Post # 1
Hi Bees, this is my first post so apologies in advance if I mess it up!
I am having a really big problem with my wedding invitation addressing. The wedding isn’t for another 10 months but we are sending the Save-The-Date Cards soon so the topic of how to address everything has come up recently. I am *highly* offended by the use of Mr. and Mrs. Hisfirst Lastname with no mention of the woman’s name. To me it’s an archaic "etiquette rule" that fails to recognize a woman as anything more than her husband’s wife and not an individual person. Just because something has "always" been done a certain way or "etiquette dictates" this or that doesn’t make it right. I am adamant about addressing all of our invitations (except maybe a small handful- the ones to our grandparents’ generation is my concession) as Mr. and Mrs. Hisfirst and Herfirst Lastname. However, my mom is totally not okay with this for anyone other than our friends, and apparently she discussed it with Future Mother-In-Law who is demanding that all of her guests’ invited be done the old-skool way.
Mom’s argument is that because she and my dad are doing the inviting (aka footing the bill) that they can put it however they want, and I think because it’s my wedding and because I find the whole using only his name thing to be unbearably sexist that my wishes should be respected. I see nothing crude or improper about using both first names like above, or Mr. Hisfirst and Mrs. Herfirst Lastname. Heck, I’d rather skip all titles and just say Hisfirst and Herfirst Lastname. It’s gotten to the point where I wish we’d just eloped so we could have avoided all this, or had a wedding on the cheap but paid for it all ourselves because I am so upset about everything. I’m not interested in being labeled a Bridezilla or having a major blowup with my mom or Future Mother-In-Law but their way is NOT going to fly with me and I don’t know how to resolve this. Does anyone have any words of wisdom that can help me out of this bind? Thanks for reading and best wishes to all!
Post # 3
I would have a calm conversation with your mom about her and your dad’s expectations for you if you take their money. I would be very clear that you cannot accept their help with the wedding if it means that the wedding will be your moms.. or your FMILs. There need to be some ground rules established, and this is as good a time as any.
I think that if your mom sees you as a mature adult trying to head off bridezilla meltdowns in the future, then she will be reasonable and cooperative with you. It sounds like your mom is a lot like mine — she has certain expectations of what a wedding is/should be and wants the "best" for you.
there’s nothing wrong with that, but if you don’t speak up now, you’ll end up having your mom’s wedding and then no one wins :-/
You may have to compromise on this name thing. I would establish those boundaries quickly though.
I would also point out that save the dates are generally much less formal, and reflect the personality of the couple and the wedding more.
Post # 4
I think if you need their money, you’ve got to deal with their "rules". Sorry. If you want to do everything your exact way, you should pay for the wedding yourself and then you won’t have to answer to anybody. As far as the invitations go, I don’t think that Mr. and Mrs. Kate and Howard Smith even looks good. It is just too much the way you want to write it. If it were me, I would do Mr. and Mrs. Howard Smith and call it a day. What’s the big deal really? You addressing the invite using my first name isn’t going to change years of being treated as a second class citizen. 🙂 (So kidding here!) Your mother and Mother-In-Law make be trying to make the point that a lot of woman LIKE to get things addressed like that and who are you to change it? Your wedding really isn’t a time to make a statement like that IMO. Good Luck though. Sounds like you’ve got a rough road ahead of you. You need to sit down with whoever is paying and see what they want before you start planning I think. Your mother (and MIL) seem to have some pretty concrete ideas.
Post # 5
Thanks missrae! Unfortunately we already have so much money down in deposits there’s no way we could change the "who pays" at this point since FH and I don’t have that kind of money right now. Up until now my mom has always been extremely agreeable to mine and my FH’s wishes (I had to make one concession- my BMs can’t wear Converse All-Stars during the ceremony as mom put her foot down on that and threatened to cut off funding.) But both my mom and his mom have tradtional east coast/southern expectations due to the semi-formal nature of our wedding that are going to be hard to combat on this issue. I am hopeful our coordinator can help too. Thanks again for the advice!
Post # 6
Thanks also KateMW. I guess for me, I like the saying of Ghandi: "You must be the change you want to see in the world." I know that how I address my invites won’t change things in the grand scheme of things, but I feel that if I were to use the traditional formal I would be betraying my own convictions and being untrue to myself. I just can’t imagine that any woman would be offended by having her first name on the invite (although I do know that many women aren’t at all bothered by it) but to do otherwise offends my liberal semi-feminist self. 🙂 Thanks for the feeback!
Post # 7
I know that you might not be able to imagine it, but I can promise you that I know some! It may be the Deep South thing, but I know TONS of people who like it and would be rubbed the wrong way. I guess that is what makes the world go around, kwim? I really couldn’t care less, but I do like to see our names written together sometimes. I’m a dork. Good Luck dealing with your mom…
You could always misplace FI’s shoes the day of and OOPS all he could wear was converse.
Post # 8
Thanks for the input. I am not interested in rubbing anyone the wrong way, but that inclues myself too! 🙂 Guess you can’t please everyone all the time and all that. I will take your thoughts to heart. I am sure we can come up with something that gives everyone something to be happy about, but not a perfect solution for everyone.
Still working on getting FH to wear All-Stars for the reception…that might be a harder battle than this one since I’m an indie weirdo marrying a major prep! 🙂
Post # 9
dude – i am so in the southeast boat with you…
hello, long veil that i want to take off asap and they paid a lot of $ for…
it’s crazy the things my folks want to pay for (studio bridal portrait AND outdoor, fun one??) because "it’s the way things are done"
i just have to smile and say it’s because they love me and that’s how I reconcile things.. It’s only when there are things that I know will ruin the day for me that I have to put my foot down!
I still say the save the dates are informal though! if they don’t agree, then at least try to get a kick-ass calligrapher out of the deal
Post # 10
I say choose your battles for something your guests will really notice, like an unorthodox reading during the ceremony or daffodils instead of roses in your bouquet. While it stinks, if your parents are paying, then they are the hosts of the party – and the hosts decide all. Hopefully they will be more flexible on other issues.
Post # 11
I would say you have to pick your battles. In the grand scheme of things, is it really worth getting worked up about? Is it worth getting into a giant fight with your parents over this?
And to be honest, I feel the same way you do. I don’t like being refered to as Mrs. Hisfirst name Hislastname. But I get over it in about .5 seconds… So if I get an invite that says that on it, I think, "Oh, that kinda sucks" and I’m done with it. I can’t imagine any of your guests are going to be extremely offended no matter how you send it.
There are more important things to worry about!
Post # 12
While I totally agree with you on this one, is there perhaps an equally formal but less misogynistic way to address the envelopes that you and your mom can both agree on? Perhaps "Mr. and Mrs. Jones," for example?
Since it sounds like you can’t get your way on this one (and maybe it’s a battle you shouldn’t wage), it sounds like your options are to bite your tongue and sacrifice your principles or find a compromise, either in the way they’re addressed or your mom’s understanding of your motivations… which just might turn into a win-win.
Best of luck.
Post # 13
what about a compromise? you get to do it your way for the Save-The-Date Cards, since they’re less formal/more your personality, and the invites will be addressed their way, since i think you said it’s a semi formal wedding? that seems to match just fine, and everyone is pleased (hopefully!). 🙂
Post # 14
This might be harsh, but… I have to say it. I read posts like this all the time, and I can’t help feeling astonished about how many people have really lost their grasp of reality. Like so many other things, take a step back and really ask yourself- is this fight WORTH it? Is it worth all the stress and tears and arguments? Be honest with yourself- try to extract yourself from the wedding world you’re (and we’re all!!) wrapped up in. If you’re going to let something like this bother you to the extent that it is, then I think you’re going to have much bigger issues in the road that lies ahead…
Bottom line: it’s ink on a piece of paper that WILL get thrown away. Maybe glanced at, but it’s mostly for the post office so they know what the hell to do. I learned this through many arguments with my mom over invitations- I wanted letterpress, but it’s just not in the budget. I yelled and cried and said she didn’t understand and embarrased myself to the point where I still feel ashamed at the immaturity of it all. She had a very valid point: invitations serve the purpose of telling people where to go and when to do it and why they’re doing it. Only about 1% of the people are actually going to save it (maybe family?) and the other 99% are going to throw it away after they’re tired of seeing it clutter up their fridge for a few months after the wedding. In the end, I learned a very valuable lesson: it just wasn’t worth the fight, the tears, and the stress.
Relax, and concentrate on what’s important: you are marrying the love of your life, and this time period should be the happiest time of your life- not a time where you’re fighting with everyone else over how to address a name on an envelope. Is that what you’re going to want to remember down the road?
I’m sorry if that was really harsh, but sometimes a kick in the pants is what we all need to bring us back down to reality. Good luck and I hope you have a wonderful wedding.
Post # 15
I totally agree with you that Mr. and Mrs. Hisfirstname Lastname is an awful way to address an invitation.
Then again, if someone would like to foot my wedding bill and this was a condition of it, what the hell. There are worse things to have to compromise on.
Post # 16
Your mom seems very quick to threaten to withdraw funding. You mention fiance wants to wear converse shoes, and she’ll withdraw funding. You mention addressing the envelopes and she threatens to withdraw funding.
Maybe you could ask her to compromise: you’ll address elder family members and her (and FMIL’s) guests as "Mr. and Mrs. Hisfirstname Lastname"; you’ll address your friends and "Hername and Hisname Lastname".
If she still won’t budge, then I don’t know what to say. Maybe you’ll need to have a talk about her threats to withdraw funding.