Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Mrs. No Name

Photo by Dana Gallagher via Martha Stewart Weddings
Etiquette dictates that on an invitation, the bride's parents should be listed at the top as the wedding's hosts. Both Adam's and my parents are hosting the wedding, so we decided to put both sets of names at the top. Not 100% Miss Manners approved, but it's the most appropriate option for our wedding, so that was that.

Etiquette also suggests that the names of married couples should be written as Mr. and Mrs. HisFirstName HisLastName. So, John and Jane Doe would go on the invitation as Mr. and Mrs. John Doe. This relic of ancient history bothers me to no end.

I've already discussed changing my name and my decision to drop my last name and take Adam's. It wasn't a very difficult decision for me, but it is a bit strange to lose part of my identity like that. This is why the idea of becoming Mrs. Adam HisLastName bothers me so much. As the woman, I'm already losing part of my name; I don't want to lose the entire thing altogether!

But dropping the titles altogether doesn't sound formal enough. What to do?

While Miss Manners may disagree, we have decided to embrace living in the 21st century and call our parents Mr. and Mrs. John and Jane Doe. It acknowledges their status as a married couple while still respecting that they are individuals.

Did you run into any complicated naming situations*? What solutions did you come up with?

*If you have not yet resolved these complicated naming situations and don't like the old Emily Post-approved methods, here's a handy-dandy modern, feminist guide to addressing invitations (and everyday mail) properly.


  1. I did something like this too, except my parents are divorced. Etiquette says women go first, but I told my mom about this and she was self conscious about being listed first on the invite. So it goes:
    Mr. BrideDad Lastname
    Ms. BrideMom Lastname
    Mr. & Mrs. GroomDad Lastname
    I'm wondering if I should have used Mr. and Mrs. GroomMom and GroomDad lastname instead though. too late now!

  2. I really appreciate all the effort and thought that you both have put into this. Thank you for making both parents individuals.