Post # 1
So, my dad goes by “First M. Last” when he writes his name because his now-deceased father had his same name, so using his middle initial just stuck. I am getting flack from people with “etiquette” concerns who state that his middle initial should NOT be used on the invitation, and I am wondering why this even matters. My mom does not go by her middle initial, so she’s just going to be “First Last.” I have read and been told that parents’ names should not include their full middle names, either. Am I wasting my time worrying about whether I should omit my dad’s middle initial? Or is there a good reason for this? All this “etiquette” stuff seems a little superfluous at times. Thanks!
Post # 3
Because it’s your dad, I don’t think it matters too much – what parent is going to complain about how their name is presented on their child’s wedding invitation?? If you think it might be an issue, ask your dad how he prefers it, and go with that. If anyone kicks up a fuss, then you can say that it’s your dad’s preference. It’s really no one’s business but you and your dad’s (and possibly your mother), so if the two/three of you are okay with it, then it’s fine.
Post # 4
- Wedding: March 2012 - Pelican Grand Beach Resort
The number one rule of etiquette is to not offend. If you father prefers to be known as First M. Last, you should use that as his name. Etiquette is not a bunch of silly rules to follow by the letter, but rather a set of guidelines to help you negotiate social situations so that you don’t offend anyone.
Post # 5
Go with what your dad wants; it makes no sense to force him to drop the middle initial.
Post # 6
- Wedding: February 2013 - Mansion House at the MD Zoo
I seriously doubt that anyone is going to be surprised/offended/etc. Also I seriously doubt that anyone would notice, who are these people who are giving you flack for this? Wowie. Anyway, I see nothing wrong with having his initial in there. It’s the name he goes by. Bam. Done.
I do not use my middle name, and so on our wedding invitations Boo and I are first name last name. (my middle name is my mom’s last name, they are still married to one another, it’s just confusing and hard to spell) I also referred to my mother by her first and last name but Boo’s parents are on there as Mr. and Mrs. FSFIL. (offends my feminist heart but that’s what she preferred, so that’s what she got)
Post # 7
I’m surprised that people even care. I was formal on the invitation envelopes, but I certainly broke etiquette by often just addressing people as “Mr. and Mrs. Smith.” And one is a Dr.! Oops. 😀
Who cares. People aren’t that wrapped up about it…or shouldn’t be.
Post # 8
@CookieCreamCakes: Actually, in social correspondence “Mr and Mrs Smith” is correct. First names are not combined with surnames in social correspondence except where needed to differentiate one Mr Smith from another — which is almost never the case when you are sending something to Mr Smith’s own home. And “Doctor” (not “Dr.”) is properly claimed as a social title only by medical doctors. Sounds like you may well have NOT broken etiquette, even if you followed etiquette only by accident.
@ShannonO84: The “rule” about using or not using initials is related to distinguishing between business names and social names. In business, initials are normally used, as signatures must be distinctive and play a role quite apart from simply identifying or referring to some person. In contrast in society, the written name is used exactly as is the spoken name; and initials are ignored because they are not normally used in speech: you don’t generally refer to “George” as “George Double-U” when you are talking, nor would a gentleman normally introduce himself with “How do you do; I am George Double-U”.
The important thing is that this is about general social usage, not about some magical wedding-only etiquette. It sounds as though your father has quite happily followed his own practice in social life for the last thirty years or so. If he cared much for the opinion of those who are trying to tell you how to write his name, he’d have consulted them decades ago. Since he doesn’t care, and since it is HIS name in the first place, you should follow his normal practice in writing it.