Post # 1
I’m working on our invitation and my mom would like to include her maiden name, which she kept as her middle name, along with our family name. It would read something like this:
John & Mary Sanchez Smith invite you to….
Would people assume that her maiden name is part of my father’s name? Any ideas on how to make it work without making them look divorced or should I not put her maiden name?
Post # 3
I think people will understand it as you’ve written it. Are you inviting a lot of extended family? One reason she may want her maiden name is to make sure all of her side of the family recognize the name.
Post # 4
Seems like they would think it was his name. I wonder if it would make a difference to bracket it?
John and Mary (Sanchez) Smith or
John and Mary Smith (nee Sanchez)
Post # 5
- Wedding: July 2012 - Baltimore Museum of Industry
I read that as both last names are Sanchez Smith. John Smith & Mary Sanchez Smith would work.
Divorced parents go on different lines, with no “and.” So my parents are listed:
Request the pleasure of your company…
Post # 6
@theMallet: If you are doing informal invitations, it is more appropriate to have them worded naturally, as in a letter, rather than to use the stilted formal form where the hostess speaks of her self in third person. Third-person wordings are ultra-formal, so to be consistent one should use titles as well as names. In the olden days a lady took her husband’s whole name when she married, last and first(!) — at least for formal occasions. My mother was “Mrs Nestor Phipps” even when hers was the only name on a piece of correspondence (and even when the correspondence was a formal note to the teacher telling him I had been kept home with the ‘flu — my mother was nearly always formal.) Etiquette is, however adaptable.
When a lady keeps her own name — even if her “own” name ends up being an amalgamation of husband’s name, father’s name and given name, she also keeps her own title and is listed with her title and name kept together. If your mother had not taken “Smith”, she and her husband would correctly have been listed as “Mr John Smith and Ms Mary Sanchez”. Since she has taken “Smith” but retained “Mary” and “Sanchez” she and her husband are correctly listed as “Mr John Smith and Ms Mary Sanchez Smith”. The fact that the names appear together on the same line joined by the word “and” communicates clearly that they are married (in formal or hazardous situations the gentleman goes first.)
Actually, the fact that their names are together in the same role on the same piece of correspondence, let alone on the same line would, in the world my mother lived in, communicate that they were married. Formal private affairs are only ever hosted by one lady and optionally her husband. Hospitality committees made up of multiple hosts not married to each other is truly proper only for club-sponsored events. But modern manners treat the hosts’ line rather as a kind of roll of credits that names everyone who sponsored the affair in whole or part, which with step-families and the cost of extravaganza-weddings can be quite a list of people. Modern manners uses the rule of same-line=married to distinguish current spouses from exes.
If you want the informal wording, then first names without titles are the rule and the lady’s name goes first. Surnames are included in brackets to imply that OF COURSE you would have recognized John and Mary just by their given names and handwriting; like this:
Dear (fill in the blank)
Please join us for …
Mary and John
(Mary Sanchez Smith and John Smith)
Post # 7
I would read it as she kept her maiden name as her middle name.
Post # 8
@msfahrenheit: Actually, that’s exactly the reason. 🙂
Post # 9
Thank you for all the feedback! 🙂 We decided to keep her maiden name in.
Post # 10
Isn’t the woman’s name supposed to come first always?
Post # 11
@Lt.Columbo: That is one of those rule-simplifications that focusses on memorizing the rule (“ladies first”) without understanding the underlying principle (“the gentleman does whatever will be safer and more comfortable for the lady”). Thus, for example, a gentleman lets a lady get into a moving conveyance first — so that he can help her in and close the door for her. But HE gets out first, so that he can open the door and help her out.
When taking tea biscuits a gentleman lets a lady go first, so that if there is only one apricot-cream she can take it; but when crossing enemy territory HE goes first, so that if there is sniper fire he takes that while she scuttles into the bushes and gets away.
When out in public as when pushing through the crowds at the subway station to get to the right train, or being announced into a formal ballroom under the judgemental glare of Society, HE takes precedence so that any necessary shoving or embarassing importunance is HIS responsibility — or, when publically crossing the continent together on the back of an envelope in a Canada Post mailbag. But in safe cozy drawing-rooms among friends, and on the inside of Christmas cards and personal letters, the lady goes first because there she is in no need of a man’s protection.
You read all the time on wedding-industry sites and message boards that the rule is “always” ladies first. The meme has become sufficiently pervasive that it can be taken as the modern etiquette rule, even though it directly flouts traditional etiquette. But if that were the case, we would be addressing same-name couples as “Mrs and Mr Smith”, which is never done except by etiquette-informed feminists who think all the tradition about protecting delicate feminine flowers is nonsense. I would consider myself an etiquette-informed feminist, but I also think women put up with enough institutionalised nonsense in western society that they earn all the special treatment that the market will bear.
Post # 12
If it still looks funny to you, you could put your dad’s middle name in. Dad Middle and Mom Maiden Smith…
Post # 13
- Wedding: March 2012 - Pelican Grand Beach Resort
@Lt.Columbo: Only when the names are listed out in full. So if it were Mrs. Mary Sanches Smith and Mr. John Smith. When you like the names as Mr. and Mrs. (or other honorifics in place of those), it’s Mr. and Mrs. John Smith. So OP should be putting Mary and John Smith or Mary Sanchez and John Smith, but not John and Mary Smith or John and Mary Sanchez Smith.
Post # 14
It sounds like both last names belong to both people. If she wants her maiden (now middle) name included, how bout including his middle name too?