Wedding Invitations & Paper

Man's name first on an invitation... must I?

As a raging feminist, it irritates me when I see a man's name first on a wedding invitation, with his wife's name second.  Would it be a breach of etiquette to put the woman's name first?  i.e. Mrs. Nancy and Mr. Tom Dwarftickle on a wedding invitation.  Also, I am not doing an inner envelope. Is it okay to just put who the invitation is addressed to, on the front of the card, including children? Also... is it okay to put Ms. Nancy Pantsy and Guest on the envelope, if she gets a plus one?
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Re: Man's name first on an invitation... must I?

  • CMGragainCMGragain member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    edited May 2014
    The traditional wording for parents is Mr. and Mrs. John Doe.

    If they like the idea, you could list them as  Ms.Jane Doe and Mr. John Doe.  I wouldn't like this, personally, so check with them first, but it is acceptable modern etiquette..

    Inner envelopes are a tradition, but they are not necessary.  Just address the invitation to the people you are inviting to your wedding.
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    doeydo
  • edited May 2014
    For any people who have children, the wife and husband would share a surname?  Just double checking that you didn't mean only the parents of the bride and groom.
  • CMGragainCMGragain member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    edited May 2014
    People who are married and share the same last name: Ms. Mary Doe and Mr. John Doe.
    People who are married with different last names:  Ms. Mary Smith and Mr. John Doe
    People who are not married:  Ms. Mary Smtih
                                                  Mr. John Doe

    PS.   The feminist in you is confusing names with titles.  My NAME is Mary Doe, and my TITLE is Mrs. John Doe.  Just the Kate Windsor is The Duchess of Cambridge.
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  • Would it be awful if I put some guests on the same lines as their mates, even though they are united through common law for 20 plus years?
  • Common law marriage is only recognized in six states and the District of Columbia.  I wouldn't address an invitation to someone incorrectly.  If they want to be a married couple and they do not reside in a common law state, a courthouse solution is easy.  Ask them how they prefer to be addressed.
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  • Do not use AND GUEST.  Get the names of the real people who will be attending, and use their NAMES for the envelopes and escort cards, etc.
  • Maggie0829Maggie0829 Ravens & Bohs & Crabs & O's member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    Do not use AND GUEST.  Get the names of the real people who will be attending, and use their NAMES for the envelopes and escort cards, etc.
    And Guest is fine when you are truly giving a plus one (meaning they can bring whoever the heck they want) to the person you are inviting.  But putting And Guest when the person has a SO would be rude, yes.

    OP, I think there are great baselines to follow (which were provided) but you also need to go by preference of the couples if you know how they like being addressed.

    doeydo
  • I would be truly giving a plus one to his truly single aunts.  I have all of my guests names and their significant others
  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    Do not use AND GUEST.  Get the names of the real people who will be attending, and use their NAMES for the envelopes and escort cards, etc.
    And Guest is fine when you are truly giving a plus one (meaning they can bring whoever the heck they want) to the person you are inviting.  But putting And Guest when the person has a SO would be rude, yes.

    OP, I think there are great baselines to follow (which were provided) but you also need to go by preference of the couples if you know how they like being addressed.
    This^

    I sent as widow an invite that said  Mrs Mary Smith.   She returned the RSVP with Mrs James Smith.    Obviously she likes to be called Mrs James Smith so that is what I put on the table card and every other correspondence since.






    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
  • Very true, HGF13. I have asked all of his friends what they would prefer. Almost all young women I know hate the Mrs. Hisfirst Hislastname. I called and facebooked all of the people my age and they prefer their first with his last name. A couple of people told me to address the names alphabetically. A couple ask to address the man's name first.  A lot of husbands said to address the woman first. So, I am doing it on a case by case basis. I asked my family down south and they almost all said Mrs. Hisfirst and Hislastname will be just fine. I think we should have a poll.  We should still address people how they want to be addressed, but I am just curious how many knotties dislike Mrs. Hisfirst Hislastname and how many prefer to be addressed that way.
  • As I posted before, my NAME is Jane Doe.  My TITLE is Mrs. John Doe.  I prefer that formal mail be addressed to me with my title.  When I sign letters, papers, checks, credit card receipts, etc., I use my name.
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    HisGirlFriday13lyndausvi
  • Just for shits and giggles, I think it would be amusing to address an invite to Mrs. Hisfirst Hislast and Mr. Herfirst Herlast.
    themuffinman16jrpownallgrumbledore
  • @CMGragain, I know it's a title, but some women don't like that title is all I was saying..  Some people still appreciate it, and that is perfectly fine. I was just wondering the percentages of those that liked it of the knotties and those that didn't.
    jenijoyk
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    Tenth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    Just for shits and giggles, I think it would be amusing to address an invite to Mrs. Hisfirst Hislast and Mr. Herfirst Herlast.
    The recipients might have shits when they see that, but no giggles.
  • KGold80KGold80 member
    500 Love Its 500 Comments Name Dropper
    edited May 2014
    CMGragain said:
    As I posted before, my NAME is Jane Doe.  My TITLE is Mrs. John Doe.  I prefer that formal mail be addressed to me with my title.  When I sign letters, papers, checks, credit card receipts, etc., I use my name.
    See...I am not and never have been Mrs. MyHusband'sName. I did not become who I am due to getting married. I know very few women younger than 50 or so who actually prefer to be addressed that way.
    And that isn't to say that the traditional way is wrong, but it definitely isn't my preference.
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    Maggie0829VulgarGirlKeepMovingOn
  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    CMGragain said:
    As I posted before, my NAME is Jane Doe.  My TITLE is Mrs. John Doe.  I prefer that formal mail be addressed to me with my title.  When I sign letters, papers, checks, credit card receipts, etc., I use my name.
    When it comes to formal invitations I could give to shits if as a couple we are addressed Mr and Mrs Hisfirst Hislast.  And my last name does not match his. At some point it looks to wordy for my on an envelope.   I plainly do not care and I know people are just using tradition.  

    Now if you are just addressing something solely to me I want to addressed Ms Myfirs Mylast.     I don't get the whole Mrs John Smith thing if it addressed solely to me.     To be honest it's never happened anyway.

    I've been married for a few years now.  The only time we have ever even gotten anything addressed Mr and Mrs Hisfirst hislast are wedding invites (not many since most of my friends are already married) and my mom.  She always addresses thing in a formal way.   Whatever.

    So basically for how infrequently it actually happens I choose not give it much thought.  







    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
    AddieCake
  • mysticlmysticl member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary First Answer
    I clearly did things wrong because I addressed everything to Mr. and Mrs. Last Name, Dr. and Mrs. Last Name, or Military Rank and Mrs. Last Name.  I didn't have any married couples that didn't have the same last name.  I only used first names if I was addressing the invite to a single person.  
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    CMGragain
  • when i get married, i will change my last name. but that is it. who i am, my first name, and my identity will not change (well, it will bc of last name, but not the point). when FI and i marry, it does not make him my superior, nor my owner. he is, and still will be my equal part. if we are being addressed together as a couple, Mr and Mrs John Doe is acceptable. However, addressing me alone, will me Mrs Jane Doe. because that is who I am. I am not property of my FI. I am me.

    That is how I see it. Traditional and formal is great, I am a large traditionalist on most topics. Im not typically formal, but am when its necessary. But that just it. I am ME. I am not part of my FI.
  • when i get married, i will change my last name. but that is it. who i am, my first name, and my identity will not change (well, it will bc of last name, but not the point). when FI and i marry, it does not make him my superior, nor my owner. he is, and still will be my equal part. if we are being addressed together as a couple, Mr and Mrs John Doe is acceptable. However, addressing me alone, will me Mrs Jane Doe. because that is who I am. I am not property of my FI. I am me.

    That is how I see it. Traditional and formal is great, I am a large traditionalist on most topics. Im not typically formal, but am when its necessary. But that just it. I am ME. I am not part of my FI.
    Just try signing your name "Mrs. John Doe" on a legal paper and see how far you get.  No one's first name ever changes unless they have it done in court.  (My mother did.  She wanted a fashionable first name.)  If you adopt your husband's surname, the surname is the only part of your name that is changed.  You will have all legal papers under the name Jane Ann Doe, not Mrs. John Doe.  A lady NEVER signs her title!  It is used for addressing mail and formal occasions.
    If you are using your name alone, without the Mr. and Mrs. format, you should use Ms., not Mrs.
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  • mysticlmysticl member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary First Answer
    CMGragain said:
    when i get married, i will change my last name. but that is it. who i am, my first name, and my identity will not change (well, it will bc of last name, but not the point). when FI and i marry, it does not make him my superior, nor my owner. he is, and still will be my equal part. if we are being addressed together as a couple, Mr and Mrs John Doe is acceptable. However, addressing me alone, will me Mrs Jane Doe. because that is who I am. I am not property of my FI. I am me.

    That is how I see it. Traditional and formal is great, I am a large traditionalist on most topics. Im not typically formal, but am when its necessary. But that just it. I am ME. I am not part of my FI.
    Just try signing your name "Mrs. John Doe" on a legal paper and see how far you get.  No one's first name ever changes unless they have it done in court.  (My mother did.  She wanted a fashionable first name.)  If you adopt your husband's surname, the surname is the only part of your name that is changed.  You will have all legal papers under the name Jane Ann Doe, not Mrs. John Doe.  A lady NEVER signs her title!  It is used for addressing mail and formal occasions.
    If you are using your name alone, without the Mr. and Mrs. format, you should use Ms., not Mrs.
    You are the only person I have ever heard call it a title.  I can remember my mother telling someone her name was Mrs. John Doe and that a friend's name was Mrs. Joseph Smith.  No, she wouldn't have signed that on a legal document but that was her social name.  

    Also, I have never heard that you call a woman Ms. who goes by Mrs.  Regardless of if her husband's name appears on the envelope.  I know some widows who would be pretty offended to be called Ms.  
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  • CMGragainCMGragain member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    edited May 2014
    Ms.  means female.  It is the non-marital designation for women.

    Normally a widow uses the title Mrs. John Doe, though her name remains Mary Doe.  If she prefers, she can use Ms. Mary Doe, (her name) but most widows choose to honor their late husbands and use their title with his name.
    It is incorrect for a married woman or a widow to use the title "Mrs." with her name.  The title Ms. is used.  Mrs. Mary Doe indicates a divorced woman, although they may also choose to use the non-specific Ms. Mary Doe.

    In the USA we tend to forget that everyone has a proper title.  In the USA, it can be Doctor, Mr., Mrs., Miss, or Ms.  Of course their are also military titles which have very strict etiquette, as well as titles for judges, senators, etc.

    In the UK, there are many more titles with very specific rules.  A person's title is not the same as their name.  William Windsor is the name of HRH. the Duke of Cambridge.  I doubt many people call him "Will" in public!  This is really no different than ordinary titles in the USA.  I'm glad we have fewer rules to learn!
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  • Maggie0829Maggie0829 Ravens & Bohs & Crabs & O's member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    Speaking of addressing mail to Mrs. John Smith, I actually received a baby shower invite and it was addressed to Mrs. H'sFirstName LastName.  H was very confused by it and I thought it was overly formal for the very informal invite included inside.  I also was a bit offended because Mrs. H'sFirstName LastName is NOT my name.  I am my own person and think that it is beyond rude to address me by my husbands name.  I am not my husbands property and I did not delete my identity when I married him.

    KeepMovingOn
  • KGold80KGold80 member
    500 Love Its 500 Comments Name Dropper

    Speaking of addressing mail to Mrs. John Smith, I actually received a baby shower invite and it was addressed to Mrs. H'sFirstName LastName.  H was very confused by it and I thought it was overly formal for the very informal invite included inside.  I also was a bit offended because Mrs. H'sFirstName LastName is NOT my name.  I am my own person and think that it is beyond rude to address me by my husbands name.  I am not my husbands property and I did not delete my identity when I married him.

    That would drive me nuts! It's one thing to be addressed that way when you are both being invited, but to be addressed in that manner when being invited as an individual....ugh!
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  • theartistformerlyknownastheartistformerlyknownas peaced out. member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers First Anniversary
    edited May 2014
    Eff that. I will be adopting FI's last name as my last name. I will NOT be adopting his first name as my title. I don't care what tradition or etiquette dictate on that particular front. If you want to call us "Mr. and Mrs. John Smith" when addressing us both that's one thing, but on my own I will NOT be "Mrs. John Smith." Don't care who thinks it's incorrect or improper. My title is only changing from Ms. to Mrs, NOT from Ms. Lolo to Mrs. Hisname. 

    PS according to the National Parks Service, I'm a Brigadier General. Thanks, all-encompassing drop-down of titles on the donations website. See how little accurate titles matter?

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    VulgarGirl
  • VulgarGirlVulgarGirl Desert Oasis member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Anniversary Name Dropper
    If you just so happen to marry another chick...do you not ever get to be Mrs then? Because you can only be Mrs if you're willing to take your husband's first name as well. But if you happen to marry another chick...there is no husband. 

    FI was always "I'm gonna stay Ms!" and now she's all "I kinda like Mrs too". But...I'm still not a man. Even if she takes my last name.
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    Tenth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    MagicInk said:
    If you just so happen to marry another chick...do you not ever get to be Mrs then? Because you can only be Mrs if you're willing to take your husband's first name as well. But if you happen to marry another chick...there is no husband. 

    FI was always "I'm gonna stay Ms!" and now she's all "I kinda like Mrs too". But...I'm still not a man. Even if she takes my last name.
    I was wondering that myself, if both women in a same-sex female couple might not be Mrs. to each other.
  • MagicInk said:
    If you just so happen to marry another chick...do you not ever get to be Mrs then? Because you can only be Mrs if you're willing to take your husband's first name as well. But if you happen to marry another chick...there is no husband. 

    FI was always "I'm gonna stay Ms!" and now she's all "I kinda like Mrs too". But...I'm still not a man. Even if she takes my last name.
    I honestly feel like this is one of the areas where etiquette just needs some time to play catch-up with changing social norms. 

    What I don't get, honestly, is why it's so hard for people to just ASK what people go by. I got asked that all the time before I got married, and I still get asked it now. It's not offensive to me. It's really not.

    If you ask and then ignore what I said, that's offensive and I'll be pissed. If you don't ask and get it wrong, I'll just shrug, correct it on the RSVP card, and move on with my life. 

    But I won't get offended if you ask me.
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    I'm gonna go with 'not my circus, not my monkeys.'
    VulgarGirlCMGragainthemuffinman16
  • theartistformerlyknownastheartistformerlyknownas peaced out. member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers First Anniversary
    MagicInk said:
    If you just so happen to marry another chick...do you not ever get to be Mrs then? Because you can only be Mrs if you're willing to take your husband's first name as well. But if you happen to marry another chick...there is no husband. 

    FI was always "I'm gonna stay Ms!" and now she's all "I kinda like Mrs too". But...I'm still not a man. Even if she takes my last name.
    I honestly feel like this is one of the areas where etiquette just needs some time to play catch-up with changing social norms. 

    What I don't get, honestly, is why it's so hard for people to just ASK what people go by. I got asked that all the time before I got married, and I still get asked it now. It's not offensive to me. It's really not.

    If you ask and then ignore what I said, that's offensive and I'll be pissed. If you don't ask and get it wrong, I'll just shrug, correct it on the RSVP card, and move on with my life. 

    But I won't get offended if you ask me.
    My only deal with this is I can't even get addresses for my dang guest list, let alone phone numbers. :-p I'll be happy if these things go out in the mail at all, titles and full names be damned. Just "whoever lives at 321 Elm Street, come to my wedding! Would you like chicken or fish? Hey, bring a guest! Why not?!"

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    HisGirlFriday13VulgarGirlthemuffinman16
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