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Personalizing with Engraving and Embroidery

Personalizing with engraving or embroidery can be intimidating if you’ve never done it before, and often, even if you have. It is just so FINAL! Of course we don’t want to make a mistake!

Monograms have existed for thousands of years. They’ve represented artists, craftsmen and royalty through the ages. A classic monogram is the combining or overlapping of letters to form a motif which might also be considered as a logo, be it representative of a company, an individual, or a couple. Today, we add distinctive monograms to everything from dress shirts to glassware. There’s something about the beauty of a well done monogram that lends an “I’m special” allure to the wearer or user.

With today’s technology, it’s become easier and less expensive to personalize items so the offerings are much more varied than they used to be. Let’s take a look and see if we can simplify it for you.

Single Initial Monogram Single Initial Monogram

Single Initial Monograms have become hugely popular, with the advent of the “computer age”, because of the calligraphic beauty of the variety lettering styles we now have available. It is personal preference that decides whether the initial comes from the first or the last name.

Joyful Bride offers many wedding toasting glasses that may be engraved with a single initial on each glass. Many couples choose to use the first letter of the groom’s last name on each glass. Some couples choose to have the bride’s first name initial on one flute and the groom’s first name initial on the other. This is especially true if the bride is not taking the groom’s last name or, in the instance of a unity wine ceremony where the married surname’s initial can be represented on a wine decanter.

Some couples choose to have the bride’s first name initial on one flute and the groom’s first name initial on the other

2 - and 3 - Initial formats are easy too: They are used primarily for individuals (not a married couple) and consist of the first name’s initial, middle name’s initial (if a 3-letter format), and the last name’s initial. The letters are all the same size. John Henry Laars’s 3-Initial mark would be JHL as shown here.

They are used primarily for individuals (not a married couple)
3 Initial Monogram 3 Initial Monogram
Classic 3-Letter Monogram Classic 3-Letter Monogram

A classic 3-Letter Monogram features a large central initial with a smaller initial on each side. For an individual, the first letter is the initial of the first name. The large, middle initial is the last name’s initial. On the right is the first letter of the middle name. That’s easy, right? Amanda Bethany Campbell’s monogram would be shown as ACB, with the letter “C” being the largest letter in the monogram.

For a couple, the initial on the right is almost always the woman’s first letter of her first name, just as etiquette recommends naming the woman before the man when introducing a married couple. The large, central initial is the first initial of her married last name. The initial on the right is the first letter of the man’s first name. Hence Amanda and Barry Campbell’s couple’s monogram would display as ACB.

Other “Monogram” Designs today are more self-explanatory. Some will show a large central, last name initial with the first name on the left and the middle name on the right, or the woman’s first name on the left and the man’s on the right. Another popular couple’s monogram is the first names joined by a large and artistic ampersand (&). [other monogram image next to this one]

Several other layouts exist but the thing they have in common is that on the left (or the top) is the first name or the woman’s first name. In the center is the last name’s first initial or a symbol, such as an ampersand, a heart, or a plus symbol. On the right (or the bottom) is the middle name’s initial or name, or the gentleman’s initial or name.

Some last names, such as deCarlos or O’Malley, can be confusing. Then again, it becomes a matter of personal preference as to whether the “D” or the “C”, the “O” or the “M” is used as the central initial.

Other “Monogram” Design Other “Monogram” Design
Both Names on Both Glasses Both Names on Both Glasses

Most people find it special to see their name engraved and would prefer their name to a monogram. Space limitations on toasting glasses, engrave-able cake toppers, unity sand ceremony containers, and other items of that nature, generally allow for only two lines of text with a limitation on the number of characters and spaces (yes, spaces do count!) available for each line. 20 or 24 characters and spaces is a good rule of thumb. A longer line of characters and spaces can generally be accommodated, especially when considering what lettering style will be used, but longer lines of text almost always require a reducing of the text size which effects legibility.

Most people find it special to see their name engraved

Couples may prefer to use both first names, and possibly even a last name, on a toasting flute but when Alessandria marries Christopher Bartholomew the length of the line would be so small that it would not be readable. The engraving of “Alessandria and Christopher” stretches the limits, though it can be brought under control with the substitution of an ampersand rather than the word “and.”

Because some of the beauty of the engraving can be lost on a small area with long line of text, it has become traditional for the bride’s first name to be engraved on one flute and the groom’s first name on the other. The second line of text can be used for the last name, the wedding date, or even a short sentiment, such as “Forever One.”

The same basic rule of thumb of a maximum of 20 or 24 characters and spaces also applies to other engravable items such as a special photo frame or jewelry box. If choosing to have a sentiment engraved, such as “Yours forever, Cindi”, it is best to be concise. There is not room for an entire poem.

One Name per Glass One Name per Glass
Upper & Lower Case Lettering Upper & Lower Case Lettering

When submitting text for engraving or embroidery, take a second look at your entry for misspellings and capitalization. In general, capital letters are wider than lowercase and will reduce the number of characters available. If the monogram you’ve decided on uses lowercase outer initials and a capital center initial, please enter your side initials in lowercase so there is no question as to your intent.

And if you have questions, just ask. We love to help!

Images courtesy of Hortense B Hewitt, Cathy’s Concepts, JDS, and EventBlossom.

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