One of the recent queries to our AskMartha mailbox (askMartha@marthastewartweddings.com) pointed out a clash between old traditions and our modern sensibilities.
This bride's divorced mom will be hosting the wedding, and the groom's parents will be listed on the invitation as well. Here's her letter (I changed the names to protect her privacy):
My fiancé feels his mother will want her name on the invites if my divorced mother's is. He wants the wording to be:
Ms. Diana Rodriguez and Mrs. Mercedes Garcia & Mr. Juan Garcia
I think it should be: Mr. & Mrs. Juan Garcia
I worry that listing them the other way makes them look like they're divorced, and they are not.
The fiance's suggestion of using "Mrs. Mercedes Garcia" goes against tradition -- in the past, only a divorced woman used "Mrs." along with her first name -- but this practice has faded in years.
So I think this bride is right -- it would not be good form to use her fiance's proposed format. (One also does not say "Mrs. Mercedes and Mr. Juan Garcia.")
How do they solve this clash between the old and the new?
Simple: Drop the courtesy titles -- don't use any of them. Then it's "Diana Rodriguez" and "Mercedes and Juan Garcia." (But first, maybe they should ask his mom, since the groom is only guessing.)
Are you facing this question? How will your parents' names appear on the invitation?