We’re heading down south and letting Marissa Kloess, editor at Southern Weddings magazine, take the reins for a guest post that’s all about a favorite tradition: monograms.
At Southern Weddings, we’re a bit in love with tradition, and one of our very favorite traditions is the monogram. Y’all, if it stops moving long enough, a Southerner will monogram it… whatever it is!
Growing up, my initials were MNA, which was perfectly fine until I wanted to use a three-letter monogram. Then, because the initial of the surname goes in the middle, MNA turned into mAn—practically cruel to a little Southern gal! So when I married my adorable hubby and became MAK (or mKa), I was probably more thrilled than most to complete the name-change process. And yes, I made up for lost time by monogramming everything that, well, stopped moving!
Though many Southerners are monogrammed almost literally from birth (lettered bloomers are oh so cute!), that doesn’t guarantee we have all the etiquette rules memorized. And because monograms now grace everything from veils to iPhone cases, it’s good to keep in mind a few rules of thumb, even though tradition has relaxed over the years:
1. A traditional three-letter personal monogram features the owner’s first initial on the left, her middle initial on the right, and her surname initial slightly larger in the middle. So I, Marissa Auten Kloess, have the monogram mKa.
2. If a bride is planning to use a monogram on any of her wedding day attire, anything she wears before or during the ceremony (including a veil or gown) should reflect her maiden monogram. In the past, when gowns were more commonly passed down through generations, monograms were sewn in as a way of identifying and remembering past owners.
Heidi Elnora Rubie Joe (lookbook)
3. A married or joint monogram features the initial of the wife’s first name on the left, the initial of the husband’s first name on the right, and the initial of the couple’s married surname slightly larger in the middle. (Note: Most etiquette books now suggest the order we have here, but in the past, the husband’s first initial was often placed on the left because it was believed that his first initial and surname initial should not be separated.)
4. Just like wedding day attire, a married or joint monogram should not be used before a bride and groom are officially married at the ceremony. Yes, this means no joint monograms on save-the-dates, invitations or programs! Try using your first initials joined by an ampersand instead, and then debut your new married monogram on reception paper pieces—and thank-you notes!
Are y’all planning to monogram anything for your big day?
Images courtesy of Southern Weddings magazine.