Monogramming adds a personal detail to any item. But, what is proper monogram etiquette exactly? Which initial goes first? How do different size letters effect the order of the initials? What is appropriate for same-sex couples, opposite-sex couples or singles? We hope we can calm your nerves and guide you in the proper direction to suit your individual needs.
 

A LITTLE HISTORY

As the oldest form of identification in the world, monograms date back to as early as 350BC. They served many roles, from indicating social status, to serving as a signature for royals and artists, to being a form of currency in the barter system. The earliest known examples were used on coins. The Greek cities who issued the coins, often used the first two letters of the city's name. Monograms were also used to identify property and were typically ornate, which makes them desirable when adding monograms to elegant gifts even today.
 

SINGLE-LETTER TRADITIONAL MONOGRAMS

Single-letter monograms, traditionally, represent the last name for both men and unmarried women. Rules for creating monograms for children are the same as those for unmarried adults. 

Shown here with a single initial that can be either the first or last name initial. Example: Anne Easten or Evelyn Davies. It's 2018, modern or traditional, you can't go wrong. Consider who the gift is for and what fits them best.

2330bk-closeup-2-72133.1527003779.jpg
Personalized Black Microfiber Weekender Tote | Item No. 8343 |  Take this stylish Personalized Black Microfiber Weekender Tote on your next getaway and travel in style. This large travel bag comes complete with faux leather handles and a canvas over-the-shoulder strap.

Shown on the Personalized Whiskey Glass with Single Monogram Initial is a single initial with a modern twist - First name with first name initial above. Example: Andrew Michael or Michael Davis. Modern or traditional you can't go wrong. As mentioned above, consider who the gift is for and what fits them best.

9888-p-8463-106-01a-w-classic-rocks-glass-single-monogram-initial-etching039da906a4c5f5dbcb290318aed65358-88965.1533765337.jpg
Personalized Whiskey Glass | Single Monogram Initial | Item No. 8515 |  If you’re looking for a cool custom quality whiskey glass or liquor tasting set to impress the men in your wedding party, this fancy sipping glassware is perfect!

THE INFAMOUS THREE-LETTER MONOGRAMS

Traditional, three-letter Victorian monograms are the variety we use most often today. Letter arrangement depends on marital status and letter sizes within the monogram.

Single Men and Single Women

Single men and single women use the first initial of their first, middle and last name, in that order. Shown below on our Personalized Convertible Garment Bag. Example: Gina Hermione Smith or Greg Henry Smith.
 
Personalized Convertible Garment Bag
Personalized Convertible Garment Bag | Item No. 8347 | The large duffle conveniently transforms into a full size garment bag. With separate compartments for clothes and two compartments for shoes, this garment bag is perfect for a casual weekend away or a formal business trip and makes traveling easy.
 

Large surname letter in the middle

Single men and women would use the first initial of their first, last and middle names, in that order. The last name is always the centered, largest font. Shown below in our Personalized Buffalo Check Throw. Example: Diane Brianna Mendoza or David Benjamin Mendoza.
 
Personalized Buffalo Check Throw
Personalized Buffalo Check Throw | Item No. 6697 | This beautiful throw is crafted from 100% polyester acrylic and features a buffalo check pattern in two colors.
 

MARRIED THREE INITIAL MONOGRAM

Same-Sex Couples

For married same-sex couples who choose to use one last name, even hyphenated, the first initial of the first name on the left is up to the couple as to who would be first. Possibly setting a family tradition going forward with who is always on the left or right. The center initial will be the chosen last name initial. The same initials would be used on linens, glass and tableware. Shown below on our Traditional Monogram Printed Napkins. Example: Rebecca & Brianna Winslow-Ford.
 
Traditional Monogram Printed Napkins
Traditional Monogram Printed Napkins | Item No. 685 | Foil Printed Personalized Paper Wedding Napkins. Perfect for a classic wedding - add your monogram and dates to commemorate your wedding.
 

Opposite-Sex Couples

For married opposite-sex couples the bride’s first initial is on the left of the last name initial and the groom’s first initial is on the right, as in ladies first. (Often used on linens). Shown here on our Traditional Monogram Printed Napkins. Example: Anne & David Begor.
 
Traditional Monogram Printed Napkins
Traditional Monogram Printed Napkins | Item No. 685 | Foil Printed Personalized Paper Wedding Napkins. Perfect for a classic wedding - add your monogram and dates to commemorate your wedding.

A more traditional view is the groom’s first initial is first and the bride’s first initial is last. (Traditionally used on glass and tableware). Shown here on our Personalized 7 oz. Silver Rim Champagne Flutes (Set of 2). Example: Benjamin & Sandy Hortense.

Personalized 7 oz. Silver Rim Champagne Flutes
Personalized 7 oz. Silver Rim Champagne Flutes (Set of 2) | Item No. 1333 | These custom engraved glasses are perfect for weddings or a special occasion you’ve been planning.
 

TWO INITIAL MONOGRAM

Different Last Names

For unmarried couples, and married couples who choose to keep their individual last names, both initials of each partners’ last names are used together as a 2-letter monogram. Shown below on our Argyle Diamond Monogram Oak Wrapped Hip Flask. Example: Anne Margaret & Robert Vine, David Metzer & Eric Victor or Ellen May & Erica Von.
 
Argyle Diamond Monogram Oak Wrapped Hip Flask
Argyle Diamond Monogram Oak Wrapped Hip Flask | Item No. 4166 | Our oak veneer liquor flask featuring the classic menswear inspired argyle pattern etched into the wood is a great way to lift your spirits.
 

Use First Names

For all couples, married or unmarried, you may want to keep it simple and use the initials of each partners’ first names together as a 2-letter monogram. Shown below in lowercase on our Small Glass Jewelry Box With Rose Gold - Monogram Simplicity Etching. Example: Britany & Loren, Benjamin & Larry or Betty & Leonard
 
Small Glass Jewelry Box With Rose Gold - Monogram Simplicity Etching
Small Glass Jewelry Box With Rose Gold - Monogram Simplicity Etching | Item No. 7427 | This little cube shaped beauty offers a stunning way to display your special jewelry pieces when you're not wearing them.
 

MARRIED PERSONS INDIVIDUAL MONOGRAMS

Women

It is tradition for the woman to use her maiden name initial as the middle initial in three-letter monograms. Otherwise, she would use her first name initial, married name initial, and middle name initial. Shown below monogram is in the traditional last name initial in the middle position format. For example: Anne (first name) Cindy (middle name) Benson (last name), would be ABC, not ACB.
 
Personalized Key Chain – Round
Personalized Key Chain – Round | Item No. 1197 | Universal wood monogrammed key chain.
 

Men

It is tradition for the man to use his last name initial as the middle initial in three-letter monograms. Otherwise for new-tradition men, he would use his first name initial, married name initial, and middle name initial. Shown below monogram is in the traditional last name initial in the middle position format. For example: Robert (first name) Edward (middle name) Hanson (last name), would be RHE, not REH.
 
Personalized Polished Stainless Steel Key Chain – Ship’s Wheel
Personalized Polished Stainless Steel Key Chain – Ship’s Wheel | Item No. 1195 | Personalized polished stainless steel key chain.
 
While a highly decorative script font may look just fine on it’s own, it could be extremely difficult to read when used in traditional three-letter monograms.
 
Also note that although these are the more “traditional monogram rules,” there are no right and wrong ways to create monograms. Most of the time, it depends on the person receiving the gift. Focus on fitting the design to their personality, and you won’t go wrong!