Addressing Etiquette Q&A

I recently had a bride who was sending out bridesmaid luncheon invitations, and she was curious as to what age you start addressing a married woman by her husbands first name.  i.e, Mrs. John Smith vs. Ms. Mary Smith.  I thought this was a great question and wanted to share the answer with you as explained by my calligraphy expert, Carrie Shuping of Calligraphy by Carrie:

“Mrs. John Smith” is generally considered old-fashioned these days, so I would only use that format for grandmothers or great aunts, etc.

When using the woman’s first name, her title is Ms.  “Ms. Carrie Shuping”….not “Mrs. Carrie Shuping.”  This is something that a lot of folks don’t know!  Mrs. means “wife of” and should only be used in conjunction with a man’s name (Mrs. John Smith).  The only time “Mrs.” was acceptable in front of a woman’s name was for divorcees.  With the emergence of the title “Ms.” in the 70’s, divorced women usually use “Ms.”

Another option (which I love!):  drop the titles altogether!  Just first & last names.  This is a growing trend which avoids all the pitfalls of using incorrect or outdated titles.”