Post # 1
I happen to really like etiquette and appreciate rules like addressing a woman with her husband’s name, etc. (I have a huge girl crush on Annie Dean: http://anniedean.com/etiquette/mr-mrs). I was working on my escort cards last night and found out that widows are traditionally addressed by their husband’s name. I checked with my future mother-in-law about some widows on her side and she said that it is a very old way of addressing women and that’s how it was 30 years ago, but today it should be with their name. I’m okay with it if that’s their preference. There’s also a guest coming without her husband, but I was still inclined to address her with her husband’s name. FMIL disagreed. We’re addressing couples as Mr. and Mrs. husband’s name so I feel like 90% of them are going to be the “right” way according to etiquette and a few of them are going to be wrong. It’s not a huge deal, but it still bugs me! I told my fiance I am going to take his name after we’re married and after he dies! Any etiquette-lovers out there that have to deal with people who don’t appreciate it?
Post # 3
I can’t comment on all the rules of etiquette that you mentioned, but….I can tell you that if you’re addressing things that way, I’d be expecting “Dr. and Mr. LoveBugBee once I complete my doctoral degree! A lot has changed since the rules if etiquette were formed and not all women want to be referred to as “Mrs. Husband’s First Name Husband’s Last Name….it seems to imply that the woman has no identity without her husband. I would much prefer “My First Name Husband’s Last Name”, personally.
Post # 4
@vanessa7: I was planning my escort cards to be First name, Last name. I didn’t feel that titles were needed.
Post # 5
I think etiquette rules are meant to make people feel respected, comfortable, and at ease. As long as you’re accomplishing that, I think you’re a-ok!
Post # 6
I am just going to do first name and last name… no partner’s names or whatnot.
Personally, I like being addressed as an individual at weddings, not as an attachment to my fiance (sorry, just how I see it).
Post # 7
Etiquette is guidelines, not laws, and should always be tempered with some good common sense, especially when factoring in that some etiquette guidelines have not evolved as quickly as society has. You should know your social circle better than some random author has. Just look at things from the guests’ point of view and don’t project your own personal wishes and values on them. On the specific examples you cited, you do run the risk of annoying or offending some women so you may wish to reconsider your choice of naming convention on those escort cards.
Post # 8
I think this is a very old and outdated tradition. A lot of people prefer to be addressed individually because while they are a family unit, they are not singular people. If someone addressed me as Mrs Husband’s First Name last name I’d perk an eyebrow. I wouldn’t say anything, I wouldn’t be offended, I wouldn’t be upset, but it would definitely be a “That was weird.” moment.
Post # 9
I personally think thst way of addressing a couple is very old and outdated. I’d be slightly put off if I received an invited addressed to mr. & mrs. Myhusbandsname. Especially considering i didn’t/haven’t taken his name yet. I have a name and an identity. We are two separate people.
Post # 10
@something_orange: +1 That’s how I did mine.
Personally, if I were widowed I would prefer to be addressed by my own first name.
Post # 11
While this is proper etiquette, like PP said, it’s quite dated. Your FMIL is right that most women would not like to be addressed as by their husband’s name. I know I won’t when my FI and I get married. Most women these days are very protective of their individual idenities.
Post # 12
In Québec the law changed around 1982 and wifes CAN’T change their last name anymore, at least legally. In their social circle, they can still ask to be named after their husbands, but they can’t sign a check or sign that name on legal papers. When we invite FI’s parents we will write ”Mrs and Mr (HIS last name)” because they married in 1974 and FI’s mother goes by her husband’s name both legally and socially, but my parents’ invite will state (Mrs. (HER full name) and Mr (HIS full name)” since they married in 1983 and my mother never took my father’s name.
That being said, it surprised me when my grandmother (who married in 1952 and changed her name to her husband’s) was in the hospital these past weeks, and everyone was adressing her as ”Mrs. (HER last name)” even though she was not a widow. It might only be particular to where I live, but as the PP said, nowadays many women do not like to be named ”Mrs (HIS name) (HIS last name)”. I think your FMIL knows her crowd and if she told you she thought the widows on her side might find it odd to be adressed by their deceased husband’s name, you should probably use their full birth name.
Oh and also, I guess etiquette says we should rank our guests according to their diplomas/titles or the man should be named first ; but in Québec, in all political discourses and official formulations, ladies are always named first, and this is how we’ll proceed for the invites, any other formulation looked odd to FI and I. I guess there is no right or wrong way to go, because there are many particular and regional differences, and I believe most guests don’t really care about these details, as long as their (first name at least) is there (not just ”Mr. A and wife” or ”Cousin C. + one”) and is spelled properly !
Post # 13
Personally, I’d be put off to be addressed by my husband’s name. I’m my own person and have my own name, thank you very much. That said, I’d address each guest how by what they would like to, or normally go by, since the point of etiquette is to make everyone feel comfortable and respected.
Post # 14
I find it so incredibly bizarre to call a woman “Mrs Man’s Name”. She’s not a man, so why call her that? Bizarre. Some etiquette rules like that are stupid and make no sense to me. I’ll take the last name, but that doesn’t mean my first name no longer exists either.
Post # 15
It is paramount in etiquette to make people feel respected and comfortable etiquette-wise, so a blanket giving each woman her husband’s name isn’t a good idea. I heartily agree with your FMIL that using the husband’s name for the woman is outdated, and, quite frankly, offensive to many.
I am 53 years old, had a respected 26 year career in the military and worked hard in the man’s world to make a name for myself. If you send DH and I a wedding invitation, I am absolutely fine if it is addressed to Mr. and Mrs. John Smith. If you send ME a shower invitation and address it to Mrs. John Smith (please excuse my language here) I will be pissed as Hell. MY name is NOT Mrs. John Smith. I am Mrs Jane Smith and I am incredibly offended when people forget that!
Women no longer lose their identity and hide in their husband’s shadow as my mother did in the 40’s when she was a new bride. Back then a woman would never flinch at being addressed as Mrs. John Smith. We are 70+ years farther down the road and I think far more would be offended than appreciate this.
Post # 16
I did not change my name after I married. So it would be inappropriate to call me Mrs. Husband’s first Husband’s last. So make sure the wives you’ve invited actually changed their name. Personally, I do not like referring to women by their husband’s first name whether they are dead or alive, but it’s your wedding so go for it.