(Closed) Am i the only one who hates Mr. and Mrs. John Smith?

posted 8 years ago in Names
Post # 47
3081 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

I’m thrilled to be taking FI’s last name, but for some reason it does bother me a little too. Glad to hear I’m not alone. I do really like my first name, and as much as I love Fiance and am so glad to become “his,” I still like to hear my name as well. I won’t be offended when people use it in formal circumstances, but when it’s up to me, I will make sure that we use both.

Post # 48
3798 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

I hate this, as well.

In fact, I’m totally stuck as to how we should be introduced at the wedding, since I can’t imagine hearing THE NEW MR and MRS JOHN SMITH booming over the speakers as we walk in. I’ll feel like I’m not even part of it!

Post # 49
1131 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

@allieluvs21: haha ๐Ÿ™‚ pretty much every woman I know hates that ๐Ÿ™‚

Post # 50
2432 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2009

It hasn’t bothered me. I guess that’s because my mom would sometimes sign papers for me in elementary school as “Mrs. Michael Smith.” And I’ve received some cards addressed to me in my formal married name from her and some of my aunts. For my family, it hasn’t ever been considered offensive, but I think it depends on the couple.

Post # 51
955 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2014

I am not married or even engaged yet to my SO, but I imagine I will like it a lot when I am called “Mr. And Mrs. HisName”. I am still keeping my own identity by adding my maiden name to my middle name, and that seems to be appropriate. It’s not as if people would forget that I exist or am my own person because I am married and am being referred to in a traditional way! Lol! That being said, you are free to have your own pet peeves and hopefully it won’t bother you too much when you are married! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Post # 52
1623 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

@bigcitybee:  Just curious though, in reference to the OP, how do you feel about being referred to as “Mr and Mrs HisFirstName HisLastName” where your SO’s first name is given but your first name isn’t? 

Post # 53
786 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

I actually don’t like it either..  It bugs me when I see the names spelled out like that.  Like the other PP’s said, you took his last name not his whole name!  I don’t think I would want to be referred to as Mrs. John Smith..  I mean I have a first name!   So Mrs. SportsGal Smith is totally fine by me ๐Ÿ™‚   But if people might happen to say Mrs. John Smith I’d shut up and bear it..  But I would be fine with Mrs. Smith if they wanted to be formal.

I’m not sure if I will write my invitations out like that because I don’t like it.  For my STD’s I did John and Mary Smith so they were both mentioned but I’m not sure for the invitations.

Post # 54
2305 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2016

I’m ok with Mr John And Mrs Jane Smith, and Mr and Mrs John and Jane Smith, but I am not ok with Mr and Mrs John Smith. I will be taking his last name, and will be Mrs Smith, but I am not taking his first name! I like the PP idea of putting it on our webpage, but it’s going to be the older people in my family who refer to us as such and they’re less likely to use the webpage (seeing as I’m pretty sure my grandparents still have dial up!)

But we’ll be annouced as “Husband and wife, Mr John and Mrs Jane Smith” 

My grandma still goes as Mrs Joe Brown, even though my grandfather passed away almost ten years ago. But I guess that’s a generational thing. 

Post # 55
252 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

For myself, I actually like it. A lot.

I do understand, though, why some people wouldn’t. I did have a few guests, that when addressing my save-the-dates, I wasn’t sure what they would think, so I just asked flat out how they would like to be addressed. And even then, I still adressed them as “Mr and Mrs Smith” rather than “Mr and Mrs John Smith” just to be safe. Others were addressed as “Jane and John Smith”. I think everyone’s personal choices should be respected. That’s more important than etiquette, to me.

Post # 56
11481 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2009

The good news is that there really IS a proper, etiquette-approved solution to all of this that should make MOST (but not all) people happy, inlcuding brides who 1) want to keep their individual identities, 2) those who are thrilled at the thought of becoming Mrs. John Smith, and 3) everyone in between — as well as all of the etiquette experts in your life. 

It’s important to keep in mind that there is a difference between someone’s name and his or her formal, social title.  Although a woman’s formal, social title does, indeed, depend upon her legal name, her name does not, however, depend upon her formal social title. Her name is what appears on her driver’s license, social security card, credit cards, and bank accounts, etc. (As in the example of one pp above, the woman who came into the bank should not have been giving her name as Mrs. John Smith to the teller. That is the woman’s formal social title, but her legal name is Jane Smith.)

Example 1:  Jane Doe marries John Smith, but keeps her maiden name. 

In this example, Jane would NEVER properly be referred to as either Mrs. Smith or Mrs. John Smith, because she is not, even though she is married to Mr. John Smith.  Her name remains exactly as it was prior to her marriage, and her formal, social title, also remains (or becomes, if she previously used the honorific, Miss) Ms. Jane Doe. In this example, a couple would not properly be introduced as Mr. and Mrs. Smith (with or without Mr. Smith’s first name.)  In this example, the couple could properly be introduced at their wedding as “… husband and wife, John and Jane.” Of course, there is nothing to prevent Jane from using her legal name on all documents and at work, while also allowing others to call her Mrs. Smith, if she WANTS that.  However, neither Mrs. John Smith, nor Mrs. Smith would be her formal, social title. That would be Ms. Jane Doe or Ms. Doe.

A wedding invitation sent to John and Jane in this example would properly be sent to:

Ms. Jane Doe 
and Mr. John Smith
12345 Elm Street
Anytown, Anystate ZIP

NOTE:  If a woman chooses to hyphenate her name after marriage, the above also would apply to her, except that she would have a name change due to marriage.  Her name would become Jane Doe-Smith, but her formal social title would remain or become Ms. not Mrs.  In this scenario, Jane would only properly be referred to as Ms. Jane Doe-Smith or Ms. Doe-Smith, NOT Mrs. Doe-Smith or Mrs. Smith

Example 2:  Jane Doe marries John Smith, and changes her name to Jane Smith.

In this example, following a legal name change due to marriage, Jane’s NAME becomes Jane Smith. Proper, etiquette-approved, formal, social titles for Jane in this example would be any or all of the following, depending upon her choice and the context of where her name is appearing:

* Mrs. Smith
* Ms. Smith
* Ms. Jane Smith
* Mrs. John Smith

Any, or all of the above would be formal, approved, social titles for Jane in this example. The neighborhood children and her doctor likely will simply call her Mrs. Smith. A new sales rep meeting with Jane at work may call her Ms. Smith, since he would not necessarily know if she is single or married. An internal newsletter at work may refer to Jane as Ms. Jane Smith.  However, Jane’s Aunt Mildred may wish to send correspondence to the new bride addressed to Mrs. John Smith (even if Jane strongly dislikes this), because that technically IS her new, formal, social title, even if she does not wish to use it.

At the wedding of this couple, the DJ could introduce the new bride and groom as “Mr. and Mrs. John Smith,” OR “Mr. and Mrs. Smith, John and Jane,” or simply, “John and Jane Smith.”

Someone referring to this couple properly would have a choice of using:

*Mr. and Mrs. John Smith


*Jane and John Smith (with the woman’s name first)

HOWEVER, (and this is the part that will not make everyone happy, as many of you have been hearing from older relatives, etc.,) what is NOT ever considered to be a proper social title for a married woman is the use of the honorific “Mrs.” in front of a woman’s own first name. (This format traditionally has been reserved for a divorced woman who has kept her married name. If she becomes divorced, Jane has the option of going by Mrs. Jane Smith or Ms. Jane Smith. She would no longer be able to use the formal, social title of Mrs. John Smith once she is divorced.) 

So, technically, it would not be considered proper to address an invitation or other correspondence to a married couple as Mr. John and Mrs. Jane Smith or Mr. and Mrs. John and Jane Smith. 

Finally, regarding the example above from a pp about a scenario where the wife of a couple is a doctor (but the husband, apparently, is not), an invitaiton to that couple could be addressed properly in one of two ways (assuming that the wife has taken her husband’s last name):

Mr. and Mrs. John Smith (where the title of doctor is not used)


Doctor Jane Smith
and Mr. John Smith

(on two lines, joined by an “and” on the second line, with the woman’s name first)

If the doctor-wife has kept her maiden name, the invitation would properly be addressed to:

Doctor Jane Doe
and Mr. John Smith

I hope some of this helps! ๐Ÿ™‚

Post # 57
391 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2012

Informally, Mrs. Smith is just fine. Makes me think back to elementary school days and calling my teachers Mrs. Smith.

However, as an educator, I am in a pickle. I have a very common last name and my first initial is very popular. At one of my teaching locations, there were three professors with my initials and last name. So there are several Professor Smiths.

I have thought about taking my fiance’s name because his is uncommon and easier to pronounce, although his is Thai (and extends out of the roster sheet). But in the end, I will always keep my maiden name because that is the professional identity I have built for myself.

Unless my Fiance is also in the same field and publishes in the same journals, I see no point in writing my married name as it has no bearing or recognition as much as my maiden name.

Post # 58
279 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

I hate it too. But hey, I am keeping my name and for form filling out purposes staying a Ms. So it’s like…I’m not any of those things!

Post # 59
2353 posts
Buzzing bee

My professional name is too well known, and it would be more confusing to have a separate professional and personal name than it would be to have a separate name from my husband (FI insists that I keep my name, anyway). 

I’m only addressing invitations as Mr. and Mrs. John Smith for people I know prefer it (usually older generation). I know that some relationships function as equal on a day to day basis, and not as though her identity has disappeared into his, but the wording does erase her. A few years ago I was home visiting my parents, and read a wedding announcement of a girl I’d known grown up with – I scanned for the list of bridesmaids, figuring I’d know some of them: Mrs. John Smith, Mrs. Joseph Brown, Mrs. Michael Davis, Mrs. David James, etc. I had NO CLUE who any of them were (except one who I’d once heard was dating the boy and figured they were married). Found out later they were all girls I’d once hung out with in high school. 

Post # 60
6040 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2019 - City, State

Normally I am not really into this kind of thing, but I am really looking forward to that. I think it has sort of a traditional sound to it and in a very nontraditional situation like ours its one thing I am going to be proud of. I cant wait to be called that. I dont really feel like it does anything to my identity. To those that matter, they are aware that I am not just some shadow standing behind my guy. As for the rest of the world, I just dont care what they think. I know my SO will not think of me as an extension of him or as his property or something. I think its sweet in a way. Im obviously against the majority here lol

Post # 61
104 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

I REALLY dislike that. In this day and age, why does it have to be the woman who even has to consider changing her name? Groom-to-be and I actually joke around about him changing his last name because my last name is a lot easier to spell!

Needless to say, we’re both keeping our names and being “presented” as hubby and wifey using our first names only.

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