Monogram Guidelines

A monogram is a motif, a form of design with two or more letters using a person’s initials. Usually, it is made up of three letters and the initials or letters are interwoven or are combined in a decorative design to act as a logo or identification of a person’s possession. In older times, monograms were used by artists and craftsmen as signatures to mark their works, from paintings, sculptures, to furniture. Monograms were also used as royal signatures. Monograms were further adapted by wealthy families and used as a symbol or emblem of their distinguished family to identify their belongings that include but are not limited to weaponry, linens and cutlery.

Nowadays, monograms are popularly used in weddings. Marrying couples create a monogram of their initials to be used on wedding invitations, wedding stationeries and other details of the wedding.

Monogram for Women

The traditional monogram of a single female uses initials in this order: First Name Initial – Last Name Initial – Middle Name Initial, while for single males, monogram initials follow a left to right approach which is First Name Initial – Middle Name Initial and Last Name Initial.

For example, the name Sage Abigail Collins would be monogrammed as SCA, with the last name initial being larger than the first name and middle name initial.

Monogram for Men

For men, it was traditionally made of monogrammed letters that have the same size, so instead of the example above, traditionally, a male name like Stewart Albert Cornell would have their initials like this: SAC. Having the middle letter larger is a matter of preference in men’s monograms.

Two Letter Initials

Someone who has no middle initial uses a two letter monogram where the letters are the same size. For the name Sage Collins, the position of the letters is arranged from left to right, with the first name initial on the left-hand side and the last name initial on the right.

Married Women

For married women who like to have their married name (alone) monogrammed, for example Abigail Collins Smith, with Collins being her maiden name and Smith her married last name, traditionally, her monogrammed initials will be arranged as follows: her first name initial on the left, followed by her married last name initial in the middle which is bigger than the two letters on the side, and finally her maiden name initial on the right.

Married Couples

For married couples who wish to have a monogram of their names, for example, Mr. and Mrs. Geofrey and Abigail Smith, the monogram initials would be arranged traditionally with the name initial of the bride on the left hand side, their last name initial in the middle and a little bit larger, and the groom’s first name initial on the right-hand side.

However, there are some couples who prefer to place the male’s name initial first and the woman’s first name initial on the right most part. So for the case of Abigail and Geofrey Smith, it will be monogrammed as GSA.

Last Name Prefixes

For people who have last name prefixes but is still considered a one word last name like McDonald, McNamara, O’Keefe, the first letter of the last name should still be considered. For example, Sean David McDonald, will be written as SMD.

Monogram Guideline Summary

Traditionally, there were simple rules used in monogramming. Here’s a summary of the traditional monogramming formats:

Traditional Monogramming Guidelines:
Women: first LAST middle
Sage Abigail Collins: SCA


Married Women: first LAST maiden
Sage Collins Kennedy: SKC


Men: FIRST MIDDLE LAST or first LAST middle
James Carl Kennedy:


Married Couples: bride LAST groom
Sage and James Kennedy:


Some customers may ask which font or style will work best so here’s our two cents. For women or for weddings, interlocking scripts really work best. For men though the normal straight block letters seem to be more popular while it is also okay to have the middle letter larger in size. Having these monogram etiquette rules or guidelines are really helpful but at the end of the day, it is a matter of preference.

While these guidelines exist, you don’t have to strictly follow them. Whether you’re single, getting married or married, hopefully these guidelines can help you not to get too caught up on the arrangement of your initials.