General Guidelines for Personalization


Left:  First Name
Center (Larger):  Last Name
Right:  Middle or Maiden Name

Example Shown:
Kelly Ann Davis


The actual arrangement of initials within a monogram is something we are happy to take care of when you place an order with us.  To help you in your planning process, I’ve included the basic guidelines below.




Initial Monograms typically use the last name.  However, for an informal gifts the initial of the first name can be used as well.




The Three Initial Monogram is probably the most classic of traditional monograms. The ordering of the initials can be a puzzlement, though, so I’ve included some basic guidelines for the most common examples.

Single Person

For a Single Person, the etiquette of a monogram is the same regardless of gender or age. However, the order usually depends upon the format of the monogram itself. First, for a format that uses a larger size for the last name initial, the last initial should be positioned in the center. The monogram should appear as follows:  


Alternatively, when the monogram format uses the same size letters for all initials, the last initial should be last. For example:


Married Couple

When a couple weds, there are several options for appropriate monograms. The most obvious choice is a joint monogram including the initials of both the Bride and the Groom.

The question of whose initial should go first in a joint monogram has been hotly-contested by a cadre of etiquette authorities. Traditionally, the Groom’s first initial would be first, followed by the joint last initial, then the Bride’s first initial. Owing to the connotations of “ownership” implied by the traditional method, the philosophy of “Ladies first,” has superseded it among many retailers in recent years.

While there may never be a consensus between the factions, I find the “Bride first” method to be less formal, more modern and therefore more appropriate for today’s casual lifestyles. It’s what I prefer for my own joint monogram and it’s what I recommend to clients who ask.

A joint monogram with the Bride’s first initial preceding her husband’s first initial would appear like this:
Incidentally, it is perfectly proper for a married couple to continue to use items marked with the formerly-single monograms of either the Bride or the Groom. A married couple may also use the Bride’s monogram only. The Bride-only monogram was often used for “feminine” gifts such as linens, while the Groom-only monogram was used on “masculine” things like barware.

Renowned interior designer Phoebe Howard is known to use the Bride-only monogram exclusively. Whether or not this is the best option probably depends upon the couple, but as with a single person, there are several options for a married woman.

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Married Woman

A married woman’s monogram depends not only on the adoption of her husband’s last name but the fate of her middle initial. Traditionally, many women chose to use their maiden name in place of their middle name after marriage.
Other women may elect to keep their middle name intact. (In my case, a very long and complicated maiden name made it impractical to keep.) The monogram of a woman using the middle initial rather than the maiden initial would appear like this: