Monogram Etiquette for a Married Couple

by Brittany Rouse

Monograms are designs that combine a single person's or a new couple's initials. Wedding monograms are used in many places, such as on wedding stationery, linens, the wedding cake or the guest book. According to the Aisle Dash website, one monogram for a couple is somewhat new. In the past, couples usually each had their own monogram, the bride's for linens and silver and the groom's for bar ware. Today, couples can decide among a traditional, modern or single monogram.

About Monograms

According to the Embroidery Arts website, rules for three-letter monograms were first established in the 19th and early 20th centuries. At that point, monograms were easy to create, as they simply used the person's initials: the first name initial on the left, the last name initial in the middle in larger text and the middle initial on the right. The Aisle Dash website suggests another way to create single monograms: the first name initial on the left, the middle initial in the middle and the last name initial on the right.

Traditional Monogram Etiquette

A couple's monogram depends on whether the bride is taking the groom's last name or they will combine the two last names. According to the Etiquette School of Ohio website, traditionally the bride's first name initial goes on the left, the groom's last name initial in the middle and the bride's maiden name initial on the right. If the hypothetical couple's names were Anna Marie Jones and James Michael Roberts, the monogram would be "ARJ." The initial in the middle is usually a larger text than the other initials. Traditionally, an engaged couple should not use the married monogram until after the ceremony.

Modern Monogram Etiquette

For couples who want a modern monogram, the etiquette is different and there are two versions from which to choose. According to the Etiquette School of Ohio website, a modern monogram is made up of the bride's first initial on the left, the groom's last name initial in the middle and the groom's first initial on the right. The Aisle Dash website suggests that the groom's first initial go on the left, the last name initial in the middle and the bride's first initial on the right. Another option is to do a single monogram, with just the initial of the groom's last name. Ultimately the couple can choose their preference.

Combined Last Name Monogram Etiquette

For brides who are not taking the groom's last name, the Aisle Dash website has two suggestions. First, the bride and groom could create their own single monograms and connect the two in a design, such as with a small symbol between the monograms. Single monograms are created with the first name initial on the left, middle initial in the middle and last name initial on the right. Another option is to create a two-letter monogram using the initial of both bride and groom's last names. Emily Davis and John Turner would be "DT" as a monogram.

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About the Author

Brittany Rouse has been writing since 2004, specializing in pet care, college life and gardening. Her work is published in the George Mason University student newspaper, "Broadside," as well as the GMU online publication Connect to Mason. Rouse is working toward a Bachelor of Arts in communication.