Monogram Etiquette

One of the most frequently asked questions we get over at concerns the correct order in which to place the letters of a monogram.  This is not surprising, since our monogram items, particularly these pillow shams (seen here and below) are one of our most popular items.

While you can always order monograms in any order or style you see fit (making these items truly personal in every sense of the word) when ordering monograms for a gift, people often want to do what is considered correct.  Below is a quick reference guide of what's considered proper monogram etiquette.

GIFTS FOR COUPLES: When ordering for a married or "soon to be" married couple, the correct order is the Bride's first initial, the first letter of the couple's Surname, and then the Groom's first initial.

For example, the monogram on this pillow could be for this couple: Alice and Bob Walters.

GIFTS FOR WOMEN: Typically, when ordering a gift with a three initial monogram, the first letter of the Surname goes in the middle.  The first initial of the woman's first name goes first and the first letter of the woman's middle name OR maiden name goes last.  This seems to confuse people the most, and we always ask that you enter the initials in the order that you wish to see them, as we will not alter this order once placed.

For example, the monogram on this key chain could be for Kelly Marie Smith OR Kelly Monroe Smith.

GIFTS FOR MEN: When ordering for men, it's best to consider the size and shape of the  monogram.  Many people prefer initials for men to appear in the same order as the actual name.  However, when a three initial monogram also contains a middle initial that is visually larger in the middle, it is correct to use the man's surname in the middle as well. 

For example, this phone case would be for Michael Brian Gilligan.

GIFTS FOR CHILDREN:  When ordering monogram gifts for children, the same rules apply as for the adults.  Gifts for children, both boys and girls, traditionally follow the first, last and middle initial order. 

For example, the monogram on this stroller blanket would be for Layla Hannah Robinson.

First image credits: photo of Sarah Crawford's home featuring our monogram shams as photographed by White Loft Studio for Style Me Pretty.


  1. How funny, I was thinking about these pillows of yours just the other day...I had in my to-do list to check out if you had them in the Eurosham...but I just looked and it seems that you don't. But maybe you will be adding them? I just love them!

  2. Hey Albertina, Do you mean these? :)

  3. Love these, the pillows, that writing paper! So great!!!

  4. Love these pillows and so glad you decided to do this post. Monograms are huge in southern decor. We tend to embroidery everything with our initials and proper order is a must! Thanks for sharing!

  5. I just sent this to my husband! He never believes that the wife's initial goes first!

  6. I was surprised that the wife's initial goes first -- but I like it! Ladies first!

  7. You have just sold me on the shames! I need them in my life! xo

  8. Wow. So confusing and I totally would have messed this up. Thanks for the tutorial! Love that phone case :)

  9. I just really need to get some monogrammed pillows on my bed!

  10. So I love this post. 1. one time someone tried to convince me that middle name went in the middle...I had to correct them. 2. my monogram (single, married and as a couple) is the same no matter what...cSd :) XO

  11. Anonymous2/19/2014

    What about when a lady has no middle (or maiden) name?

  12. Thank you for this...I wasn't sure whether the husband or wife's initial should go first (I think I have a few in my home that are backwards!)

    Have a lovely day! xoxo


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