“My rule is, if it’s not moving, monogram it.” – Reese Witherspoon
Well said, Reese. I was raised in the South, and in the South, most babies don’t get through their first day on earth without being swaddled in a monogrammed blanket or cozied up in a monogrammed beanie. Then, as time goes by, you’re heading to Sunday School in a monogrammed sundress, receiving silver monogrammed picture frames for your debutante ball, hanging a monogrammed sign on your dorm room door, and eventually, monogramming towels for your best friend’s wedding. It’s a part of Southern woman’s life from day one, and nothing is worse than doing it wrong.
So, if you’ve ever been shopping for a personalized gift and wondered if you were about to get a monogram wrong, this post is for you! In the descriptions, I talk about the most common way to use each one, but all the examples I show are acceptable.
- A standard personal monogram has three initials (first, middle, last). For a female, you can put them all in order in the same font and size, or you can put them in first, last, middle, with the last name initial bigger than the other two. For males, you would only put them all in order and the same size. (This is debated, but Southerners will usually agree that having the larger last name in the middle is used for women only).
- For a single woman with only two names (no middle name, no second last name or hyphenated name) it would go in order first, last and always the same size.
- For a single woman with no middle name and two last names, putting them all in order is safest practice. However, some girls will have one of their last names that they go by more frequently, and that is the one that can be larger in the middle. So, it would be first name, commonly known last name, lesser known last name.
- For a single woman with a hyphenated last name, you would put all initials in order with a dash between the two last names.
Even after a woman is married, monogramming items that will be used exclusively by her and not her partner (stationary for example) are a little different. In this case, you’ll use her married name, however she decided to take it, but you won’t include her partner’s first name like you would on a joint gift like towels or linens. You would either use her maiden name if she took her partner’s last name, or her middle name.
- For a married woman who took her husband’s last name, it would be first name, married last name, maiden name, or you can use her middle name instead of her maiden name.
- For a married woman who hyphenated her last name, it would be first name, middle name, maiden name, dash, then married last name.
- For an opposite sex couple where the woman took her husband’s last name, you put her first initial, their married name in the middle larger, and the husband’s first initial at the end.
- For an opposite sex couple where the woman kept her maiden name, you put her first initial, followed by her maiden name and her husband’s last name larger with a dash between, followed by the man’s first initial.
- For a female same sex married couple, you can put both of their last names together the same size, or you can put their first initials with a plus sign between. Same goes for a male same sex couple.
I hope this will help you the next time you’re shopping for a gift and a monogram will add that special, personalized touch. For other things a Southern woman does, check out this post of mine!