The envelope was smooth and creamy, it felt expensive.
Rich and luxurious paper, announcing right away, even before the careful calligraphy announced wedding with all its curlicues and fanciful penmanship.
It is a joy to be invited to this celebration of love, what with an open bar and dancing, especially when most of my friends are getting divorced.
These days, the brides and grooms are my friend’s children, and there really is something wonderful about the next generation tying the knot.
But it does mean I’m probably being relocated – it’s time – to the back tables, away from the dance floor, and bar, far from the head table, but closer to the bathrooms, and probably nearer to toothless Uncle Roy.
That doesn’t bother me, but something about this envelope did. And the insides too.
I didn’t exist. In fact, other than the bride – no women existed, and I’ll bet a rat’s ass if any man had any part in choosing the stock, font, stamp, whisper of tissue protecting the coveted RSVP card and silver gilded accents. They probably had little to nothing to do with the date, venue, menu, cake, or music either, so why was there no woman mentioned on the invite?
The envelope was addressed to:
Mr. & Mrs. Husband’s Name
Mr. & Mrs. Dad’s Name
request the honor of our presence to the marriage of the
BRIDE’S NAME to
son of Mr. & Mrs. Dad’s Name.
Did they all use surrogate mothers? Why don’t we exist?
No moms. No women at all, except for the bride. No one should outshine the bride, but um, hello? It’s 2016.
When I got married over 25 years ago, I didn’t change my name.
That didn’t go over well with my own mother, but still, I kept my name despite the eye-rolls and disgust, and accusations of illegitimate children.
I wrote all about it on Purple Clover, the hip, on-line magazine noted as the “cool destination for people over 50.” Check it out, and let me know what you think. Click on this image, it should take you there. If not, try clicking this.
Did you change your name? Do you want your girls to? Is this a problem in gay marriages?
The comments on FB did not disappoint. My favorite: “I asked permission from my husband to keep my name, and he said …” I stopped reading after that.
When I married 30+ years ago, I kept my maiden name which has confused people but I don’t regret it for a minute.
me neither!! Thx for reading!
When I married 50 years ago, I did not recall anyone I knew keeping their maiden name. In retrospect I am proud I took my husbands name. It made no difference in my being my own person. I started my own business in 1980 and with the support of my husband I built it in a successful national company. It has a legacy and my daughter who took her husbands name now owns the company. In our family, there is no correlation between our names and our success. I respect a woman’s right to choose in all aspects of her life.
I think changing/not changing your name is entirely up to the person. The reasons are personal, just as the reasons you chose to marry, and not really up to anyone else.
I did change my name, 32 years ago. And yes, I never considered NOT changing my name when I got married. (of course, my name had a ratio of one vowel to five consonants and I was hoping for something a little more pronounceable…so it was a no brainer in my book.)
I wouldn’t care if our daughter kept her maiden name or changed it. But, I have to admit, I would feel a little sad if our son took his wife’s last name, as he is the last male in my husband’s family. But I wouldn’t say anything.
But it is mine.
Each of us should have the freedom to determine these personal choices on our own.
Agree, agree, agree!! Thank you for reading & sharing a comment!
The invisibility of women pervades in so many subtle and not-so-subtle ways. I’m glad this dialogue is changing. Great article! You might be interested in a post I wrote recently about reclaiming my name after divorce. It was a girl-power experience. 🙂
Thx for reading, and sharing your essay! I’ll dive in soon!
Laurel and Bob Riley-Brown
My husband and I BOTH hyphenated! He offered…, I accepted. It caused a LOT of confusion for others in the beginning…. but worth it now that our children have both our family names.
brilliant! thx for the read Laurel, so appreciated!!
I took my husband’s last name. And I often wish I had changed my middle name to my maiden name, but then I didn’t want to lose that, either. It’s a rough one – as we age – for sure.
I’m thinking back to my wedding invitation and it was “proper” to mail to Mr. & Mrs. Male-Name and if I recall correctly inside I don’t know if my mom’s name was there. But now I have to check. Because saying mom-name & dad-name last-name would have been just as beautiful. <3
Proper etiquette says just that. Still. Weird, right??? That’s gotta change! Thx for read and generous comment!
Betsy Palmer Post
When I got married 27 years ago, yes, I changed my name. I’m not proud of it but my name is/was the name of a C-level celebrity during the 60s and 70s and I was SO TIRED of telling people, no, I am not “that” Betsy Palmer. And anyone now under the age of 50 will not know that person but at the time, I wanted to change it. So I did but my middle name (and on my business cards and on my driver’s license, etc) it proudly says Betsy Palmer Post. I too am going through the wedding of family and friend’s children. More of the women change their name than not. But to each her own. Who am I to judge? 🙂
Exactly: who are we to judge? and yet, that’s what I’m doing when wishing more women would keep their name! I’ll try harder! Thanks for the read and comment.