Wedding Invitation Monograms

by Daniel Post Senning on May 30, 2013

Q: For a wedding invitation, if you wanted to have a monogram on the invitation and the bride’s parents are hosting do you do the parents of the bride’s monogram as a three-letter monogram or do you do just the initial of the bride’s last name. What is appropriate?

A: Since her parents are hosting and issuing the invitations, their monogram would be used, either the three initials, or the single initial of their last name:

John and Marcia Smith would use a single “S,” or the three-letter option of “JSM,” with the center “S” in a larger type size.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Danielle June 5, 2013 at 5:03 pm

Totally disagree – the woman’s name always comes first. It should be MSJ.

It’s considered bad form to use your married monogram on the invitations because it’s from before you’re married, but you can use it in other wedding day paper products. That being said – this is one of those etiquette rules that doesn’t affect the comfort of guests (like having a cash bar or mentioning gifts on your invitation) so put whatever makes you happy on there.

I would think it was weird to see the parents’ monogram on a wedding invitation, that would really confuse me. I’d say to definitely leave off the parents’ monogram no matter what.


Winifred Rosenburg June 5, 2013 at 10:56 pm

The “rule” that the woman’s name always goes first is a myth. Traditionally, the man’s name went first. Now either order is correct, but it may be wise to put the man’s name first in a monogram to avoid confusion.


Lauren June 16, 2013 at 12:47 pm

Just a note, in case the OP was concerned about traditional etiquette. Traditionally, monograms shouldn’t be used in formal invitations* (Emily Post, “Etiquette”, 1922, ch. 11). Problem solved!

[As a side note, can anyone at EPI clear up the dispute about the history of monograms? In joint-name monograms, which came first _first_, why, and what evidence do we have? Where did the idea of the woman's initial coming first originate? And don't forget the difference between a monogram and a cipher! ]

*Royal ciphers and coats of arms have different rules.


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: