Q: I am addressing invitations for my informal wedding. Whose name should be listed first for couples who have different last names, including married couples, couples who are not married, and same-sex couples?
A: Traditionally, Emily Post would have said the wife’s name is ALWAYS first when using first names: “Jane and John Doe.” In social importance, the woman is always first, then the man, then children. The man’s first and last name are never separated. In modern times, some would consider the order irrelevant.
Married couple with different last names:
Dr. Kathy Appleton and Mr. Jack Smith
5678 Taylor Street
Newport Beach, CA 23456
Unmarried couple with different last names:
Ms. Caroline Jones
Mr. Evan Brown
890 Hope Street
Orange, CA 67890
Married same-sex couple with different last names (list names in alphabetical order by last name):
Emily Aranda and Jennifer Thompson
12 Mountain Court
Mission Viejo, CA 34567
Unmarried same-sex couple with different last names (list names in alphabetical order by last name):
Mr. Mike Aaron
Mr. Tom Zappa
1234 Weston Street
Irvine, CA 12345
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