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Which of the following is accurate in British English to describe our own wedding?

  1. Alex and Jen's Wedding
  2. Alex's and Jen's Wedding
  3. Alex and Jens' Wedding
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    The first one. Or you could just go with "The Wedding of Alex and Jen" or "The <last name>'s Wedding" or "The Event of the Century". – Ian MacDonald Mar 23 '15 at 19:02
  • Here's a Grammar Girl link that explains the rules / logic: quickanddirtytips.com/education/grammar/compound-possession – Hellion Mar 23 '15 at 19:10
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    And again, Grammar Girl (aka Mignon Fogarty) is wrong. – F.E. Mar 23 '15 at 21:15
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    @Jen I presume you are the Jen getting married here. Regarding your third option, which no one else has mentioned specifically: Alex and Jens’ wedding is perfectly correct and good English. Unfortunately for you, it means that your fiancé has left you to run off and marry a German man called Jens. If that isn't what's actually happened, go with Alex and Jen’s wedding or Jen and Alex’(s) wedding. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Mar 23 '15 at 23:08
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    @JanusBahsJacquet In the 2002 reference grammar CGEL, within the section 3.4 "Coordination and genitives", on page 1331: "Note, then, that in a context where Kim is married to Pat we can appropriately use either Type 1, Kim and Pat's marriage, or Type II, Kim's and Pat's marriage." – F.E. Mar 24 '15 at 0:50
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If Alex and Jen are marrying each other, then it is "Alex and Jen's wedding". If somehow they are marrying two other people, then it is "Alex's and Jen's wedding".

This distinction becomes more significant when the possession is also plural.

Alex and Jen's cats are the cats owned jointly by Alex and Jen.

Alex's and Jen's cats are the cat or cats owned by Alex plus the cat or cats owned by Jen.

  • There's a bit of analysis required on the part of the listener here, especially since your first sentence can be interpreted either as [Alex and Jen's] cats or as [Alex] and [Jen's cats]. :P – Anonym Mar 24 '15 at 1:20
  • Yes, a problem that only occurs with plural possessions. "Alex and Jen's cats don't get along" is not ambiguous; "Alex and Jen's cats wet the carpet" arguably could be. – Malvolio Mar 24 '15 at 4:42

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