Wedding Monogram 411

I love all things monogrammed, from flatware to bed sheets. However, I particularly love a good, Southern monogrammed wedding. Knowing which monogram to use, though, will make or break you in the etiquette world. So, I’m here to give a little guidance.

The rule is that anything before you tie the know (“bride” shirt for the day of or a handkerchief to carry during the wedding) should have the bride’s maiden monogram.

Once you’ve said, “I do,” feel free to use your new monogram or new combined monogram (with the wife’s initial leading) as often as you would like from the cocktail napkins to thank you notes. Our last name is Glass, so to finish the example, our monogram at our reception would be EGG, with the middle G larger than ther outside letters. Pretend those are the initials used in this monogram.swa-style-538

Alright, now that that’s solved. If you want to use YOUR personal monogram, I’ll give an example for that. My full name is Emily Elizabeth Glass; so my monogram would be EGE. I would use this for shirts, a personal mug, etc. Joint household items – napkins, silver/flatware, sheets, towels, etc. – use the couple’s married monogram, with the wife’s initial leading. For Garrett and me, that would be EGG. Again, the middle G would be larger than the outside letters.

Items that would use the married monogram with the husband’s initial leading include whiskey glasses, decanters, etc. Truly, it’s pretty limited to alcohol. C’est la vie.

Enjoy! 🙂

Napkin Placement

I’ve had a few comments asking about napkin placement when setting the table. Does it go on the right, left or center? Unlike the game, there are no dice to roll to tell us the answer. It ultimately depends on the formality of the meal, so allow me to guide you through it.

For the most formal eating occasions, the napkin is in the center, either on the plate or charger. Although the only silverware on the table during each course is what is to be used during said course, the table is fully set until the first course is served. At that time, everything is removed other than what is needed for that course. This is when having help comes in handy. Alas, most of us do not. From this stems what most Americans consider formal…the “working in” method, with the utensils to be used first generally on the outside. Even in this instance, I would recommend that you place the napkin on the plate. One extra benefit of this is it encourages people to immediately put their napkin on their lap, which is in accordance to etiquette.


For less formal occasions (even those still involving china), you can place the flatware directly on top of the napkin or place the napkin directly to the left of the fork(s).



For a typical place setting, you have one fork (two at most, as shown in photo), a knife and a spoon. I would recommend placing the napkin to the side of the fork(s), unless space is an issue. This biggest concern with placing the napkin under the fork(s) is the potential fumbling when people pick the fork(s) up and try to replace them.

If you are uncertain, err on the side of caution, and place the napkin on the plate. No one will notice that you don’t have servers; they’ll be too impressed with your napkin-placing skills. 😉

Please let me know any questions you have! Thank you for reading!

Addressing Envelopes

imageAddressing an envelope is more important than many people believe. For mass-letters, such as an invitation that is pre-printed, it indicates who is invited to said event. For more casual mailings, it indicates to whom the letter is mailed. While a letter is only signed to be from one person (though it is common and acceptable to sign all of your family members’ names), a letter is often address to numerous people. For example, a birthday party invitation (pre-printed) would indicate on the envelope everyone invited.

Even when addressing close family members, it is  a best practice to formally address the envelope – i.e. Mr., Mrs., etc. For example: Mr. and Mrs. James Evanson.

For addressing children living at home, their magical age for titles is 10. Boys until age 10 are titled as Master. Girls have no title until age 10, at which time they take the title of Miss.

Children do not require last names in the envelope, unless using titles. The exception is when the child’s last name is different from the parents’ last name.

Here is a big misconception (hopefully) cleared up. If a name is not on the envelope, they are no included. Therefore, if a wedding invitation is address to only the couple and not the children, only the couple is invited.

When addressing an envelope to a married couple who have the same name not using titles, the woman’s name actually comes first. There is an old adage of ‘never separate a man from his name.’ For example: Emily  and Garrett Glass. Alternatively with titles is would be Mr. and Mrs. Garrett Glass.

Knowing how to address an envelope can help ensure the intended recipients are included. Bringing back the art of the handwritten letter can also help promote this trick!

Please let me know any questions you may have! As always, thank you for reading!

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A Hat Guide


In general, men’s hats are considered to be outdoor use only. Women’s non-utilitarian hats are considered appropriate for inside use, provided they are in the way of someone’s view (a movie, etc). This past week I witnesses many men wearing their cowboy hats inside (I was in San Antonio). However, here’s a caveat many don’t know about: if there is no room to place the hat, the man or woman may continue to wear it. I overheard conversations about how rude these men were. But we were packed in like sardines, and it would have been truly rude to take up a seat with their hat. Two exceptions to the ‘it’s ok to leave a hat on inside when there’s no room rule.’ One is during the pledge and national anthem. The other is during a prayer. During the pledge and/or national anthem, you may remove the hat and place it over your heart. During a prayer, simply remove it and hold it in front of you.

All of that said, men, IF there is a place (even your knee is fine) to place your hat, please make all efforts to do so. Women, if it’s not part of your outfit, please do the same. However, this is one area we will have to find a little more grace, as hat racks aren’t as prevalent as they once were. Maybe if we bring back hats, though, the racks will follow suit! 😉