(Closed) Widow Invitation Wording

posted 8 years ago in Etiquette
  • poll: What's the correct wording for inviting a woman whose husband recently passed away?

    Mrs. Man's first name Smith

    Mrs. Her first name Smith

    Mrs. Man's first name Smith and guest

    Mrs. Her first name Smith and guest?

  • Post # 3
    5949 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: April 2018

    If she’s still sporting her deceased husband’s last name, it’s ok to word her invite as Mrs. Edward Smith…if not, she’s a Ms. Jones.

    Post # 4
    11231 posts
    Sugar Beekeeper
    • Wedding: August 2013

    I don’t do the whole Mr./Mrs., and especially not ever Mrs. Hisfirstname Lastname. My grandpa passed away in July and my grandma’s STD was addressed to Herfirstname Marriedlastname.

    Post # 5
    11735 posts
    Sugar Beekeeper
    • Wedding: November 1999

    I think it is supposed to be Mrs. His name if recently widowed, and Ms. or Mrs. her name if it was a while ago. Not sure though. 

    Post # 6
    1675 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: July 2012

    I’d address it to Mrs. Herfirstname MarriedLast (Mrs. Mary Smith)

    Post # 7
    5422 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: November 2012

    I would skip the Mr/Mrs. thing (I’m biased since I did that) but if not I would just put Mrs. Her Name.  I think putting the husband’s name would be extremely sensitive ground to tread on, especially if they passed recently. 

    Not that they aren’t Mrs. Hisname, but maybe something about seeing it spelled out there on paper might strike a chord. One never knows..

    Post # 8
    3373 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: October 2011

    I always address my grandma as “Mrs. Jane Smith” instead of Mrs. John Smith because she’s a widow. She prefers to be called Mrs. to show she’s a widow instead of a divorcee.

    Post # 9
    1692 posts
    Bumble bee

    Your decision about how to address another person should never be based on your preference, or your feminist agenda, or your traditionalist agenda for that matter. The right way to address a person is to use the form of address that she prefers. If you do not know her preference — and since these are your guests they therefore are presumed to be close friends and family of someone involved in the wedding who ought to know such a basic detail — then you should make the guess that she is most likely to agree with.

    A lady’s name does NOT change as a result of becoming a widow. Use the name she always went by — do NOT be the one to rub her nose in the unhappy fact of her husand’s death. If she was accustomed to go by “Mrs Nestor Phipps” while Nestor was alive, then she is still Mrs Nestor Phipps now. But that would appear only on business correspondence (such as the outer envelope). On the invitation itself — or on the inner envelope if your invitation does not have a write-in line — you would simply write “Mrs Phipps”.

    Note that “Ms” does not denote anything at all about a lady’s age or marital status. It was revived as a title back in the 1970’s to be the female equivalent of “Mr”: a simple title for anyone. Also note that divorcees may properly continue to use “Mrs” if they retain their married name, and that “Mrs Irenee Phipps” was used (improperly) in the last few decades of the twentieth century to distinguish a divorcee from the wife who would be using the husband’s first name. The proper usage at that time for a divorcee was to use her maiden surname in place of her ex-husband’s first name — Irenee French, had she divorced Nestor Phipps, would go from “Mrs Nestor Phipps” to “Mrs French Phipps”.

    In the twenty-first century, official usage seems to be accepting the usage of a lady’s given name with a husband’s surname and the title “Mrs” — but you cannot count on that saying anything about whether the husband in question is ex- or not.

    Post # 10
    3312 posts
    Sugar bee

    The widows on my guest wrote “Mrs. Her First Name Married Lastname” when responding back to my invite.

    Post # 11
    10450 posts
    Sugar Beekeeper
    • Wedding: February 2014

    Definitely her OWN first name. And unless she was happy he died, I doubt she changed her last name. 

    The topic ‘Widow Invitation Wording’ is closed to new replies.

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