Naming Etiquette

Whose name goes first?

One of the most common mistakes when choosing the text for the front of your note card or even written on a formal invitation is the order in which a married couple’s name appears. Below are a few examples of the correct and incorrect way to write your married names:

Correct: Mindy and Alex
Incorrect: Alex and Mindy

*A bride’s name should always be printed before a groom’s name, as well as a wife’s name should always be written before her husband’s. The reason for this is that she is “given away” to her groom and thus should be first.

Correct: Mindy and Alex Johnson
Incorrect: Alex and Mindy Johnson

*A man should never be separated from his last name. Thus when you write “Alex and Mindy Johnson”, the “and Mindy” part is separating “Alex” from his last name “Johnson”.

Correct: Mr. and Mrs. Alex Johnson
Correct: Mr. and Mrs. Johnson

Incorrect: Mr. and Mrs. Alex and Mindy Johnson
Incorrect: Mr. and Mrs. Mindy and Alex Johnson

*If using “Mr. and Mrs.” for titles, only the man’s name should follow the titles. The first incorrect example does not work because it breaks the rule to never separate a man from his last name. While the names are in the correct order in the second incorrect example, the names do not match up with the order of the titles. For example, “Mr.” would be matched with “Mindy” and “Mrs.” would be matched with “Alex”. It is best to simply use both titles with the man’s first and/or last name.

What is the correct use of Junior?

Correct: Jonathan R. Turner, junior
Correct: Johnathan R. Turner, Jr.

Incorrect: Jonathan R. Turner Junior
Incorrect: Jonathan R. Turner, jr.

*There are two ways to write “junior” after a man’s name: either “junior” or “Jr.” if using the abbreviation. Both versions of “junior” should be prefaced with a comma after the last name. The word “junior” should not be capitalized and the abbreviation “Jr.” should not be lower cased.

Happy writing…

Tags: addressing envelopes, How do you write names, names on envelopes, proper use of junior, Stationery Etiquette

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