Plenty of people are unaware of the rules behind monogram design.  Before we begin with the discussion on protocols, let’s talk about what a monogram actually is.  A monogram, according to Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary, is a sign of identity usually formed of the combined initials of a name.  A monogram is a design, consisting of one, two or three combined or linked initials used to represent a person’s or a couple’s identity.  Below are some examples of how to use each style.

His and Her’s

Monograms may be used to add a special touch to a personal item to mark a special event, a milestone or an achievement, to give it more meaning.  The rules for personal monograms are pretty simple and may be summarized by the following rules:

Monogram styles, rules and protocols

Engaged Couples

As a general rule, engaged couples should not use their married monogram initials until after the wedding ceremony takes place.  As an alternative, engaged couples may use a combination of their first name initials or just simply spell out their first names, ie., K&B or Katherine & Brandon.  Traditionally the woman’s initial is first, but it is up to the couple how they want to list the initials or names for monogramming.

Modern-day exceptions allow for engaged couples to use their married monogram for items in their registry. The married monogram may also be used in the wedding invitations, announcements and other related wedding items like wedding programs, aisle runner or unity candle.

Monogram design, rules, protocols and styles
Monogram styles, rules and protocols

After the Wedding

Couples can begin using their married monogram initials once the ceremony has taken place. Typical monograms consist of the husband’s last-name initial in the center and the first-name initials of the couple on either side in a smaller font.

If the couple is not going to share a last name after the wedding ceremony, they can use the two initials of their last names side by side in the same font. The couple chooses the order of the initials. I.e., Hudson and Lee would be “HL” or “LH.”

Monogram styles, rules and protocols

Monogram design could be simple enough for you to create on your own. Some stationery vendors also accept monogram design service for more elaborate options. Some styles may include small graphic elements that not only represent the person/ couple’s identity with motifs related to the of occasion that’s being celebrated.