it. I’m the only woman in my life who did not change her name, and pretty much none of my female friends or family can relate when I’m feeling frustrated or erased by someone getting my name wrong or leaving it off altogether. (My husband can’t relate either, because let’s get real- if he’d had his way, I would have taken his name.) Hell, I can’t even bring it up without provoking heightened reactions from those same friends and family who get defensive about their choices to change their names. Most see my choice to keep mine as a statement against their choices, which is not my intention at all. So IRL I stay pretty much silent about it. Here at APW, I vent.

          • ART

            Man, this is why even though I did change my name, I try to be really vocally supportive of women that don’t, or that hyphenate, or whatever. It was right for me but it was still a big and very personal change, and I would never like, WANT someone to go through that if it wasn’t totally the right thing for them. Younger women at work have asked me about it (more from a logistical perspective, because they think I got mine done in record time) and then expressed some hesitation and I’m like, “you can do ANYTHING YOU WANT, LADY! You can become Princess Consuela Bananahammock and I will go make them print you new business cards ASAP.”

          • Lizzie

            You are awesome! That is all. : )

          • AP

            Virtual high five for Princess Consuela Bananahammock!

    • Amy March

      Yes, it would be easier if women just shut up and smiled pretty and let people call us whatever name the patriarchy assigns us, but no, I’m not down with just not taking offense at people not bothering to learn each others names and instead opting for a sexist default. Sure, its often an honest mistake. An honest sexist mistake.

      I’m not saying react with fiery rage and yelling, but no one else here has suggested that either. You can certainly chose not to be insulted and appreciate that someone wants to acknowledge that you have become a family, but I think suggesting that people who do not appreciate that are somehow responsible for wedding stress is a bit much.

      • jb123

        I think you misunderstood my view. I didn’t say I don’t think people should correct ever or have to shut up and smile pretty. I just feel like sometimes people slip and fall in the patriarchy by accident. We don’t have to be mean while we offer them help getting back up.

    • Sara

      I am 100% fine with letting it go for people we do not know well and just assumed, or his Great Aunt Bertha who will never accept our new fangled stubborn way of doing things and will be dead within 5 years anyway. But our close friends and family should know, or should want to know.

    • Lizzie

      I totally see your point, and agree with the commenters below that it’s up to each person to decide how much they care (if they care at all!) about this, or any, particular issue.

      For me, the frustration stems from a much larger systemic issue than, as you mentioned, a harried wedding-planning friend sending me an invite with a wrong name. It’s when I am continuously and repeatedly wrong-named from people in different areas of my life – various relatives, friends, husband’s friends, customer service reps, front desk people at hotels, coworkers and supervisors, etc etc etc. I generally forgive the individual person (ESPECIALLY if it’s a friend in the wedding-planning trenches!), and I recognize that yes, it’s hard to keep track and no harm was meant.

      What I have trouble shrugging off as “well-intentioned” is the broader result of all these little slips – each moment adds up to a pervasive feeling of judgment and skepticism of my choice. Our patriarchal society, as a whole, is NOT well-intentioned toward women and fuck if I ever start to believe that myth. For me, each individually forgiven comment still adds to what’s become a deafening chorus that feels like it’s singing “society does not approve! you strayed from the patriarchy and you should not have!” over and over as I try to go about my daily business. It’s a thousand little cuts, and each one was a total accident, but the end result is still me getting cut over and over.

      • Lizzie

        I will also totally own the fact that I *do* have trouble forgiving anyone who “Mr & Mrs Hisfirst Hislast”-s me. Maybe I should be more generous toward them, but whoops, no more well-intentioned-fucks to give. (#sorrynotsorry) I’ve reserved for myself full ragey rights toward anyone who calls me Mrs. Hisfirst Hislast, and I gotta say, it feels pretty great.

  • Ms. MyLast

    Am I the only person who just doesn’t care when I get mail ,including wedding invitations, that incorrectly use Mr. and Mrs. HisLast (I go by Ms. MyLast– not Dr, because I have a PhD, not an MD). But really, whatever. It can take a very long time to figure out what a person goes by, and I realize that people planning weddings don’t always prioritize that.

    • Danielle

      It annoys me, but not too much – maybe like a 2 on a scale of 1-10.

      I think it’s funny when random mistakes happen though – like when I tried to change our trash bill to include both of our names, they bungled it up to be something like “Danny HisLast and HisFirst MyLast,” which is totally wrong. It makes me laugh whenever we look at the trash bill :)

  • Bon Bon Jambon

    I think this is actually pretty “traditional” and formal advice for invitations. I say, address them how you want. For the more traditional parts of my fiance’s family, we’re rolling with the Mrs/Mrs situation. However, all married friends and chill family members are going to get “Firstname & Firstname” on their envelopes. Sure, I suppose it’s informal, but when they see my SICK calligraphy, maybe they’ll think otherwise. ;)

  • Kyle

    So, I’m a cis woman with a usually male first name. I often get misgendered in non-face-to-face interactions (even on the phone! my voice is not particularly masculine!), and it’s generally easy for me to take it in stride.

    I was, however, a little startled to receive a wedding invitation addressed to Mr. Kyle Mylastname from very good friends of mine. What happened was they just put the names on a spreadsheet and a friend of *theirs* formatted the envelopes and decided whether to use honorifics. I met said friend at the wedding and she was embarrassed and said that she should know better by now because she actually did the same thing on her *own* wedding invitations for one of her husband’s aunts.

    And then, when the happy couple got to their honeymoon destination, they were more than a little annoyed to find their honeymoon package addressed to “Mr. and Mrs. Firstname Lastname” – they are both Misters and don’t have the same last name.

    Anyway: hopefully you know the people you’re inviting to your wedding well enough to know (or at least make a good guess) as to how they would like to be addressed. And don’t outsource honorific assignments! And vendors, WTF, how can you still get away with making assumptions like that about how people want to be addressed? I would be even more pissed to addressed as Mrs. Husbandsname than I was being addressed as Mr. Myname.

    • Lizzie

      Oh gawd “Mr. and Mrs. Firstname Lastname” for a two-Mister couple… *facepalm* *another facepalm*

  • lmba

    If I don’t know what name somebody goes by, I generally try to ask someone in their inner circle (such as a close relative) by email. I find that is pretty convenient for me, since I can send on my own schedule, it doesn’t betray the embarrassing fact that I didn’t already *know*, and I tend to remember it forever once I get a reply.

    I must also add that sometimes the confusion over names and honorifics is TOTALLY legit because not everybody has their mind made up until long after they wed! It took me three years of waffling before deciding to fully assume my partner’s surname. And even now (six years in), I have my old surname + new surname in my email contact card. Sometimes it just takes a while to know where you want to land on the name thing, and people can’t really be faulted for not knowing.

    For married ladies, I default to ‘Ms.’ But actually, that is probably bad of me, because I know that a lot of our family/friends are more conservative and probably prefer ‘Mrs.’

  • Kara Davies

    I am “Mrs Kara Davies”. I am married, I earned that r, you will use it when you address me. Things addressed to me in the mail as “Ms Davies” is completely incorrect and drives me batty (especially if I’ve filled out a form and ticked the MRS box)! Ms is single, Mrs is married. I am married, Mrs you will use. Period.

    It’s correct to address things to me as “K Davies” “Mrs Davies” “Mrs K Davies” “Mrs G Davies” or “Mr and Mrs G Davies”. I am Mrs G Davies. G is my husband, I am his wife. Not his partner, not his significant other, not his spouse, his wife. Most people address things as “G and K Davies”, “The Davies”, or “The Davies Family”.

    There’s a really easy solution of course. Use names! :p If you’re in any doubt, ASK THEM!

    • Lisa

      I’m glad for you that you have a strong sense of your identity and are clearly very happy with the choice you made to take your husband’s name and use Mrs. However, I’d like to push back against the idea that Ms. is only for single women.

      Ms. can be used for a variety of reasons. It can be for a woman who has married but chose not to change her name. It can be for someone who prefers to keep her marital status to herself. (I had a teacher like this in high school.) It can also be for single women. Women are choosing to use it in lieu of being defined by their marital status. Many languages are moving away from this distinction of married vs. unmarried woman. (See German and French where Fraulein and Mademoiselle are more commonly replaced with Frau and Madame now.) There’s no differential naming for single men, and some women would prefer that they are treated with the same courtesy. Ms. solves these issues for many, including myself, so I think it would help if you were not so dismissive of our feelings around it.

      • Kara Davies

        And what is so wrong with differential naming for women?

        We have multiple titles throughout our lives. We move from baby to infant to toddler to girl to young woman to woman (and some) to wife. Once you marry, you go from being Miss Smith to Mrs Johnson. Changing from single to married is a big deal, and as such, your title changes. Here in Oz I’ve been told its common to call married women “Ms” (for fear of offending those that are so caught up in the PC nonsense). I object. I am married, I earned the title of Mrs, and I will be addressed as such. I’ve been Mrs for nearly 9 years and people calling me Ms (instead of Mrs) is a slap in the face. Does marriage define me? You bet it does! I am not just a woman, I am a married woman. Is that wrong? Shit no. If you choose to continue calling yourself Ms as a married woman instead of Mrs, go for it. Ms is NOT the standard default for a married woman, nor should it be. Do NOT go about browbeating others who choose to go by Mrs.

        • Lisa

          I didn’t browbeat you for choosing to go by Mrs. I said that I was happy that you have made a choice that clearly works so well for you. I have plenty of friends and family in my life who go by Mrs., and I’m happy to address them as they prefer without judgment. What I ask is that you consider respecting the choice that other women prefer Ms. for a variety of reasons, and I was trying to explain some of those reasons to you. Using a dogmatic approach to what a woman should consider the default and policing others’ choices is not useful for a healthy dialogue.

        • Ashlah

          I’m curious if you think there should be an equivalent to Mrs. for married men?

        • Amy March

          What’s wrong with it? It’s sexist, patriarchal, doesn’t exist for men, and makes women’s marital status a subject of consideration in their professional and personal lives that men do not have to deal with.

          I’m quite happy to call married women who prefer Mrs. by that title, but I don’t really see why you need to so vehemently attack the existence of “Ms.” It’s not PC nonsense to many of us.

  • the cupboard under the stairs

    Legit question: Would anyone be offended if they received a wedding invitation addressed without honorifics? Taking those out of the discussion altogether would certainly simplify things.

  • Thanks for the article. useful. I just bought many invitation cards from Amazon store powerhone. I’m so lucky to see the article.

  • Okay, so a couple of nitty gritty questions:
    1. When a family has 8 children (all invited, all under 18), do you just make sure you have inner envelopes and write small, or do you write “The [Last] Family?”
    2. I guess this isn’t exactly nitty gritty, but if your social circle tends to break these rules, do you just go with the breakages because that’s the preference? For example, my mom goes by Dr. [Maiden Name] professionally, Mrs. [Married Name] socially, but never Dr. [Married Name] because A) my father is also a PhD and it made it confusing when they taught in the same department and B) Dr. [Married Name] creates an unfortunate pun. And I’m over 18, but I actually prefer Miss to Ms., as do many of my friends around the same age.