If you're registering for a gift you'd like monogrammed, be sure to include the preferred initials on your wish list so guests aren't left wondering which way to order the letters. Here are a few tips for the most commonly monogramed items.
If you're purchasing paper for a man or a woman, it's best to use their personal monogram. If your hope is that the couple will use the paper for joint correspondence, opt for their shared monogram. A single last/married name initial, hyphenated initials or double last name initials (when the wife keeps her maiden name) are used.
Many couples prefer the single last name initial for towels, napkins or other linens. Towels are generally marked at the center of one end, so the monogram is visible when it's hanging on a rack. If you're monogramming sheets and pillowcases, again a single initial is generally preferred. Only the top sheet is monogrammed, and done so that when the sheet is folded down, the letter can be read by someone standing at the foot of the bed. Pillowcases are usually monogrammed in the center, close to the hem. Tablecloths are monogrammed at the center of each long side. If the cloth is a square, it's monogrammed at one corner; circle tablecloths generally have a centered monogram close to the hem. Napkins are marked diagonally at one corner.
The type of monogram used is often determined by the shape and size of the flatware handle. The last initial is used most often, as it takes up the least amount of space. In some cases a couple will stack their initials in an inverted triangle shape with the woman and man's first initials on top, and their last initial below.
A few china patterns can be monogrammed. Most often these are plain plates or plates with a simple banded design that lends itself to a monogram. In most cases, especially for wedding china, a joint monogram or single last name initial is used. Oftentimes an accent plate or charger is monogrammed instead of every piece of china.