Mr. and Mrs. – Ladies don’t get a first name?

posted 8 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
Member
4480 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: March 2010 - Calamigos Ranch

I’ve never seen it done that way, and it’s not technically correct. If you want to include both names, leave the titles off, maybe?

Post # 4
Member
672 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2009

We included both first names.  It made me cringe, too, that the “appropriate” way meant that a woman’s name wasn’t included.  Who really cares?  Do it the way you’re comfortable with.

Post # 5
Member
3332 posts
Sugar bee

Even though it’s not traditional ettiquette, I used both first names.  Personally, I would not like to be referred to without my first name, as a feminist it just feels strange.  I only used the traditional address with older guests whom I knew would prefer that style.

Post # 6
Member
1363 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2009

We went with Mrs. HerName Lastname & Mr. HisName Lastname, which is how the etiquette   guides I read say to handle married couples with different names, but I personally cringe when I see Mr. and Mrs. John Smith….

Post # 7
Member
599 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2009

I have heard that if you want to include both first names the woman should go first (assuming they have the same last name, and assuming its his) as the man is not supposed to be seperated from his name (??). Example: Jane and John Doe would be Mrs. Jane and Mr. John Doe.

Its so so confusing though, saying Mr. and Mrs. John and Jane Doe rolls better, but it looks funny to put Mrs. with the man’s name, and no title with the woman’s name (even though its there).

What about Mrs. and Mr. Doe??

We did the first thing I wrote up there, used an ampersand ( & ) instead of writing and, it looked fine to me. No one complained!

Post # 8
Member
253 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2009

I detest the traditional “Mr. and Mrs. Hisname” mode of address, and refused to use it on our invitations.  We just dropped titles altogether and went with first and last names only.  Second choice would have been to do what mskalinin did (Mrs. Herfirst and Mr. Hisfirst Theirlast) but our wedding isn’t that formal so I felt that the informal mode of address was fine in our case.

Post # 9
Member
2695 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2010

I just had the Miss Ms Mrs conversation with my mom and aunt.  We were really confused so I goggled it.  It is frustrating but I think if you just be consistent with it that will be best.  I didn’t have much room to print all the names so I ended-up doing the Mr. and Mrs. John Doe.  I don’t think I’ll have anyone upset with that.  But then again you never know. 

Post # 10
Member
253 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2009

Vintage, I’m not sure that consistency matters as much as knowing your guests’ preferences…most people are only going to see thier own invitation, so they won’t know whether you were consistent or not.  I will be very offended if someone who knows me addresses us as Mr. and Mrs. Hisfirst Hislast, since a) I’m not taking his name, and b) even if I did, I wold still prefer “Ms.” and would NEVER want to be referred to as “Mrs. Hisfirst Hislast” in any context.  If someone knew that and disregarded it, I would be upset with them, for sure.  I’d give a pass to people who don’t know me, though.

Post # 12
Member
3316 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2009

Personally, I would rather use Ms. for every woman, married or not, which was the original intent behind Ms.  If you really want to go back to the “old rules,” here they are–but don’t blame me if your head hurts!   All examples assume that the woman’s last name at birth was Jones, and that her husband’s last name is/was Smith.

  • Woman is unmarried:  Miss Jane Jones
  • Woman is married, but did not take husband’s name:  Miss Jane Jones
  • Woman is married, and did take husband’s name:  Mrs. John Smith
  • Woman is divorced, but either did not take husband’s name or resumed maiden name:  Miss Jane Jones
  • Woman is divorced, but retained husband’s name:  Originally Mrs. Jones Smith, unless he was “at fault” in the divorce, in which case she was Mrs. John Smith.  In more recent times, the concept of “at fault” having been lost, Mrs. Jane Smith
  • Woman is widowed, and did not take husband’s name:  Miss Jane Jones
  • Women is widowed, and took husband’s name:  Mrs. John Smith

The original concept behind Ms. was that it allowed you to address someone without having to find out first whether she was currently married or had ever been married, and what her husband’s name was or had been.  It also meant that married, divorced, or widowed women who had changed their names still got their own first names.

Unfortunately, a lot of women seem to believe that Ms. is just the modern form of Miss, and that it is inappropriate for addressing a married woman.  The problem with this is that you can now offend some women, no matter how you address them.  Some will be offended if you address them as “Mrs. Jane Smith,” because under the old rules that would imply they were divorced.  Some will be offended if you address them as “Mrs. John Smith,” because that takes away their own first name.  And some will be offended if you omit the titles and use Jane and John Smith, because they don’t think that is formal enough.  Or if they are widowed and you use just Jane Smith, they will be offended because they believe that is disrespectful to their dead husbands.

Thus, you pretty much have to either ask every woman what her preference is, or just choose an option and risk offending someone.

Post # 13
Member
63 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: October 2009

It is absolutely fine to use both first names. Furthermore, if you are not having a very formal wedding you can leave of the “Mr. and Mrs.” altogether. 

Post # 14
Member
873 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

I’ve read all the etiquette guides…and really…they are very outdated.  Perhaps in the past it was ‘proper’ to use Mr and Mrs His First and Last Name, but among women in my generation, it is improper and inappropriate.  I suppose there could be a few in my grandparents generation that might be okay with it?  But really…when you get a wedding invite, does anyone look at how the envelop is addressed and say ‘Oh my! They didn’t address the envelop in the way proper etiquette prescribes!’  I would rather error on the side of caution and not offend women who believe they have a name separate from their husband’s. 

Post # 15
Member
1205 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2009

I certainly bent this rule on my invitations. I still get steamed thinking of the first wedding invitation we got after we were married; not only did it say Mr & Mrs Hisfirstname, it used his nickname rather than his proper name and left me off completely. So there’s not even an antiquated way of doing things to excuse that.

Anyway…

I think it depends on how you know the couple and what you typically call them. I don’t really like Mrs. Mary Jones and Mr. John Jones either; I’d say if you have inner envelopes, put Mr. and Mrs. Jones on the outer and Mary and John on the inner; otherwise, try Mary and John Jones on the envelopes if you aren’t using inner envelopes.

Post # 16
Member
813 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2018

I like “Mr. & Mrs. HisFirstname and Herfirst name.” Although not grammatically correct, I know tons of women who prefer this!

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