Married, different last names. How do I address their invite?

posted 3 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 31
Member
12099 posts
Sugar Beekeeper

Most traditionally, a married woman keeping her own name would be Ms. She would not use Mrs. with the woman’s own first name, because strictly speaking Mrs. means “wife of.” Many women do use this now, for example Mrs. Michelle Obama.  Contemporary etiquette considers this usage to be fine. 

So a wedding invitation could be 

Outside Envelope

Ms. Jane Smith and Mr. John Doe

or 

Mrs. Jane Smith and Mr. John Doe

or, informally

Jane Smith and John Doe 

The most proper way to address a married woman keeping her own name is to follow her own preference. 

 

Post # 32
Member
3859 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

My Darling Husband and I have different last names. We just got a wedding invitation addressed to Mr. and Mrs. Hisfirstname Hislastname. I DETEST that because literally no part of my name is on the invitation. We always joke about it though… “hey babe it seems like I’m not invited to this wedding, but someone named “Mrs yourfirstname yourlastname” is. Do you know who that is?” “No I don’t! Maybe they just meant me and weren’t sure if I was a male or female so put both?” “Oh yes that must be it!”

Post # 33
Member
394 posts
Helper bee

I did not take my husband’s name when I married.  Unless it is someone who does not know us very well and therefore doesn’t know our proper last names I expect the address to be written as Ms MyFirstName MyLastName and Mr. HisFirstName HisLastName or sans Ms and Mr.  To address it any other way is not a proper form of address.  I tend to find it insulting when people know my proper name and choose to not use it.  Very disrespectful.

Post # 34
Member
7882 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

minimalistbride :  agreed on how disrespectful that is if the person knows better! I DID change  my name and have corrected one family member a few times that my maiden name is no longer a part of my legal name and she insists on using it anyways. I have even explained that I kept my middle name rather than replacing it with my maiden because I wanted to keep the name my parents chose for me and not a family name they were obligated to use. I actually now just refuse to respond when she addresses me the wrong way because I think it is so rude. And seeing Mrs with my first name drives me crazy (yes I am 32 and prefer Mrs His FullName on personal correspondence if the person isn’t going to just use my name without Mrs) but I’m learning to accept that I’m in the minority for that in my generation. 

Post # 35
Member
1352 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2017 - The Lodge at Little Seneca Creek

I don’t like the idea of Mr. and Mrs. HisName. We addressed ALL of our invites to couples as Ms./Mrs. HerName and Mr. HisName (or, if we know the male partner better, Mr. HisName and Ms./Mrs. HerName).

Post # 36
Member
2658 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: December 2016

We had a couple like this on our guest list – we invited them as Mr John Doe & Ms Jane Smith all on the same line. She actually commented that she appreciated we hadn’t lobbed her in as Mrs John Doe, which apparently what most joint mail they receive lists.

Post # 38
Member
7643 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

As an aside, even if the woman has taken her husband’s surname, “Mr. and Mrs. John Smith” is terribly outdated.

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