TFT: Signing things as husband and wife/family

Since we’re on husband/wife/sweethearts/Valentine’s topics… let’s visit one about husbands and wives. And names.

This has been something I’ve always noticed about couples signing things. Maybe its because its “Emily Post” and proper etiquette, but I always notice that many wives will sign, rsvp, have screen names/emails/blog names that have their husbands name first, even if it is the wife writing it or who is solely in charge of whatever “thing” it might be (ie… party, invite…. wife signs it “John and Jane Smith”).

Formal things, like our Christmas cards or invitations I can see that. Maybe I’m just weird, but if its something that I’m signing, like signing our names as a couple/family somewhere (a guest book, birthday card, etc?) I always put my name first. I’m the one writing it. But I notice that a lot of people seem to put their husbands names first when I know it was the wife who wrote it.

What do you do? Do you put your name first or your husbands?
Is this subconsciously or do you do it because of etiquette/tradition?
Do you think this act has any influence on who is viewed as the “head of the household”?

Other TFT Bloggers this week:

Denise on Valentines and Flowers

Amy on School Wellness policies

Kristi on Regional Stereotypes

Jessica on overscheduling kids with activities

Jenny on L.O.V.E

Nicole about keeping in touch with out-of-town family

  1. good topic. i do know what you’re talking about, about women signing the hub’s name first when it’s obvious she was the one writing it. ok. i’ve been married twice. the way i’ve done this has changed. i am only speaking for non-formal things, like cards for gifts, etc. i used to sign ‘his’ name first on things. now i sign mine. mostly in part because I’M the one actually doing it, and it wouldn’t be done if i didn’t do it: ) the other little part of this is that my name is hyphenated and his obviously isn’t. so if i sign his name first and mine last (such as the return of an envelope) it would look as if our names were both hyphenated. oh, i’m making this more confusing than it actually is! here’s the short answer: 99% of the time I sign my name first. (p.s. i’m trying to figure out how to get blogger to sign my name as jessica, frustrating!) my blog

  2. i sign my name first usually. if i’m writing it – jenny, matt (& tucker). sometimes on labels i will use matt & jenny just because i like the way it looks or sounds when you say it? weird. our home email address is jenandmatt – so i’m first there too. interesting thoughts.

  3. I used to sign w/ my husbands name 1st, but then I thought that if he cannot take the time to sign his own name for a card (his parents, brothers bday, etc for example) then why should I sign his 1st? Stubborn am I? Maybe just thought that after seeing my name was 1st a time or two he would step up & actually pen his own name out of respect, but the card would go blank before he would sign. So I just give up on him & sign it however it comes out.

  4. I guess i was a sucker for the old traditional way. I think I ALWAYS sign Tony’s name first and I always put Anthony! LOL!! Guess Im really trying to be formal. I might as well just put Mr. and Mrs. Anthony Howard. I think I might try to be more noticable than that. Of course I would love to have my name first and have things in my own name.. like my email. I mean, i am the only one who uses it. He has his own, but i guess its also considered the “family” email address whenever people ask for our email.. oh whatever, maybe i’ll just change it so my name is first.. LOL!! Great post! It help me catch up to modern times and not stuck in traditional old ways!

  5. Technically, “proper etiquette” is that when signing as a couple, and using a last name, the husband’s name should never be separated from his last name. So, I should always sign Sara and Kyle Luke. If you’re signing first names only, it’s up to your personal preference. I don’t know the “rules” when signing as a family, because certainly you wouldn’t list your husband after your children.I learned this from the William Arthur people when I ordered my wedding invitations/thank yous, etc. Now, when I do cards for people, it drives me nuts to do it any other way. But ultimately, I guess it comes down to personal preference.Then again, I guess I’d do a lot of things differently if I always stuck to proper etiquette, huh? 🙂

  6. I think I always write Ryan’s name first, but it’s never a thought about why… I guess I just like the sound of Ryan and Heather better than Heather and Ryan. You know how when you talk about a couple you always say one name first and to hear it the other way sounds weird? When I think of us, I think Ryan and Heather. I always thought the etiquette was to put the woman’s name first. I think I do think of it as a head of household thing too though… like I wouldn’t list the kids’ names Sawyer and Savannah, but in order of age; Savannah and Sawyer. So when I list off the family names, such as signing a Christmas card or birthday card or something. If it’s family or both of our friends, I just go in order… Ryan, Heather, Savannah and Sawyer. If it’s mainly my friend, I usually sign my name first, and for Ryan’s friends, I sign his name first. That’s the only time I ever put any thought into the order…Funny, but I’ve always thought combo-names for blogs or emails were odd… last name, yes, but both couple names seems… too coupley to me, LOL!! Like that makes ANY sense! I’m weird. But emails; I’m like, well who’s email is it?? His or hers? Who am I writing too?? You know?? Who’s writing the blog post that’s authored by “john and jane”?? Funny stuff.

  7. I always put my name first. I didn’t even consider putting his name first. I have a reason(s)….so here they are:1. I probably recognized the need for a card or note. It never would have even occurred to him.2. I then went and purchased or found a note or card that went with the occassion. He would have grabbed an index card.3. I then thought about what to say. He would have wrote the occassion “Happy Birthday” and called it done.4. I wrote it. He probably would have called someone to spell Birthday.5. I ask FH to sign the card and he said “just sign it for me”. He would just put his first initial “R”6. I signed it from myself and from him. 7. I addressed, mailed and heard back about the person receiving the note or card. He would have waited until we saw the person next and remembered upon seeing them that he forgot the index card with the R scribbled on it. In short -I should get all the credit, so my name goes first. 🙂

  8. if we’re just signing a gift or card or something, it’s just whoever signs it first, i guess. never really thought about it!for format things, yes, i do sign his name first… but more for the reasons heather said. i’m used to ‘tom and kim’. some couples we know, we always say ‘hisname and hername’, but some others we say ‘hername and hisname’… it’s just more a matter of what you’re used to, or it sounds funny. with my girlfriends, to US they are ‘michelle and reis’ or ‘melissa and dave’, but with his friends, they are ‘corey and carrie’ or ‘justin and nikki’. so it’s really whoever we know better, know what i mean? interesting…we’ve never shared an email address… i can’t imagine that! 🙂 maybe if we had an address through our internet provider, but we never have.

  9. I had never thought about it but I will now 🙂 I’m putting myself first, darnit! I’m not one for head of household or for tradition…I’m pretty sure everyone who knows us knows who runs the show around there!

  10. Interesting topic – I generally sign Matt’s name first. Not really sure that I do it for any particular reason though. Maybe because most people refer to us as “Matt and Denise” rather than “Denise and Matt”? I don’t know. That’s just what I do. I will say that it bugs me though when I get a wedding announcement and it says the girls name first, i.e. “Jane and John have chosen this day to get married”…I think on formal things like that the man should be listed first.

  11. Hmmm, I have never thought about this before. Now that I am thinking about it, I do write Heath and Denise on everything. Wierd.. Although, everytime I refer to my sisters and their husbands I always say my sisters name first and they do the same with me.

  12. I always put my husband’s name first because I think it sounds better – Husband and Nicole vs. Nicole and Husband. Things to my parents and in-laws always list the man first, again because it sounds better to me, but things to my sister-in-law and brother-in-law are to ‘Liz and Keith’ . . . because I think ‘Keith and Liz’ sounds weird.I do agree with you on the e-mail thing – to me that is a personal thing, and should reflect the possession of the sender. I hate getting e-mails from my Dad that he sent from home because they come in my mother’s name. My e-mail address still has my maiden name in it – I use my married name in real life, but couldn’t bring myself to change my e-mail.Great topic!

  13. i always sign john’s name first. i guess it’s just the way i learned to do things. i try to follow the etiquette rules with respect addressing things too, but sometimes i feel like people don’t like that for example, Mrs. (husband’s name)(last name). i know that is the correct way to do it but it depends on who i am sending it to.

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