(Closed) Addressing save the dates and invitations

posted 5 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
Member
7908 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: March 2012 - Pelican Grand Beach Resort

When you incliude the first names of both people, women are suposed to be listed first, so you would write Mrs. Jane Smith and Mr. John Smith, Sr.

Post # 5
Member
7908 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: March 2012 - Pelican Grand Beach Resort

“and” means they are married. If they weren’t, you’d have to put them on their own line with no connecting conjunction.

Post # 6
Member
1683 posts
Bumble bee

@michelejosephine:  First and foremost, the absolute rule of addressing people, is that you use the names by which THEY wish to be known. All other rules and guidelines are for situations where you do not know their preference. Their preference trumps all the other rules.

Second, the outside envelope is a business document between you and the postal service; serving the purpose of a contract whereby, for the price of a stamp, the postal service agrees to deliver the envelope to the person and place you specify. The envelope addressing should conform to the post office specifications, and the addressee’s business name (not their social name) should be used. Do not omit the title unless you know that the addressee is on a first-name basis with their letter-carrier and mail-sorters. In Canada, Australia, England, and the rest of the English-speaking world outside the U.S.A., address the outer envelope to the ONE person in the household responsible for maintaining the household’s social calendar, typically the lady of the house. In the U.S.A. address it to both parties of a married couple. When using a lady’s given name as part of her address, the title “Mrs” should be replaced by the title “Ms”.

Third, when using “Sr”, “Jr”, “III”, “II” and so on, the eldest male does NOT take a title. “Mr John Smith” is automatically the most senior one (subject to rule one, above). The Title “Sr” is used only for a widow who goes by her husband’s name. For example:

Mr and Mrs John Smith, a very-old-fashioned couple, have a son, John Smith Jr; and a grandson John Smith III. When John Smith Jr marries, his wife is Mrs John Smith Jr, at least in the minds of all his mother’s friends who are as old-fashioned as she is. When Mr John Smith the grandfather dies, his widow becomes “Mrs John Smith Sr”; the son becomes “Mr John Smith (dropping the “Jr” because he is now the eldest of that name) and the grandson becomes John Smith Jr, being promoted from “III” to “Jr”. (Mrs John Smith Jr would also have dropped the “Jr”, but she finally grew a backbone and started telling her inlaws and their friends to address her as Ms Jane Smith, thank you very much.)

Fourth, the old rule of “ladies first” turns out not to be universally proper. Surely no gentleman, approaching a mine-field to be crossed, would gesture to his wife to precede him saying “my dear, ladies first!” Similarly, a man goes first when crossing a crowded dance floor or restaurant, in order to make way for his lady; and a man goes first when dangerously crossing the continent exposed together on the back of an envelope. (No, I am not making this up. In formal public address it is man first then lady; in intimate informal address it is lady then man.)

So, assuming that your fiance’s mother does not prefer to be called “Mrs John Smith” and assuming your fiance’s father does prefer to be called “Sr” even though he is still alive, the correct address on the outside envelope would be:

Mr John Smith Sr and Ms Theresa Smith

The correct address on the inside envelope would, assuming a formal invitation, drop the first names: Mr and Mrs Smith Sr

The correct address on an informal note of invitation would drop the surnames and reverse the order: Theresa and John Sr

 

 

 

 

Post # 7
Member
83 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

I felt the same way.  We did it this way for most people:  Mr. John and Mrs. Jane Smith.  For those with Jr/Sr we did:  Mr. John, Sr. and Mrs. Jane Smith.  Which happens to be FI’s parents, so we had to do that in the invitations too.  I know you’re only supposed to use Mrs. when it’s with the man’s name, but I think most people equate Mrs. with married and Ms. with single.  So I went with Mrs. 

I’m sure a few of the older people will be taken aback by it, but I absolutely hate the Mr. and Mrs. John Smith thing.  So they can deal, haha!  =)

Post # 8
Member
83 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

@michelejosephine:  I agree that it makes it sound like they aren’t married.  Most people aren’t etiquette experts.  When I made our wedding invitations, I opted not to do it that way specifically because it made it sound like FI’s parents are no longer together.  I figured it was better to be non-traditional, than start rumors or give my family a mis-conception about them

Post # 10
Hostess
3381 posts
Sugar bee

And I totally love the Mrs John Smith address. But that’s just me 🙂

Post # 11
Member
11227 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2009

I would recommend that you follow the guidance offered by Aspasia475. I consider her to be THE most knowledgeable bee in the Hive regarding all matters of etiquette. Also, she is absolutely correct that a married woman would not properly be referred to as Mrs. Herownfirstname. If she uses her own given name, her courtesy title should be Ms, not Mrs.

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