Personalized Present: The right way to monograph a gift

Q: What is the correct way to monograph a gift for another person. I am giving her a heart shaped pendant with both of our pictures. Do I use her initial or mine?

A: What a very thoughtful gift. We’d say it would be best and most traditional to use her last name initial for the monogram.


  1. Michelle

    Using her first initial is also appropriate and perhaps preferred. Use of the first initial is both trendy and traditional. British royals use first initial monograms. (Duchess Catherine has been seen wearing a bracelet engraved with her official “C” monogram.)

    As a 20-something woman hoping to be married in the next 5 or so years, I find myself choosing my first initial over my last initial. I think it’s because I plan for my last name to change fairly soon.

    On the other hand, if this piece is intended to become a family heirloom, her last initial may be more appropriate.

    I know that probably complicated your decision. The good news is that either of her initials is appropriate.

  2. Tam

    I agree with the other commenter. If this girl is your girlfriend, first initial is definitely preferred should you want her to adopt your last initial someday. Even if not, I associate more with my initial of my first name, rather than a family surname.

    • Alicia

      Look around her place honestly if she does not have a bunch of other things with monograms ( in which case follow which letter or letters those are) then likely she does not want monograms. Monogrammed items are lovely but not to everyone’s tastes and I would be cautious to make sure she likes it and it will not end up in the charity pile.

  3. Katie

    I am a receptionist and would like to know the proper time of day to start answering the phones with “Good Evening”.

    • Alicia

      Well technically evening is after 6pm but when still out and about. However if you work a typical 9-5 place I would answer good evening after 4:30 simply to make the point that they are coming close to closing time in a nice way.
      Basically as greetings
      Good morning before noon
      Good afternoon noon-6
      Good evening 6-sleep

    • Chocobo

      Unless you work past 6:00 P.M., you will not need to use “Good Evening” on the phone. Most businesses close before evening starts, but if you do answer the phones past 6:00 PM, you may use “Good Evening.”

      Otherwise, please say these phrases during the following time periods:
      -Before Noon: “Good Morning”
      -Between Noon – 6:00 PM: “Good Afternoon”
      -After 6:00 PM: “Good Evening”

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