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Southern Weddings Monogram Round-Up

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After our post on monogram etiquette yesterday, we couldn’t help but put our new knowledge to work! Marissa, especially, could think of a dozen items off of the top of her head that she’d like to monogram. We’re lucky our Southern vendors think the same — nowadays it’s easy to find that perfect item to stick your initials on. Take a look at the ones we’ve been eyeing for the past few days.

A. A darling sash is the ultimate Southern accessory, whether you’re a bridesmaid or just spending a night on the town with your beau.

B. Don’t leave your ears without a bit of monogram-love. These alphabet studs can bear your first initial or your last.

C. Sending dozens of thank you notes or just saying “hello” to a new Southern neighbor? Instantly personalize your paper with a letterpress monogram.

D. As the resident office supply fanatic, you know I’m gaga for this acrylic pencil cup!

E. Your cell phone is always on hand — why not monogram it? This adorable sailboat iPhone case from Emily Ley steals my heart!

F. A fun bangle is always a fashion “yes” in our book. We love the colors and tile design in these from Preppy and Pink.

G. We’re always complimenting our intern, Alexia on her sweet monogrammed necklace. We love Moon and Lola for their huge selection.

H. Rest your head on the comfiest (and yes, monogrammed!) pillows around. The tailored designs and crisp linens will look fab on any bed spread.

I. If you’re like me, you need a giant tote with you at all times! Marissa loves this durable one from Tuckernuck.

J. What’s a Southern girl without some Jack Rogers? Yes — you can even put your initials on them!

Tell us, what is your most prized monogram possession? What are you monogramming for your wedding?

nicoleyang Written with love by Nicole
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Around these parts, it’s been said that if it stops moving, I’ll monogram it. To be honest, that couldn’t be more true. Growing up, my initials were MNA, which is perfectly fine until you use a 3-letter monogram. Then it’s mAn — not so cute! So when I married my adorable hubby and became MAK (or mKa for 3-letters), I could not have been more thrilled and literally made up for lost time monogramming everything that well…stopped moving! As a Southerner, we’re born monogrammed (or at least my babies will be), but the formal etiquette of which letter goes where can become a bit tricky.

That’s why we turned to our friend Emily at Emma J Design. She created this handy-dandy “cheat sheet” to help unfold the etiquette of the monogram. It will help you choose the appropriate monogram style for before, during and after the wedding.

Emily says, “we know as much as the next bride that we cannot wait to use our new last name and incorporate it into our lives as newlyweds! From your thank you notes to use as an engaged woman to your thank you notes as a married woman, your monogram evolves throughout the process. Whether your style is modern, traditional or vintage, there are many ways to incorporate your initials, your fiance/husband’s initials or your new married name together.”

Need a little more guidance? She also created a cheat sheet for invitation etiquette as well! Be sure to check it out here. Thanks for your help, Emily!

Now, tell me, how will you be incorporating your pre- and post-wedding monogram into your wedding and daily life?

marissa Written with love by Marissa
26 Comments
  1. avatar Rachel A. reply

    This is what I call my #southerngirlproblem
    I married a boy and now my monogram is rAw
    (not so cute on a bathrobe)
    Can I use my maiden middle name, L, instead?

    • avatar Marissa reply

      Hi Rachel! I love the #Southerngirlproblem hashtag! Too fun! You absolutely can use your maiden middle initial. That’s actually what I do! Get to monogramming, girl! xx

  2. avatar Sheila Marie reply

    Oh no, I just realized I did my monogram wrong on my wedding invites, I used our (to-be) joint monogram on the invitation. My MOH designed it, I just couldn’t help but put it everywhere, I LOVE IT!

    I’m in love with my invitation suite and I did all the other invite etiquette rules correctly, so I guess I’ll be able to live with one mess-up. ;)

  3. avatar Courtney H. reply

    Another “oh no”- apparently my wedding monogram is backwards! My initial is on the right and his is on the left, how serious is this? Should I have my invites reprinted?? Are my in-laws going to brand me a Yankee and never let me bring the pecan pie to Thanksgiving?!

    • avatar Marissa reply

      Oh, Courtney! Bless your heart! No, there is no need to re-print or panic. Your in laws will completly understand that little snafu. Just keep in mind for future monogramming that your first initial will always be first. And as long as you bring pecan pie, you’re always be welcome to any Thanksgiving in the South! xx

  4. avatar Victoria reply

    This just saved our registry from being wrong- I had no idea the wife on the left and the husband on the right was specified! Logged onto pottery barn immediately to fix! Thanks so much! I’ve gone a little monogram crazy with this new change! :)

  5. avatar Katie reply

    Wow – monograms are so confusing – I always thought the man’s initial went first in a joint monogram – and I think I read that on this past post! http://iloveswmag.com/2010/09/21/southern-etiquette-monograms-middle-names/

    Ah – now I’m so confused!

    • avatar Marissa reply

      Hi Katie! Yes, monogram etiquette can be quite confusing and definitely varies from person to person. In that previous post, it was KTW’s preference of the older tradition in which the man would go first in a joint monogram. Emily is using a more modern way with the lady going first. There is no right or wrong way, so monogram your favorite way! : ) xx

  6. avatar Courtney Hill reply

    Love, love, love this! You absolutely cannot have too many monograms!

  7. avatar Dishie Rentals » Blog Archive » Monogram Etiquette reply

    […] monogram? Here in the South, we think not. Go ahead and pin this handy cheat sheet. Our friends at Southern Weddings originally posted this beauty, designed by Emma J Design. One of my first orders of business after […]

  8. avatar Deborah Hayes reply

    First of all, this is a great website! Thank you. My question regards monogrammed towels for guest baths: 1 Letter Monogram or Marriage Monogram?
    Best,
    Deborah
    P.S. You would have loved my wedding!

  9. avatar Jeannie reply

    If you are doing a bridal shower invitation for a girl whose last name is McNamee, how do you write the initials for the last name? Do you simply use a M? We are at a loss and hope you can help. Thanks!

  10. avatar Frani reply

    If the man’s last name is McDonough, are there any other options besides the interlocking letters? Thanks….

  11. avatar Pam reply

    I can’t find the answer to this one ANYWHERE! Suppose a woman has remarried. Example: Maiden name: Paige Rita Calhoun First Marriage: Paige Rita Calhoun Douglas Second Marriage: Paige Rita Calhoun Douglas Anderson? If she wants to mongram something with three initials, presuming she uses her first initial on the left, (P) and her (second) married name in the center (A) ….which letter would she use on the right? Please help! Thanks!

    Pam

    • avatar Emily reply

      Hi Pam! It’s totally up to you! I assume after she’s been remarried she’d drop Douglas, so it seems like the choices are either R for Rita or C for Calhoun. Totally up to preference at that point, though, and what her legal name is!

  12. avatar Beverly reply

    What if I want to monogram something for someone whose name is Laura Rachel Van House? (Name has been changed for privacy!) What 3 letters would I monogram? I’m confused!

    • avatar Kelsey reply

      Beverly – According to this source, you would get the monogram done as LRV or LVR, taking Van House as beginning with a “V.” http://cottagecolony.com/monograms-201/

  13. avatar Leah G reply

    Super info thank you, love your site too :) LeahG

  14. avatar Terre harris reply

    What monogram do you use on ring eaters pillow!

  15. avatar Lorrie reply

    I want to put a monogram on bridesmaid gift but she is getting married 3 weeks after and she will have new initials. Which one should I use pre married or her soon to be married monogram ?

    • avatar Lisa reply

      We vote her married monogram, so she’ll be able to enjoy your gift for years to come! :)

  16. avatar Larissa reply

    I recently got married and hyphenated my last name. And I want to monogram EVERYTHING. But I can’t decide what my monogram should look like. When it comes to three letter monograms, should I drop my middle name and use my first and last name initials, or keep the middle name and use my married name initial in the middle? I’m not sure what the rules are, but I would love some input so I can keep on monogramming! :)

  17. avatar Doris Robinson reply

    What is the appropriate monogram for:
    Jillian B. von Oster

  18. avatar Mishelle Cavanagh reply

    Hi Emily, If I want to use the initial of my new last name as the middle letter in the monogram, who’s initial goes before the last name and who’s initial goes after the last name initial? Is it the husband’s initials, last name initials and then the wife’s initials Thanking you in advance for your help on this.

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Kelly + Will know how to make a Southern fete gorgeous and approachable. Their April “I do’s” took advantage of the colorful blooms and gorgeous skies in Louisiana — making their outdoor wedding a joyful occasion. We just love that Kelly’s most memorable part of the day was the ceremony “It was fabulous from the moment I walked down the aisle with my dad (who was teary eyed unbeknownst to me) and the moment Will and I tripped back up it (our faces were hilarious).” I think it’s the best summation of their sweet, charming and fun wedding day. Big thanks to Ashleigh Jayne for sharing these photos with us!

I found the dress on my first shopping trip at a local boutique in Baton Rouge. It was the week of my engagement party and my best friend who lives in North Carolina was in town. It was important for me to look while she was there so she could share the moment with me. I went with a small crowd (my mom, grandmother, two sisters, and two best friends). When I found one I loved, I decided to take a leap and go with it. I can be very indecisive so it was good to get that very big decision out of the way early on.

Describe your wedding flowers: Abundant. I am definitely a flower person. I love real flowers, fake flowers, flower prints, flower everything. Our florist made colorful wild flower arrangements. It was breathtaking and exactly what I wanted. The bridesmaids’ bouquets were more vibrant like the flowers on the tables. My bouquet was colorful as well, but a little more muted than the rest. It had ranunculus, billy balls, garden roses, ferns, and some other wildflowers. The bouquet was wrapped in lace from my mother’s wedding gown and was so thick my hand barely fit around it!

Marissa and I have a special place in our hearts for little puggies, so I about squealed when I saw this photo! Kelly + Will’s pup, Rosie served as their ring bearer and the couple loved being able to share the day with her.

There were so many really amazing details that I have two favorites: I loved that we got to share our day with our pug, Rosie, who was the flower girl. She is our baby and we were very happy we were able to include her. My second favorite detail was our tying the knot ceremony. Instead of lighting a unity candle, we literally “tied the knot.” My parents used to race sailboats in the Gulf of Mexico. We tied a knot in a rope that they used on their boat back in the day. A very dear friend of ours spoke and then Will’s sister sang. It was definitely one of my favorite parts of the day.

Did you write your own vows? Yes both of us did. I was very surprised at how eloquent Will was. He is normally very laid back and somewhat reserved but his vows were amazing. Usually I am the talkative and expressive one, but he pulled out all the stops and even overcame his fear of public speaking to tell me how much he loved me and to promise that he would love me always in front of our family and friends. Practically our entire wedding party was crying. It was close, but I held it together thank goodness!
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? Our wedding ceremony was not very traditional but the pastor did read the popular verse I Corinthians 13: 4-7. That Bible verse is pretty much wedding-perfect.

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? The venue. We got married at the beautiful Windrush Gardens at the LSU Rural Life Museum in Baton Rouge, LA. There were lots of Southern flowers and huge mossy oaks. We had a big wedding party of nine groomsmen, nine bridesmaids, and two ushers. It was huge, which I think is definitely a Southern thing. Good ol’ Southern hospitality was abundant. Our wedding reception was a cocktail reception with lots of room for mingling and dancing and plenty of refreshments like our signature drinks (strawberry beer and strawberry margaritas). We also used gingham. Will was wearing a gingham bowtie and the groomsmen wore gingham shirts, which definitely added some sweet Southern charm.

We went the nontraditional route with cakes. The wedding was a cake ball cake from a local shop here in Baton Rouge. Will’s brother made the cake topper and it sat on an old suitcase that belonged to Will’s mother. It had two different flavors: some balls were tiramisu cheesecake and other balls were strawberry. The groom’s cake was modeled in the shape of Will’s favorite car: a 1958 Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa. Half of it had Oreo filling and the other half was filled with chocolate and peanut butter. The cake was a surprise for him. I wanted it to be all of his favorite things in one.

How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story. We first met at a wedding in November 2007. Will was a groomsman in the wedding and I attended the wedding as the date of my coworker, Lisa. While Lisa and I were having fun at the reception, we were approached by Kyle, another groomsman. Will came over soon after to see who Kyle was talking to and Will and I hit it off. We made plans for our first date the next day and made it “official” on December 9, 2007. After over three years of dating, Will proposed on the levee of the Mississippi River at the edge of Louisiana State University on May 11, 2011.
Describe the proposal. Will proposed to me during my last finals week at LSU on the same day the ring arrived. I had been studying all day at the apartment for my employment law final that evening. Will’s parents came over for a little bit around dinner time and Will and his dad went downstairs to “look at something on Will’s car.” Instead of looking at the car, Will’s dad was actually giving Will the engagement ring that had arrived at their house a few days before. The four of us went for a quick bite to eat, and then Will dropped me off at my final on campus. Will says that once he had the ring, he couldn’t wait even a day to propose. After I finished my final, Will picked me up in his car and suggested that we check out how high the water was against the Mississippi River levee. (The water had just reached record heights). When we arrived, I thought Will was acting a little strange because he kept trying to steer me away from the other people on the levee. I knew something was going on, so I let him lead me away from the crowd. I even gave Will a hug and “accidentally” brushed Will’s jeans pocket, which caused a big enough reaction that I was pretty certain he was proposing. (I am one of those girls that cannot stand to be surprised. I have to know everything all of the time.) Due to my shameless attempts at ruining the surprise, Will gave up at trying to be stealthy and got down on one knee. I have no clue what he said afterwards, I just responded with “Are you serious?” and then, “Yes, let’s get out of here before people notice you just proposed!” (I was in finals wear and didn’t want an audience.)
In what month did you get married? April
How many guests attended your wedding? Approximately 200
Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? Yes, we did a first look. Getting great shots of the two of us together in our wedding day finery was very important to me. Everyone warned me that you barely see each other at the reception, so we made sure we had time to be alone on the day. The first look was the perfect time for that. Plus, we got some really great pictures that will last forever!
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding. Wedding party processional was to “Beautiful Day” by U2, performed by the fabulous Gabe Jacobs (a family friend). The bride’s processional was to “Falling Slowly” by Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova, also performed by Gabe Jacobs. Our ceremony song was “Dream” by Priscilla Ahn, performed by my new sister-in-law. Our recessional was to “All You Need is Love” by The Beatles. For our entrance to the reception, we played “We Are Young” by Fun. Our first dance was to the acoustic version of “Calling You” by Blue October. The f-daughter dance was to “Sweet Child of Mine” by Guns & Roses and the mother-son dance was to “What a Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong. For our last dance, we played “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” by Israel Kamakawiwoʻole.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Losing a bridesmaid dress! In January, we shipped a dress to my bridesmaid that lives in North Carolina and she didn’t receive it until after the wedding! It was a disaster because the designer that we used for the bridesmaid dresses went out of business so they couldn’t send us a replacement. We ended up getting a dress online that was not the same but very similar. Thank goodness for J.Crew!
What range did your wedding budget fall into? $10,000-$25,000
What is the one thing you are most happy you splurged on? My wedding planner, Elyse Skansi of Tying the Knot Wedding Coordination. She was invaluable. I cannot say enough good things about her. She completely understood what we wanted our wedding to be like and helped us make it the best day of our lives. Everyone tells me how unique my wedding was and how it felt like us. I even had a few people tell me that it was the best wedding they have ever been to!
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? If I were to give any advice to a future bride and groom, it would be to forget about what everyone else does or chooses. Find your inspiration and make your wedding about you as a couple and what makes you happy together.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you looking forward to in the future? Currently, we are looking for our dream home which is very exciting. We are outgrowing our one bedroom apartment rapidly with all of the wedding gifts we received. After that, we are looking forward to some pre-baby traveling (I’ve never been to Europe). Then, our plan is to start a little family.

nicoleyang Written with love by Nicole
12 Comments
  1. avatar Rose {Rose and Ruby Paper Co.} reply

    Absolutely love the colour of the bridesmaids dresses! What a gorgeous setting too! And love the streamers for the grand exit!
    x

  2. avatar Lauren @ Every Last Detail reply

    Love love love the colors! :)

  3. avatar Elyse Skansi reply

    EEKKK! I am so humbled and honored for Kelly and Will’s wedding to be featured! As their planner, I was SUPER excited when they told me they wanted a bright and fun wedding with a ton of details! A designers dream! Thanks so much for recognizing all of our hard work :)

  4. avatar Julia ~ Mrs. Vintage reply

    I love absolutely every sweet detail!! Great job!

    ~Julia
    xox

  5. avatar Anna reply

    That pug is to die! Love the colorful arrangements.

  6. avatar Indian Wedding Forum reply

    I really like the blog posts and pictures here. I have been here a couple of times earlier as well and I like the information that you share here.

  7. avatar foxgown reply

    congrats,it’s so wondeful

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