Open Thread

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This open thread is your space to use as you like. We invite you to discuss current and traditional etiquette. Feel free to ask questions of each other and the community moderators here.


  1. Rebecca Lankin

    Is there a modern way to address a married couple where she takes his name but is still included in an invitation address? Mr. and Mrs. John Doe completely excludes her identity from the couple while still allowing the husband to exist. This feels completely against the purpose of etiquette as a signal of respect for those addressed. Can we use Mr. John and Mrs. Mary Doe? Or Mr. John Doe and Mrs. Mary Doe? Or Mr. and Mrs. Doe (at least this way both members of the couple lose their identity together). This would be for an invitation to a black tie or black tie optional wedding.

    Thank you.

    • Elizabeth

      If you leave off the honorifics, you can properly address a letter as Mary and John Doe. Mr. John and Mrs. Mary Doe is not traditional. Unfortunately, Mr. and Mrs. John Doe is traditional. I sympathize with your feelings about it. I think, for my wedding, I may have gone the nontraditional route just because that kind of equality was more important to me than getting it technically right.

    • Winifred Rosenburg

      John and Mary Doe or Mr. and Mrs. Doe are fine for informal correspondence. For formal correspondence Mr. John Doe and Ms. Mary Doe is also acceptable. (Mrs. is never used with a woman’s first name.) Whatever you do, please take the feelings of those you are writing to into consideration as it is ultimately for them and some women actually prefer the traditional form.

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