Addressing invite for PhD bride?

posted 3 years ago in Etiquette
  • poll: How should a PhD bride word the return address?
    Names of bride and groom do not have to be formal, so don't worry about titles : (7 votes)
    50 %
    If you're going to call your guests with PhD's as "Dr", you should call yourself the same : (3 votes)
    21 %
    Call your guest "Dr", and yourself "Ms" : (0 votes)
    I'm a strong believer that PhD's aren't Drs in this situation, or I just don't see why it matters : (4 votes)
    29 %
  • Post # 2
    Member
    2018 posts
    Buzzing bee

    shannon_entropy:  I agree that you should be consistent.  Are you a natural sciences, social sciences, or humanities person?  In my humanities circles using “Dr.” for social invites would raise eyebrows.  The strictest etiquette is that Ph.D. holders do not use their titles socially, but I have noticed that in fields where there is a lot of interaction with MDs that everyone gets referred to as “Dr.”

    Post # 4
    Member
    2419 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: May 2013

    In our circle, the fairly considerable number of friends (and DH!) who have Ph.Ds or DPhils, do not use the title Dr socially. It’s only used in an academic/work context. MDs are a different kettle of fish!

    Post # 5
    Member
    7664 posts
    Bumble Beekeeper
    • Wedding: July 2013 - UK

    Perhaps I’m confused here, and I’m also not from the US, but…

    My father has  PhD in Engineering. Everyone refers to him as Dr.

    My late uncle had a PhD in Maths. He was also Dr.

    My uncle is an MD. He is Dr.

    When I get my PhD in social sciences, I will also be Dr.

    I guess I don’t follow why you wouldn’t be Dr?

    Post # 6
    Member
    2018 posts
    Buzzing bee

    shannon_entropy:  Your world is rather different from mine (humanities, quintessential liberal arts college)–are there any precedents that you have to guide you?  I confess some bias; I abhor it when people refer to me as “Dr.” outside of the classroom, but I can see how people in your environment might view the situation in a different light. 

    Post # 7
    Member
    2419 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: May 2013

    Rachel631:  I think it depends on your own social circles and quite probably particular universities. Where DH graduated from and I worked is known as the sort of uni that always tends to do things differently. Only we really don’t know anyone who would SOCIALLY title themselves as Dr. From a point of correctness, of course, there’s no reason why they shouldn’t. My late uncle (also a Maths PhD) was always known as Professor Hisname. Both inside and outside of work. 

    Post # 9
    Member
    7664 posts
    Bumble Beekeeper
    • Wedding: July 2013 - UK

    Steampunkbride:  I mean to say… it’s not as if my family correct people who call them “Mr”… but all their ID says “Dr”; if they are asked their name (for example, for plane tickets etc), they say “I am Dr X”. At a social gathering then none of us are very formal… if we were being introduced in a non-professional setting, we would just say “hi, I’m FirstName”.

    I suppose I’m struggling to imagine a setting in which you would be a Mr or a Mrs… in an informal setting, we wouldn’t use titles at all, and most formal settings I can think of are also professional, and vice versa! I suppose the only circumstances I could think of would be if you were buying airline tickets etc… but then you would have to use the name on your passport, which would be Dr!

    Post # 10
    Member
    3693 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: August 2013

    You can call yourself whatever you like on the return addresses.

    PhDs are doctors. It is incredibly insulting to decide that someone who earned their doctorate should not be called “doctor” while addressing your MD-earning guests as “doctor.” If someone has specifically told you that they prefer to be addressed a different way, that’s one thing. I have a PhD in a microbiology-related field. Dr. Cmbr is my legit name. All of the other PhD holders at my university are addressed by “Dr. So-and-so.” When we go to conferences, we’re addressed as “Dr. So-and-so.”

    Post # 12
    Member
    3713 posts
    Sugar bee

    shannon_entropy:  Our invitation company told us that you’re not supposed to put names, on the top of the return address, of your invitation. Per US postal service, they’re supposed to be in the upper left hand corner of the front. If you send out RSVP envelopes, you can adress them to whoever is going to be receiving them – bride/groom, hosts, etc.

    Post # 13
    Member
    2018 posts
    Buzzing bee

    Let’s take this out of the wedding-related context.  Would you really, really get angry at the person at the drug store or the grocery store who didn’t refer to you as “Dr?”  Why should that person even know or care that you hold a Ph.D.?  How does your status as a Ph.D.-holder (vs. the Reverend, or the MD, or the Judge, or the politician in town) do anything to affect the daily communal lives of those around you?  The answer, in 99.999…% of cases is that your status as a Ph.D. holder has no bearing on the social lives of those around you.  Thus the old rule that a Ph.D. holder use “Dr.” as a professional title and not a social one.

    Perhaps it is the setting of my instiuttion that makes me feel strongly about this: my institution is not located in a wealthy area, and most of the people who actually live in our town do not have a lot of formal education.  I see the fear, the intimidation, and the power dynamics at play when people find out I work at the college–to haughtily demand that these people call me “Dr.” is only to reinforce such class and education-based distinctions of rank, which I do not want to perpetuate. 

    ETA: I am also the only person in my family with a Ph.D. and I could tell that it made my relatives (many of whom did not attend college) very uncomfortable at first, as though they assumed me to see them as lesser and expected me to demand to be called “Dr.” and this broke my heart.  Titles convey a lot about power and expectations and we need to be careful about how we deploy them. 

    Post # 14
    Member
    3249 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: August 2013

    shannon_entropy:  Most invitations I have seen list the full names of the bride and groom, without titles of any kind (courtesy, or otherwise).  I can’t recall ever seeing one inviting someone too the wedding of Miss Elvira Hackensack to Mr. Elmer J. Fudd.

    Post # 15
    Member
    7664 posts
    Bumble Beekeeper
    • Wedding: July 2013 - UK

    shannon_entropy:  Well, I would definitely address all mail to “Dr”, including wedding invitations, because that’s their name, you know? That’s what’s on their passport. That’s what’s on their credit cards. I mean, if you are in a formal enough setting to use titles… I’d use the “correct” title (ie the one which is on their documentation), for sure!

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