Most every girl in the South knows exactly what I mean when I mention the word “monogram” but it has come to my attention that not everyone (even those in the South) knows what that means so I’m here to clear up a few things!
Monograms vs. Initials
First let’s dive into what a monogram is and what it isn’t. Did you know there is a difference between your monogram and your initials? If you have at least three names (first middle last) then you have a monogram, but you also have initials. For the sake of this post, we’ll be using my name – Allie Danae Walker.
My initials are A.D.W. as they follow the order of my given name, and are used for more official things that need a signature or stationary. They are typically all the same size and font, lined up neatly in a row. My monogram would be lined up more like this aWd, with the W for my last name being larger and in the middle of a more frilly or script design. In the South, we’re kind of like that hot sauce commercial – “we put that ….on everything!” And I mean everything – bathrobes, rain boots (yep, I have an older version of these in white/tan!), rain jackets, laptops, our cars, jewelry, dishes, our front doors, purses, wallets..I think you get the picture.
Should you keep your maiden name as your middle name or not?
One thing I didn’t know until my friends and I went off to college was that it is a very Southern thing to keep your Maiden name (your last name since birth) after you get married. We typically drop our middle name, move our maiden name to our middle name legally and then take our husband’s last name as ours. This is very, very common in the South.
Then I found out other parts of the country do it a little bit differently. They (or y’all) drop their maiden name and keep their middle name along with their new last name. Y’all. Really, until college, I had no clue people did this; like dropping your maiden name wasn’t really an option I thought about!
You can’t go wrong with either option as it is totally a personal preference. I know there are even some brides who keep using their maiden name, and never take their husband’s name or keep their maiden name for professional reasons, but also use their new last name in more personal settings like Christmas cards, social media, volunteer/community positions, etc. But again, it is totally your call!
What about double names?
Such a great question! Double names are also a very Southern thing apparently and in some of my circles, I actually go by “AllieDanae” (those circles are outside the state of SC haha!). If you go by a double name or even your middle name, let’s talk about your monograms. You can always do an interlocking script on the first side of your monogram. So for me, I could interlock the A & D move W to the right side and then put my new last initial in the middle, but most likely I will just drop the D from the monogram/initial situation and just keep it for legal purposes, as I don’t go by both names 100%. If you go by your middle name, then you can drop your first name from your monogram when you get married.
One of my brides has a double name that both begin with a C. In this photo you can see the double C locking together on the far left side of her new monogram. This worked out so well for her and I love this idea of putting your new monogram on your veil!
We ordered lace to match her dress, she ordered her monogram from Timeless Weddings on Etsy and Staar Tailors here in Anderson put them together on her Polished Pearl Veil. This turned out so well! (Photo by Rebecca Hicks Photography – Website | Instagram).
Guys and monograms
Just a quick note about this. In my personal opinion, after the ages of about 2-5, monograms should not be used for guys. I do think they are so cute on little boys (in a block font or circular style), and even the new double stacked version could be used on book bags and lunch boxes throughout elementary school. But after that, it should be their initials only. However, I do think it is very classy for a guy to have their initials on certain things like leather goods as they get older (more on this in a minute).
Using monograms for your wedding
As a Southern girl obsessed with monograms, I absolutely love when my couples have a monogram on their wedding suite! You can use this for so many things even after the wedding. I’ve included a few images below to show you examples of how my brides have used their monograms on their wedding invitations and other paper goods or favors like koozies. You can even order thank you notes or return address labels with them to use after your wedding.
In this wedding invitation suite, you can see the full monogram crest used on the invitation and cocktail napkin, and parts of it used throughout the rest. Blue hydrangeas and tea pots were also used on her wedding day. This suite is custom water colors by Emily Mayne Studio (Website | Instagram) and photographed by Rebecca Hicks Photography (Website | Instagram).
This second example includes a monogram that consists of the couples initials only. Fun fact: the bride goes by her middle name which is also the grooms middle name just spelled differently – Leigh and Lee – but he goes by his first name! After the wedding, Leigh had thank you notes made with their monogram. I really love the detail of the monogram on the wax seal, too; such an elegant touch to this invitation suite.
Monograms as gifts
You can get gifts for both sides of the wedding party that have their initials or their monograms. Monogrammed make-up bags, robes, and jewelry are great options for your best gals! I’ve seen some pretty cool guy gifts in this department too – steak branding utensils with their last name letter, to engraved cufflinks, flasks and leather items – there are really great options out there (I think I need to do a post on gifts now, right?).
A few years ago we hosted a 30th anniversary party for my parents and my mom wrote us thank you notes on her wedding stationery! I love it and keep it tucked in my Bible so I can see it often.
Okay so tell me what your monogram is and if you kept / are planning to keep your maiden name? Did you have a monogram made for your wedding?