Name Changer: How to Monogram Wedding Gifts

Q: What is the proper monogram for a wedding gift? I want to give a set of Towels to a bride & groom and I was going to use the bride’s first initial, the groom’s first initial, with the groom’s last initial in the center. My mother-in-law says she has never heard of this and insists that it should be the bride’s first initial on one side, her maiden last name initial on the other and the groom’s last name initial in the center.’

A: You are correct — a gift to both uses their married monogram – last name in the center, bride’s first name initial to the left; groom’s to the right.

It used to be that gifts to a bride were monogrammed in her name only for they were part of her trousseau, but this is not the case any longer.

Please Return to Sender: Who Pays for the Ring in the Case that the Wedding is Called Off?

Q: If the groom calls off the wedding and the bride wants to keep the ring, who finishes paying for the ring?

A: The ring is returned to the man. It was not a gift, but rather was a symbol of their engagement. When the engagement is terminated, the ring goes back, unless they bought it together and shared the costs. If that is the case, the one who keeps it can reimburse the other, or they can sell it and reimburse one another.

Penny-Pinching: Who Pays for What?

Q: My son is planning a wedding and I have the question as to who pays what. My son is 28 and lives in another state. This is the first marriage for both. What are we, the parents of the groom, responsible for in regards to expenses of the wedding?

A: Traditionally, the groom’s parents and/or the groom pay for: brides engagement and wedding rings, groom’s present to his bride, if he wishes to give her one, gifts for the groom’s attendants, boutonniere for the groom’s attendants, the bride’s bouquet in areas where local custom requires it, the bride’s going away corsage, corsages for immediate members of both families unless the bride has included them in her florist order, the minister’s or rabbi’s fee or donation, transportation and lodging expenses for the minister or rabbi if from another town and if invited to officiate by the groom’s family the marriage license, transportation for the groom and best man to the ceremony, expenses of the honeymoon, all costs of the rehearsal dinner, if one is held bachelor dinner, if he wishes to give one accommodations for the groom’s attendants, if required transportation and lodging expenses for groom’s parents.

It should be noted that these are traditional expenses, not written in granite. Any number of arrangements can be made, and often the bride and groom cover a great deal of their own wedding expenses these days.

Same Standard: Do I give a gift to my recently married gay nephew?

Q: My nephew, who is gay, just got married in Massachusetts. do I send a card or a gift or both? How do I acknowledge the event?’

A: You acknowledge it just as you would any other wedding of a close friend or relative – with a celebratory card and gift, if you are close. This lets your nephew know you love him and honor his choices and are glad he is your nephew. Even if his life style makes you uncomfortable, you treat him as an important person in your life.

Maiden in the Middle: What happens to my name when I get married?

Q: What percentage of women turn their maiden name into their middle name? My mother-in-law insists that that is the way its done and I don’t know anyone who has done that. Who is more right?

A: A bride who wishes to take her husband’s last name may retain her given middle name or, more commonly, use her own surname as a middle name.  However, we don’t know of any exact percentage as to how many women use their maiden name as their middle name when marrying.  Essentially, it’s the bride’s choice.