Modern Etiquette Questions

Today I got an IM from Jeff asking me if I knew the best way to address a formal wedding invitation to a married lesbian couple. Each woman has a separate surname. There seemed to be multiple courses of action, all of which had valid reasoning. It seemed best to solicit some additional feedback from friends, colleagues and opinionated strangers on Twitter.

One nuance is that the bride to be had thought of not including any honorific at all, but she didn’t want them to feel that she didn’t respect their marriage in some way.

Here’s how the responses broke out:

  • Two referred to professional opinions, both of which suggested the plural address (Mesdames/Mmes). One person also put forth this option. This was actually my first personal inclination, but this might be a bit formal for some folks.
  • Ms. & Ms. – 5
  • Mrs. & Mrs – 3 (1 person said only to use this if the couple had the same surname)
  • Use none – 2 (This was another approach initially suggested but this is a Southern wedding. You want all the formality you can get.)
  • The LastName1-LastName2 Family – 1 (I love this if you’re going to invite the whole family.)

While the etiquette experts had their point of view, you can see that there are a variety of opinions from regular folks that likely revolve around our own experiences. A couple folks suggested that the bride should know what her friends would prefer, but weddings make everyone a little overly cautious :)  To that end, two people suggested the best thing to do is call and ask the couple. That’s probably best in the end but you would probably be okay with one of these other routes suggested.

Thanks to everyone for taking the time to answer and ponder through this!