miss manners: lesson one

I've mentioned it a before, but I am a sucker for all things etiquette.
One summer in college I read Emily Post...for fun.
Then when I got engaged someone gave me Emily Post WeddingsAnd I read it cover to cover.

I think part of it is because I like following directions. 
Same reason I like cooking and baking so much.
There are instructions and guidelines and you follow them. 
Easy enough.

With that said, it's time I spread my affinity for civility.
I'll be sharing one new etiquette tip every Tuesday this month.
I'm calling it Miss Manners.
(Fun fact: I did attend Miss Manners class growing up. It was in Weavers Department Store and I was terrified and also in love with our very proper and very skinny teacher.)

Okay, let's get started.
This is going to be fun (seriously).
And you might just learn something new.


Since wedding season is near, I thought we'd start with something that you think you know, until you need to address 200 wedding invitations. Not engaged? Pay attention still. You never know when you need to address someone formally, even if you're not writing a handwritten note. All of this still holds true for for emails, evites, and paperless post too.

When addressing a married couple: 
Never separate a man from his last name.

For example, these are all correct:  
Mr. and Mrs. John Rose
Mr. John Rose and Mrs. Jane Rose
Jane and John Rose

And these are incorrect:
Mr. John and Mrs. Jane Rose 
John and Jane Rose


When addressing two people who are not married:
Gentleman first.*
*This is less so these-days, but I prefer the old standard.

For example, this is more correct:
Mr. John Rose & Ms. Jane Smith

And this is less correct:
Ms. Jane Smith & Mr. John Rose

There is one exception, the only time you put the woman's name first is if the woman "out ranks" the man. (ha. Don't we all?!)

For example:  
The Honorable Jane Smith and Mr. John Rose


And please for the love of all things good and sane: 
Do not put "and guest" on the outer envelope.

If a person does get a plus one to your event, either include "and guest" on the inner envelope
 or let them know via some other way (verbally, email, etc.) after the invitation has been sent.
Whenever I see "and guest" on an outer envelope I think it looks as if I can bring any guests that live at that address. In which case I get to bring Lily to the party.


And that concludes lesson one. 
See? That was fun!
Stay tuned next Tuesday for Lesson #2!

DISCLOSURE:  Keep in mind there are always exceptions, and just about anything goes nowadays.  I tend to be a little more conservative on  these things. I like to do it the old school way.  It just feels...more special. 


{image by me. I consulted my Emily Post for this information}
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