Wedding Etiquette Preparation Resources

The custom of using calligraphy in wedding invitations dates back many years. Calligraphy may be used for a wide variety of written elements that are utilized at weddings, including invitations, menus, place cards, and more. The invitations to the wedding and the envelopes that they are sent in are the most common usage of calligraphy for weddings.

Writing wedding invitations and addressing the envelopes they are sent in may be done using either a computer or traditional handwritten calligraphy. Even when it became common practice to have wedding invites printed or engraved, calligraphy was still utilized to address the envelopes containing the invitations in order to give them a more personal touch. The use of calligraphy for the addressing of invitation envelopes and place cards at the reception lends an air of sophistication to whatever kind of wedding you could be planning, whether it be traditional or casual.

On the other hand, in our more digital era, it is becoming more normal to discover computer calligraphy on wedding invites and envelopes. In order to create an effect that is similar to genuine handwriting, computer calligraphy makes use of specialized typefaces. The use of computer calligraphy as opposed to handwritten calligraphy comes with both advantages and disadvantages.

One benefit of using computer calligraphy for your wedding paperwork is that it gives you access to a wider selection of fonts and inks. Computer calligraphy also has a tendency to be more cost-effective than traditional calligraphy, which is often done by hand. Many businesses charge up to four or five dollars for every envelope that they have to write, while many automated calligraphers charge at least half of what such firms do. In addition to this, traditional calligraphy takes far longer to complete than does computerized calligraphy.

Calligraphy services for weddings are provided by a large number of businesses, both in-person and online. A good number of these providers are capable of producing calligraphy in both hand and computer formats. A firm will often have a minimum fee for calligraphy works, and this charge is typically higher when the calligraphy is done by hand.

You may wish to browse the Yellow Pages for local calligraphers if you’re in need of their services. If there are no local calligraphers in your region, your best bet is to make use of one of the numerous online calligraphy services that are available.

Check out the wedding calligraphy sections of your local library, the yellow pages, or any of the websites that are linked if you are interested in learning more about this topic. There are also a great number of additional websites that provide wedding calligraphy.

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 bride’s 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 from 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.

Recent Posts

error: Content is protected !!