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Monogram Etiquette

The Basics

What is a monogram? A monogram tells a story. It suggests who we are or want to be, puts forth our views on marriage, tradition, and individual identity not to mention the wonderful things it does for linens, stationery and silverware. A monogram consists of a person's initials — usually a variation on the first, middle, and last name—and much has been written about proper monogram etiquette. To help you get started, we've provided traditional guidelines to monogramming along with a healthy serving of non-traditional ones (called 'M+G says'), so you can make your own monogram tell a story about you.

Guy Or Gal Monograms

    gal monogram

    example: "LILY FRANCESCA NEWMAN"

  • Example

    Initials,
    Same Size

    { first, middle, last }

  • Example

    Initials,
    Center Larger

    { first, last, middle }

  • Example

    Single Initial

    { last }

    guy monogram

    example: "DOUGLAS RICHARD KEANE"

  • Example

    Initials,
    Same Size

    { first, middle, last }

  • Example

    Initials,
    Center Larger

    { first, last, middle }

  • Example

    Single Initial

    { last }

Married Couple Monograms

    married woman, hyphenates last name

    example: "LILY FRANCESCA NEWMAN" and "DOUGLAS RICHARD KEANE"

  • Example

    Initials,
    Center Larger

    { wife's first, married last, husband's first }

  • Example

    Single Initial

    { married last }

    married woman, keeps maiden name

    example: "LILY NEWMAN KEANE"
    { for personal items, stationary, bed linens }

  • Example

    Initials,
    Same Size

    { first, maiden, last }

  • Example

    Initials,
    Center Larger

    { first, married last, maiden }

  • Example

    Single Initial

    { married last }

Because Equal Rights Rule

    same-sex married couple

    "DAVID JOSEPH TURNER" and "PETER SIMON MATTHEWS"

  • Example

    Initials,
    Same Size

    { both men's last }

  • Example

    Single Initial

    { both men's first }

  • Example

    Initials,
    Same Size

    { both men's last }

    same-sex married couple

    "EVE HOLLANDER" and "EMMA WILLIS"

  • Example

    Initials,
    Same Size

    { both women's last }

  • Example

    Single Initial

    { both women's first }

  • Example

    Initials,
    Same Size

    { both women's last }

Last Name Challenges

    individual with Von, Du or any capitalized article making a two-word last name

    "ANNE JAMES VON HANSEL"

  • Example

    Initials,
    Same Size

    { last only }

  • Example

    Initials,
    Same Size

    individual with O', Mc or Mac but one-word last name

    "PATRICK DAVID McNAMARA"

  • Example

    Initials,
    Same Size

    { first, middle, last }

  • Example

    Initials,
    Center Larger

    { preposition in
    center }

  • Example

    Preposition,
    Same Size

    { prepositon only }

    married woman hyphenates last name

    "LILY NEWMAN KEANE" and "DOUGLAS KEANE"

  • Example

    Initials,
    Center Larger

  • Example

    Single Initial

    { hyphenated last }

    woman keeps her maiden name

    "LILY NEWMAN KEANE" and "DOUGLAS KEANE"

  • Example

    Initials,
    Same Size

    { wife's first, husband's last, wife's maiden }

  • Example

    Single Initial

    { both last names }

    couple with Von, Du or any capitalized article making a two-word last name

    ex: "ANNE VON HANSEL" and "CAROL VON HANSEL"

  • Example

    Initials,
    Same Size

    { article, last name }

  • Example

    Initials,
    Same Size

    { article, last name }

  • Example

    Initials,
    Center Larger

    { wife's first, husband's last (no article), husband's first }

    couple with O', Mc or Mac but one-word last name

    ex: "ANNIE O'NEILL" and "PATRICK O'NEILL"

  • Example

    Initials,
    Center Larger

    { wife's first, husband's last (no preposition), husband's first }

  • Example

    Single Initial

    { preposition only }

Texting And Tweeting Inspirations

The world of texting and tweeting has gone acronym crazy — and we say: if you can't beat 'em, join 'em.

  • Example

    drop dead
    gorgeous

  • Example

    dont' worry
    be happy

  • Example

    love of my life

  • Example

    have a nice day

  • Example

    love hugs kisses

  • Example

    hugs and kisses

  • Example

    hugs and kisses
    and sweet dreams

  • Example

    good night
    sweet dreams

  • Example

    single income,
    two children
    oppressive mortgage

  • Example

    in your dreams

  • Example

    if not now, when

  • Example

    i love you

  • Example

    here we go again

Where Oh Where?

Ok, so now that you know how to create your monogram, the next step is all about location! location! location! But now you're probably wondering: What gets monogram initials vs. personalization? Where do either of those go? Whose initials are used for married couples? The mind reels. So we put together a little cheat sheet for you, including traditional etiquette and some alternative options to consider.

  • Bedding

    Bedding Monograms

    tradition says

    Use three-letter initials in the middle of the top sheet and single initials on shams.

    M+G says

    Use acronyms for the text- and twitter-friendly—or something unexpected.

    Example

    Don't Worry Be Happy

    Example

    In Your Dreams

    Example

    Drop Dead Georgeous

    Example
    Example
    Example
    Example
  • Table Linens

    Table Linen Monograms

    tradition says

    Use single initial, typically the women's first, married or last.

    M+G says

    For the 'not your grandmother's monogram' approach, use:

    Example
    Example
    Example
    Example
  • Bath Towels

    Bath Towel Monograms

    tradition says

    Use three-initials, center larger: first, last, middle

    M+G says

    It's ok to have more than one monogram in the bathroom. Let everyone have their own or try something—or have fun, make it chic.

    Towel #1:

    Example
    Example
    Example
    Example

    Towel #2:

    Example
    Example
    Example
    Example
  • Totes

    Totes Monograms

    tradition says

    Use single initial of last name.

    M+G says

    Express yourself.

    LEOMOMBEACH HOUSE

  • Barware

    Barware Monograms

    tradition says

    Use husband's single-letter or three-letter monogram. Exceptions: for ice bucket, cocktail napkin, bar tray: use couple's last initial (either single or two-letter).

    M+G says

    Call it what it is.

    NEATBOURBONBOTTOMS UP

  • Glassware

    Glassware Monograms

    tradition says

    Use single initial, last name.

    M+G says

    Be creative: use QUENCH or VINO on glassware, and 'LET THEM EAT CAKE' on a cake stand.

Play

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