Wording save the date invitations, bride or groom’s name first

My fiance and I just finished printing our Save the Date cards (on our own and they look great!). Once I saw them assembled it occurred to me that it looked slightly odd having his name first and mine following (i.e. John Smith & Jane Doe). Is there an etiquette rule for this? I have scoured the internet to no avail. We’re having a traditional wedding, my parents are paying, etc. and I don’t want to convey some hidden message by having his name first…am I over-thinking this?

Rebecca Black, Etiquette By Rebecca

Dear Lauranichole,

Save the dates are new to the etiquette world, so there are few rules, besides not including registry information and that these should be in the same formality as the wedding. There are a few more ‘rules’, but very few.

It really doesn’t matter which name is listed first. But, listing his name first does (slightly) imply that this is a modern style wedding where you two are hosting (paying). This is because in the ‘old days’ (not many years ago, however) the bride’s parents paid for the wedding and she was married to her groom, almost as if she was given from one household to another. Today, we think of the the couple marrying each other (equal ground) and the couple pays or at least is responsible for their wedding costs.

Of course, who pays really has nothing to do with anything anymore, besides the fact that we still want to acknowledge those who do. So, it seems that we still have some traditional elements to sort out. These things seem to change slowly.

Don’t worry about these. The card is just a note to ask your guests to plan for your up-coming wedding and that a formal invitation is coming.

Best wishes,