Addressing Invitations

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jjjune Posts : 60 Registered: 1/6/12
Addressing Invitations
Posted: Feb 26, 2012 2:12 AM

I'm starting to address my outer envelopes... woo hoo!

I dislike the wording of the traditional Mr. and Mrs. John Smith. It feels like poor Mary Smith is nothing but an attachment to the star, John Smith. I'd like to find wording that includes both people's first names, but without seeming overwrought and like I'm taking my first women's studies class, you know?

Is Mrs. Mary and Mr. John Smith wrong? What about Mr. John and Mrs. Mary Smith ?

Mr. and Mrs. John and Mary Smith doesn't seem right to me...

I read somewhere that Mrs. Mary Smith and Mr. John Smith is an acceptable way of doing it, but that seems long.

If I'm being silly, feel free to say so. But I'd rather get some good ideas. :)

Edited by: jjjune on Feb 26, 2012 2:32 AM

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Aunt Posts : 794 Registered: 12/31/10
Re: Addressing Invitations
Posted: Feb 26, 2012 10:38 AM Go to message in response to: jjjune

Dear June,

I totally agree with you. I really dislike the "Mr and Mrs" format.

What if the married woman were to use her maiden last name, full time? (Like me.)

In that case, you would just make two lines:

Mr Homer Simpson and
Mrs Marge Bouvier

So, why not do the same thing for a married couple who have the same last name:

Mr Homer Simpson and
Mrs Marge Simpson

The "and" indicates they are married. An unmarried couple, or various other members of a family under the same roof, would not have the "and".

Mr Homer Simpson
Mr Bart Simpson

Inviting a family?

Mr Homer Simpson and
Mrs Marge Simpson
Mr Bart Simpson
Miss Lisa Simpson
Miss Maggie Simpson

(Or just use "Ms" for all the females, your choice.)

Your other options sound a bit dorky to me, as they do to you. "Mr Homer and Mrs Marge Simpson" sounds like you are inviting someone whose last name is "Homer", but you don't know his first name, along with "Marge Simpson".

Finally as a married couple with different last names, we have received mail in all possible combinations over the years. We recognize some people can't figure it out, however it is refreshing with someone does get it right.

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jjjune Posts : 60 Registered: 1/6/12
Re: Addressing Invitations
Posted: Feb 26, 2012 11:18 AM Go to message in response to: Aunt

Thank you Aunt!

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2dBride Posts : 158 Registered: 3/16/09
Re: Addressing Invitations
Posted: Feb 26, 2012 7:09 PM Go to message in response to: jjjune

I would concur with Aunt's suggestion, except that I would suggest using Ms. rather than Mrs. There are still some of us old-fashioned enough to remember that Mrs. Marge Simpson would be appropriate only if Marge were divorced from Homer. Ms., on the other hand, was specifically developed to be appropriate for any female (married or not), and to go with her first name, not her husband's.


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Aunt Posts : 794 Registered: 12/31/10
Re: Addressing Invitations
Posted: Feb 26, 2012 7:14 PM Go to message in response to: 2dBride

Dear 2nd,

I'm basically with you on that one. I prefer Ms.

"Mrs. Marge Simpson would be appropriate only if Marge were divorced from Homer. "

Actually, there's a little-known etiquette factoid that the use of Mrs with a woman's first name is improper. No one, repeat, no one follows that rule today, but for the amusement of one and all I thought I'd throw it out there.

The proper way to address a divorced woman is with Mrs followed by her maiden name, then her married name. If Marge comes to her senses and divorces Homer, she would be known as Mrs Bouvier Simpson.

In my entire life of 57 years, I have known exactly one divorced woman to do that: my grandmother. She was a real stickler for proper etiquette.

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Aunt Posts : 794 Registered: 12/31/10
Re: Addressing Invitations
Posted: Feb 28, 2012 12:23 AM Go to message in response to: jjjune

Evil Vendor,

"personal touch and at least that guest can feel that their invitation was from a human and not a machine."

You are still machine-printing the guest's name and address. What kind of a personal touch is that?

What an idiot.

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2dBride Posts : 158 Registered: 3/16/09
Re: Addressing Invitations
Posted: Feb 28, 2012 12:28 AM Go to message in response to: Aunt

Ah, yes, I had a great-aunt who went by the "Mrs. Bouvier Simpson" approach, too. But I think the generation that followed that approach has pretty much died out by now.

The one that used to amuse me was the receptionist in my old firm who actually remembered the old rule that a woman who kept her own surname on marriage was referred to as "Miss" rather than "Mrs." So she consistently addressed me as "Miss" until my first pregnancy became glaringly obvious, at which point she suddenly realized the advantages of "Ms."


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Aunt Posts : 794 Registered: 12/31/10
Re: Addressing Invitations
Posted: Feb 28, 2012 11:24 AM Go to message in response to: 2dBride

Dear 2nd,

"Ah, yes, I had a great-aunt who went by the "Mrs. Bouvier Simpson" approach, too. "

Really?!? That lady would be the SECOND divorced woman I have encountered using the old rule.

I think, actually, at the time it was a real boon for divorced women. There was a time when divorced women were "invisible" to Polite Society because there was no proper way to address them. The divorced woman could not be "Mrs Homer Simpson" as that would confuse her with her ex-husband's new wife. She could not be "Mrs Marge Simpson" because that puts a woman's first name after Mrs. She could not be "Miss Marge Simpson" as that would lead people to believe her children were illegitimate.

Once divorce became more acceptable, and once Polite Society accepted the fact that the divorced husband might harbor some (!) of the guilt and the divorced wife might be blameless, the Mrs Bouvier Simpson form was invented as a compromise.

"The one that used to amuse me was the receptionist in my old firm who actually remembered the old rule that a woman who kept her own surname on marriage was referred to as "Miss" rather than "Mrs." "

That, actually, is technically correct. I am a married woman with my own last name and given a choice between Miss and Mrs, I use Miss. That's rare, these days. I really prefer Ms.

"So she consistently addressed me as "Miss" until my first pregnancy became glaringly obvious, at which point she suddenly realized the advantages of "Ms.""

No kidding! Talk about glaringly obvious pregnancies! I was absolutely huge with twins. The only thing that fit me was a tent.

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jjjune Posts : 60 Registered: 1/6/12
Re: Addressing Invitations
Posted: Feb 28, 2012 6:42 PM Go to message in response to: jjjune

I'm liking Mrs. Mary Smith and Mr. Joe Smith, and I hope no one thinks I think they're widowed...

I missed the vendor's post, but it reminded me of another question I had that's related to this one.

I know not to do stick-on labels for the addresses, and a calligrapher is out of my budget. My cursive is pretty good. It's not super great, and it's not particularly pretty, but I've always had decent handwriting.

Is it better to use my own handwriting, or run my envelopes through a printer and use a lovely font? Or am I worrying about something that doesn't matter at all?

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Aunt Posts : 794 Registered: 12/31/10
Re: Addressing Invitations
Posted: Feb 28, 2012 11:22 PM Go to message in response to: jjjune

Dear JJ,

"I know not to do stick-on labels for the addresses, and a calligrapher is out of my budget. My cursive is pretty good. It's not super great, and it's not particularly pretty, but I've always had decent handwriting. "

Then, you are way better than me. My handwriting stinks.

"Is it better to use my own handwriting, or run my envelopes through a printer and use a lovely font? Or am I worrying about something that doesn't matter at all?"

It is totally, one thousand percent better to sit and address the envelopes with your own sweet hand than to machine-print them. If your handwriting is at all legible, then go for it.

If your handwriting is as bad as mine (really bad), then you would be advised to find some friend with nice handwriting who owes you a favor. Make a great dinner for her, take her to the movies, spring for a spa day and then after she's well buttered-up, ask if she would be willing to help you out.

The Proper Etiquette thinking is that handwriting (real handwriting not a "handwriting font") is for social correspondence. Machine printing is for business correspondence. It's OK to get a friend to do the invitations, but you or your husband must write the thank you notes yourself no matter how bad your handwriting is.

I get tons of junk mail for time share resorts. They all come addressed in a handwriting font. I can spot that a mile away.

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bettyy007 Posts : 1 Registered: 3/16/12
Re: Addressing Invitations
Posted: Mar 16, 2012 9:07 AM Go to message in response to: Aunt

hello

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ElenaIuliana Posts : 21 Registered: 1/24/12
Re: Addressing Invitations
Posted: Apr 4, 2012 5:39 AM Go to message in response to: jjjune

really interesting ideas and suggestions around here! I find them pretty useful!

wedding tips

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