Post # 1
if anyone knows for a fact what the actual etiquette on this is, i’d appreciate it (no guesses please):
when writing out escort cards is “Mrs. John Smith” or “Mrs. Jane Smith” the appropriate usage for married women who have taken their husbands’ names?
i believe that either way is fine and it’s the preference of the woman, but i can’t find anything on this in emily post et al. and want to confirm it before writing out a thousand cards and then having to redo them when i realize ive done it wrong.
any help is appreciated.
Post # 3
Is her husband not coming to the wedding? If he is then it should read Mr. and Mrs. John Smith. If he’s not then Mrs. Jane Smith is what it should say.
Post # 4
I think also, if she is divorced (and perhaps) if her husband is deceased, you would use her first name, Mrs. Jane Smith.
Post # 5
I actually don’t care what the official rule is – I would be pretty offended if someone referred to me only by my husband’s name. It’s 2010. I have my own identity and my own name. I actually find that a lot of the Emily Post rules are pretty outdated. I think it’s time for 21st century rules!
Post # 7
I think it depends on the formality of your wedding and how particular you are about etiquette. I personally would do Mrs. Jane Smith, unless you list the couple on the escort card.
Post # 8
Mrs. Jane Smith seems more appropriate to me.
Post # 9
Mrs. Jane Smith.
Think about it this way, there are women who don’t mind being called Mrs. John Smith, and there are women (like me) who REALLY hate it and would be totally offended. Why run that risk? Is there anyone in the world who would be offended if they were called by their own first and last name (Mrs. Jane Smith) instead of by their husband’s? Probably not. So I say go with the safe choice which is least likely to offend anyone.
Post # 10
There actually IS formal etiquette for this. Unfortunately, there are several different standards:
Most correct is “Mrs Smith”. You use the first name with a title, only if there is a possibility of ambiguity — as when there are more than one “Smith” family invited.That solves the problem of whether to be feminist-liberally-correct, traditionally-correct, or official-protocol-correct, doesn’t it?
At weddings though, you often do get several families of the same surname attending. The correct old-fashioned protocol for that situation gets complicated. The most senior couple of the same surname would be “Mr and Mrs Smith”. The rest would be identified by the husband’s first name only, with no surname: “Mr and Mrs John”, “Mr and Mrs Michael” and so on. The most senior unmarried lady would be “Miss Smith” and the rest are “Miss Anne”, “Miss Beatrice”, and so on. You use the surname and first name together only when you have two gentlemen who have the same first name and are neither of them the most senior in their family: “Mr and Mrs Thomas Smith”; and “Mr and Mrs Thomas Jones”.
Official protocol is established by the State Department or Lord Chancellor’s office or State Head of Protocol, or whatever such functionary exists in your country. In Canada, it is the Secretary of State and the official protocol is that, when addressing anyone, you use the form of address that person prefers. So, when you do have more than one “Mrs Smith” present, then for your traditionalist friends you address them as “Mrs John Smith” because that is what they prefer, and for your liberal-feminist or modernist friends you address them as “Ms Jane Smith” because that is what they prefer — or Mrs, or even Miss or Mm as they prefer. If you don’t know (and I’m quoting the Secretary of State’s style guide for Canada here) you assume “Ms Jane Smith”.
You probably have to be over forty — and more likely over sixty — to actually remember all the political connotations that surrounded the use of the title “Ms” and of married women’s first names. But among those who do remember — and particularly among widows of a certain age — yes, there are indeed women who might be offended by losing the use of their husband’s name. So if you do know that someone has habitually gone by the form “Mrs John Smith” do NOT take it upon yourself to modernize her, and particularly do not do so if it might rub in the fact of a recent or deeply-felt widowhood!
Post # 11
- Wedding: January 2011 - Vintage Villas
I don’t know what the formal etiquette is, but I would much prefer to be referred to by my own first name.
Post # 12
How about Ms. Jane Smith. I think Mrs. Jane Smith connotes divorce, and Mrs. John Smith is offensive to a modern woman.
Post # 13
I really think it is old fashioned to call someone Mrs. John Smith. My grandparents did it and I was actually sort of offended that I no longer have my own name.