People know me by different names — what do I put on the invite?

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You say "Rainbo" I say "Jennifer Michelle"...
You say “Rainbo” I say “Michelle Jennifer”… (Photo by Rachel Koukal

My real name is Michelle Jennifer, but i grew up going by jennifer and then when i was 20-ish my friends started calling me Rainbo. My fiance's parents don't feel comfortable with the Rainbo thing, so they call me Michelle. So when sending out invites, do I do three separate designs, one for each name? If i just go with what most people call me, there will be a whole slew of peeps on my fiance's side that won't have a clue who that person is.

Dude, just include all of your names on the invitation, ie Michelle Jennifer “Rainbo” Smith. Or whatever your last name is. Easy! …Next!

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Comments on People know me by different names — what do I put on the invite?

  1. I think I will also be doing something like this! Given that most people don’t know my middle name, and fewer still call me by it, I opted to drop my middle name for my nickname in quotations.

  2. My given name is Emily, which I went by until college when I started going by Emma. Literally half the ppl in my life know me as one and half as the other. For our invites the top line said “Cory & Emma are geting married!” followed by my awesome handmade flower stamp:) then Emily — & Cory — requested your presence…blah, blah, blah. Worked perfectly for us!

  3. I changed my name as I entered adulthood (and this is something I struggle with as I discuss future last names with my partner).

    I split the hyphenated last name of my youth into a first and last name and am quite happy with the result.

    I have successfully abandoned my first name (only relatives who know my lineage instead of my first name know me by it).

    My marriage invitations will include my chosen name.

    That, along with the names of my parents, will certainly clue my further relatives in as to my identity.

    And any future relatives/friends will know me as I like best to be called.

    Names have power.

    Here’s just another suggestion.

  4. my friend who’s doing our invitations came up with an awesome combination (without even me telling her i was struggling with the idea!). the invite is a brochure-like format, held together with a sleeve. when you pull the sleeve off (before you open the invite) it says my better known, informal name. on the inside where the official invitation is, it says my given, more formal name. yay!

  5. My full name is Lucinda (barf!) but everyone knows me as Cyndy. My invite has my full name on it (eeewww), but I did an outer tag that has Cyndy & Jeff on it.

  6. My name is Celishia, but one side of my family calls me Cilly and family friends do too. My finance’s name is Mike but ALL his friends call him Norm and have for 18 years. The front of our invitation says Michael & Celishia and all the formal stuff, but flip it over and it says Norm & Cilly are getting married! and gives more detail. As one bride said, names have power and we both like our names!

  7. I’m genderqueer and I have 3 names, the name I get most often, the name I get on government forms, and the name I choose when I’m in a queerfriendly space and get to have a real choice in the matter… My fiancee to be [we’re getting married, but I haven’t got rings yet, but we’ve picked out the rings] she worries that when we do our vows she won’t know who she’s talking to, she’s never once called me my legal name…I only call her legal name…so it’s a slippery slope, also it looks like the wedding will be more older relatives than our hip young friends, so I’m looking at female pronouns and my proper name, gag.

    My name is Katelyn but I go by Kater and Kenny most often…oh the internet

    • Oh I hope you don’t have to use pronouns you don’t identify with. That would feel so wrong. What about limiting pronouns and using “they”? And/or if the officiant opened with something like, “Katelyn, Kater, Kenny, your loved ones know you by many names. Today as we celebrate the love between you and _____, we shall refer to you as she does/they do, ______.” Then go on from their with your chosen name. If this advice is too late I hope you had a great wedding and I am sending all the queer Internet love.

  8. Yep, I’ve mostly been using Lulu – the name my sweetie and half of my friends know me by. I’ve also used Lulu as my middle name with my given name. But just about everyone knows me by my unofficial last name, so that’s been the key to the mystery of me.

  9. My guess is as long as you include your last name on the invites, your guests will know who you are talking about 🙂

  10. My friends and family will know me whether I use Leaf (nickname of 20 years) or if I use my birth name. However, I asked him once, “do your parents know that I have another name?” He wasn’t sure. He pretty much always calls me Leaf. I think he’s told most of his friends “Leaf and I are engaged!” If I use only my birth name his friends might wonder why he’s marrying someone else!

    Three solutions I’m considering:

    1. Saying “[his nickname] and Leaf are getting married!” at the top and then our full names below that.

    2. I saw a wedding invitation that had the couple’s middle names in smaller decorative print in between their first and last names – we could do that and just have “Leaf” in the middle for me.

    3. I could do what I usually do in those situations – use my birth name but draw a leaf after it. Then again I’d be hand-drawing it unless I can find an invitation designer who is willing to do that without my spending a lot on a custom design.

    Maybe some combination of these.

  11. A picture says 1000 words. If in laws are still pushing for Michelle Jennifer then I suggest Rainbo address labels and a cute picture (printable for 20cents) included in the invite.

  12. Not being married anytime soon but I also have this question. Mom’s side calls me Dani. Dad’s side calls me Danielle. Everyone else calls me Dru because I go by that and plan to legally change my name. I will make three separate sets of invites but all wedding will state my chosen name.

  13. Honestly, I’ve never really thought of this before. I’ve been called a shortened form of my middle name since I was a month old. Most of my old friends think that IS my name. However since entering college and getting a ‘real’ job I’ve been using my first name more and more. Which doesn’t feel ‘authentic’ to me, because it’s not what I grew up being called. But at the same time it’s enough of my identity to keep me from changing it. When I get married I’ll probably use my ‘known’ name, instead of my legal first name, and not even bother mentioning it at all.

  14. Debating this now! My given name is Stephanie but I chopped it into Ani just before inner my now fiancé. Everyone on his family knows me as Ani, as well as everyone I work with now. Older friends and my family all call me Steph or Stephanie, including one bridesmaid who just won’t budge. I was thinking of putting Stephanie “Ani” [last name] & [fiancés full long name] on the invites but it’s just so much! Save the Dates just said Ani & [fiancè].

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