21 Comments

  1. Lisa

    My son is getting married out of state. We are able to get a very good hotel rate with in walking distance to the wedding and rehearsal at the same hotel the couple will be spending their first night in.
    The other hotel options are more costly and/or not close to the wedding and reception. The bride is very unhappy that we are planning to stay in the same 685 room hotel.
    Are we wrong to do this? The bride and groom are only staying 1 night and we are planning to be there about 3 days.
    Thank you,

    • Daniel Post Senning

      It might be good idea to reassure the bride that you will be giving her and her new husband (your son) all of the privacy that they might want. By acknowledging her concern and communicating that your choice has to do with price and convenience and not a need to be close to your son, you could go a long way toward diffusing the situation. There is no reason you can’t both stay at such a large hotel and still allow each other the space to enjoy the wedding in your own distinct ways.

  2. Mary Kay

    I’m confused about your response regarding the addressing of the invite to the married couple when the wife has kept her own name. Since she is married, shouldn’t she be addressed as ‘Mrs. Carolyn Smith’?

    • Daniel Post Senning

      I went to double check this for you. The answer that we gave in the post is the traditional form and is widely recognized. The option that you suggest would be fine as well, although this is new and might be confusing to people who are used to a different standard. There is a fascinating history behind evolving forms of address for women as the role women play in society has changed. I would like to elaborate on this answer in a front page post next week so that the whole community can see the discussion. This is a standard that is changing right now as we talk about it. Please check back and contribute your thoughts.
      To elaborate further (because I like this topic and can hardly contain myself), here at The Emily Post Institute we are doing research for the 18th edition of Emily Post’s Etiquette. This will be one of the areas where there are likely to be changes to the 17th edition. I will be curious what our readers have to contribute as we think about ways to acknowledge all of the roles and relationships that are becoming more common.

  3. Jollie

    Isn’ it kind of discriminative to do it differently for married and for unmarried couples? It just gives me a not-so-good impression. I personally would write it the same -with “and”- that is for married, unmarried and gay couples. Is there a reason why it wouldn’t be appropriate?

  4. P Cline

    I was wondering what the proper way to address a couple if using their first names. I always thought that if you didn’t use Mr. & Mrs. then you used the man’s name first and the wife’s. I am seeing it the other way. I am confused. I have always addressed married couples using the husband’s name first. I sort of get the women first idea, but why then is it Mr. & Mrs.? It seems that if you use their first names instead you would do it the same.

    • J Barrett

      In using names, you do not separate the man’s name. For example it would be Mr. and Mrs. John Smith or with first names, Mary and John Smith.

    • Elizabeth

      As someone who was recently married, I found it rather annoying to find checks made out to both of us, especially when then were addressed to me as Elizabeth Husband’sLastName – which I did not take. I had to double sign each check, then he had to sign it, it was kind of a pain at the bank, you get the idea. If you make it out to the bride or groom (whoever’s side your on) will make things a lot easier. The couple will definitely understand that it is a gift to both of them. If you do make it out to both – please find out whether the bride intends to take the groom’s last name and address the check accordingly!

      (Just FYI- I do not care when well-meaning relatives address holiday cards to us under my husband’s last name, I know that not everyone realizes I kept my name, and that’s fine. It really was just all the double signing and hoops at the bank that made the check experience so frustrating.)

  5. Jeff

    Since the last post in this thread is almost a year old, I hope it is not dead. I believe I am coming from the other side of the fence. I married a widow and she kept her married name. If we are sending an invitation, are we Mr. and Mrs. (my name) or Mr. (my name) and Mrs. (her name)? Are both forms acceptable? To me, the latter makes us sound like two people married to other spouses. Thank you.

    • Winifred Rosenburg

      Because she does not use your last name, “Mr. and Mrs. Jeff Last” does not work as it implies you have the same last name (or that she uses that name socially). The correct way for you would be “Mr. Jeff Last and Ms. Jane Smith” or with those names reversed.

      • Alicia

        If you were not married it would be
        Ms Jane Smith
        Mr Jeff Jones

        “and ” in invites means married as does Mrs.
        Mrs Jane Smith and Mr Jeff Jones thus would be you as a married couple

        • Winifred Rosenburg

          Actually Mrs. is only correct when followed by the husband’s name. “Mrs.” roughly translates to “wife of” and “wife of Jane Smith” doesn’t make sense. She would have to use “Ms.” with her first name.

          • L. Scheppmann

            I am married but have never liked being addressed as, for example, Mrs. Jeff Smith, but rather would prefer, Mrs. Jane Smith. I’m sure there are many women who would agree with me. I guess you could call it a pet peeve of mine. So, how could we update society to “formally” address a couple, e.g., on a wedding invitation? Would it be Mr. and Mrs. Jeff and Jane Smith, or, would it be Mr. Jeff Smith and Mrs. Jane Smith??? Or other???

  6. L. Scheppmann

    Am replying to Winifred Rosenburg’s response directly above – was wondering if one is Mrs., then, if only they took their husband’s last & first name?

    • Winifred Rosenburg

      I’m honestly not sure why EPI would say that. Miss Manners says “Mrs. is correctly used only with the lady’s husband’s name.”

      • L. Scheppmann

        If you google Mrs. definition on bing.com, it states that Mrs. is a title that is used before HER name OR the name of her husband – which is contrary to your statement saying that Mrs. is correctly used only with the lady’s husband’s name.

        • Elizabeth

          I would be interested to know what your source is. Bing is a search engine, not a source and certainly not an authority.

  7. L. Scheppmann

    To add to my previous statement … Per the article: “Guide to Addressing Correspondence,” (on EmilyPost.com) it says it IS acceptable today, to be called, Mrs. Jane Smith – “formally.” But when formally addressed as a couple, then, why would she all of a sudden have to change from a Mrs. to a Ms.??? Thanks for your reply.

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