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PenDance Calligraphy & Engraving

Etiquette Resources

by Maureen Vickery
2012 All Rights Reserved.



Envelope Addressing Etiquette

How to Prepare Your Address List

Etiquette Guidelines from The Knot

Etiquette Guidelines from the Southworth Company


Place Cards & Escort Cards

  • Place cards are generally addressed with only the title and surname of the individual. If there is more than one person with the same last name, then the first name is used.

  • While "Mrs." used with a woman's husband's name before the surname indicates that a woman is married, it also indicates that a single woman is widowed, and that no divorce took place.

    Example: Mrs. John Smith

  • If "Mrs." is used with a woman's first name and her ex-husband's last name, then it indicates a divorcee.

    Example: Mrs. Jane Smith

  • For a formal function, the title and surname should be used on a place card or escort card. First names should be used for less formal functions.

  • Place cards for judges read "Judge Doe".

Seating Plans

eHOW article on making a seating plan



  • The word "mono" is derived from the Greek "monos" meaning single, alone, or only. Thus, a monogram consists of the letters from a single person, usually three letters with the first letter of the last name larger and flanked by the first letter of the first and middle names if single, and the first and maiden name if married.

  • The exception to the letters of the married monogram would be if the bride has a double first name, such as "Mary Ann" and wishes to maintain the "Mary Ann". In this instance, the "M" and "A" would flank the larger married initial and the maiden initial would be dropped.

  • If the woman's last name begins with "Mc", such as "McDonald", her middle initial would be "McD" which can be awkward on some monogram styles. It is perfectly acceptable to use the "M" only for the center initial.

  • A man's monogram is generally designed with the first, middle, and last initial in order and all the same size.

  • Monograms can be used on table linens, silver flatware, bed linens, bath towels, napkins, and barware.



  • If you wish to use a design of the bride and groom's initials before the wedding such as on the wedding invitation or thank you notes (for gifts received prior to the wedding), you might consider having a design made of just the first initials of the bride and groom only, and not use the last name initial. Combine the first initials of the bride and groom by joining them with either an ampersand "&" or a design.

  • As the vows have not been said, it is improper to use the bride's married monogram on the wedding program. The wedding program is the last opportunity for the bride to use her maiden monogram.

  • Since most couples do like to have a duogram combining their names for use after the wedding, style the initials so that the brides' first initial is first, the married last name is larger in the middle, and the groom's first initial is last.

  • The reason for this is that is it customary to not separate a man's first name from his last name. So when you are writing out names of couples, or having your names engraved on the cake serving set, it should look like "Stephanie and John Smith" not "John and Stephanie Smith."



  • If a man is using his stationery for business, such as correspondence notes for business-related social events, he should use his full name on the card. If the stationery is strictly social, as for personal thank you notes, he may use his monogram, initials, or name.

  • Only the name or monogram of one person is correctly used on stationery. Once personalized, stationery should be considered a highly personal item and should not be shared.

  • If the stationery has both of your names on it, then you can use it to reply to invitations but you do not need to sign your name.

  • The paper for the wedding thank you note is generally a fold-over note for a woman and a card for a man, although some men do prefer the foldover.

  • The exception to the above is what is referred to as "house stationery". This is paper that is personalized with the address of the residence or the name of the property and address, such as "Circle R Ranch, Route 1, Boerne, Texas 79061." Anyone who resides at or visits this residence may use this stationery, as it is not personalized with the name of a person.


Thank You Notes

  • When writing the thank you note, the individual actually writing the note thanks the recipient form both the bride and the groom in the body of the note, but signs only the name of the person actually writing the note..."only the hand that holds the pen is allowed the signature."

  • For further tips for writing thank you notes, please see "Tips for Writing Thank You Notes."


Please see our other articles and resources.

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PenDance Calligraphy & Engraving retains all rights to the content of this web site, as well as all calligraphy and engraving artwork we produce on behalf of our clients. Our artwork and designs may only be used for each specific job we created them for. The client, stationer, and printer agree that our artwork will not be copied, re-engineered, re-purposed, edited to create derivative works, resold, reprinted, given away, or re-used in any way that would violate our copyright.


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