The traditional address for a married couple is, “Mr. and Mrs. His Name + Their Last Name.” Maybe this was too crazy feminist of me, but for my wedding, I addressed every invitation to a married couple as “Mr. His Name + Mrs. Her Name + Their Last Name.” About a hundred invitations in, I Googled whether that could possibly pass as proper etiquette now that we’ve had multiple waves of feminism. It still can’t. I probably offended every woman over forty, but since it was my wedding, I felt entitled to address each beloved woman in my life (plus the random relatives on his side) by her actual name. “Mrs. Jane Doe” it was.
For one thing, it felt awkward inviting “Mr. and Mrs. John Doe” when, in reality, I’m only friends with Mrs. Jane Doe and her husband’s coming along for the cupcakes.
For two, professional women with titles get singled out: “Drs. John and Jane Doe.” To me, a woman doesn’t need a title or a degree to earn equal representation on the address line. By virtue of being herself, a woman deserves mention as a person—not as an anonymous “Mrs.”
For three, writing out John Doe’s wife’s name required me to know her name. If I didn’t know her name, I didn’t give myself an out and stick just a “Mrs.” in there. I emailed John Doe to ask for his wife’s name—because I’m inviting a person, not just a relationship to John Doe.
And for four, I don’t support the old social system and the patriarchy behind it. Nobody calls a woman by her husband’s name anywhere else. Women live and work under their own names. A husband doesn’t control, own, or absorb his wife. What good reason would there be to not address a woman by her actual name—especially as an egalitarian?
Let me know what you think! How did you address your wedding invitations? Would you add any more reasons?