1. donna

    I’d say 10-15 mins before the official start time. You can then converse with other guests outside or just sit wuietly and people watch until the wedding begins.

    I have a question, too, concerning wedding invitation wording. Is the Mother of the Groom referred to as MRS. JANE SMITH or JANE SMITH? Her husband is deceased. I thought if you were married, the proper nomenclature was MRS ROBERT SMITH (using the man’s first and last name), but if you were divorced or widowed and using your female first name it would appear as MS. JANE SMITH or just JANE SMITH. Mrs. is incorrect, isn’t it?

    • Winifred Rosenburg

      Widows continue to be Mrs. until they remarry. Mrs. Robert Smith is correct. If for some reason the lady prefers not to use that name, Ms. Jane Smith is also acceptable.

      • Hi Donna,

        Winifred is correct. Traditionally, Mrs. is only used with the husband’s full name, and Ms. with a woman’s own. This remains true if the woman is widowed. Many women today, though, do use Mrs. with their own first names–Mrs. Jane Smith. If the Mother of the Groom wants to be listed as it is traditionally done, then the choice is between Mrs. Robert Smith and Ms. Jane Smith, but if she prefers Mrs. Jane Smith then go with that.

  2. Allison

    In addressing envelopes where the husband and wife have different last names, whose name goes first? I have read different opinions that the husband’s name goes first (so instead of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Smith, it is Mr. Robert Smith and Ms. Jane Doe). However, others have said that the wife’s name goes first, similar to recommendations I have read for unmarried couples with the female partner’s name first (Ms. Jane Doe and Mr. Robert Smith).

    What recommendations do you have for married couples with different last names and what is the rationale behind placing either the husband or wife first in that scenario?

    • Allison

      Also, do we have any guidance on this from Hispanic countries where it is common for the husband and wife to have different last names? How would they address an envelope for this family like this: husband Marcos Crúz Jiménez and wife Maria Grimaldo Torres with children Jorge Crúz Grimaldo and Rafaela Crúz Grimaldo?

      • Hi Allison,

        I think is Winifred is correct that either name can go first, and this holds true with Hispanic families. I would address the family above the same as I would any other family, with the parents on the first line and the children on the second–without last names.
        Marcos Jimenez & Maria Torres
        Jorge, Rafaela

    • Winifred Rosenburg

      Traditionally, the husband’s name came first. Now either order is equally correct. There is no rationale; it’s just a tradition.

    • becky

      There may also be a protocol issue you may consider, if applicable. As I understand it, the more ‘lettered’ spouse also goes first…so if the wife is an MD, judge, military officer or elected official, her name should precede the husband’s. The Honorable Jane Doe and Mr. John Doe.

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