How to Address Couple
One or Both are U.S. Officials
Joint Forms of Address

How to Address a Couple, One Addressed as The Honorable (Full Name)

These forms work for many officials including: senator, congressman, mayor, sheriff, and judge. What all these U.S. officials have in common is that they are addressed on an envelope as the Honorable (Full Name).  See also the post with more on use of the Honorable.

—-#1) If the Honorable is a man and if his spouse uses (Mrs.) + (same family name), then traditionally her given name does not appear:
—-—-The Honorable William Stanton
—-—-and Mrs. Stanton
—-—-(Address)

—-#2) If the Honorable is a man and If she a different family last name … then her full name does appear:
—-—-The Honorable William Smith
—-—-and Ms. Linda Blake
—-—-(Address)

—-#3) If the Honorable is a woman his full name appears whether he uses the same or different family name:

—-—-The Honorable Linda Stanton
—-—-and Mr. William Stanton
—-—-(Address)

—-—-The Honorable Linda Blake
—-—-and Mr. William Smith
—-—-(Address)

—-NOTE: When person is the Honorable — they get their name as unit — not combined with anyone else’s name. So what you want to avoid is:
—-—-The Honorable and Mrs. William Stanton
—-—-(Address)

—-#4) If the spouse has his or her own rank, courtesy title, or some special honorific and does not have higher precedence.

—-—-The Honorable (Full name)
—-—-and Lieutenant (Full name)
—-—-(Address)

—-—-The Honorable (Full name)
—-—-and Dr. (Full name)
—-—-(Address)

—-—-The Honorable (Full name)
—-—-and the Reverend (Full name)
—-—-(Address)

— Robert Hickey         How to Address Couple

—-See These Related Posts:
—-—-Couples: Private Citizens
—-—-Couples: Military
—-—-Couples: U.S. Officials
—-—-Couples: Same Sex

How to Address a Two Honorables?

I need to send a letter to two people (husband and wife) who are married and both are addressed as the Honorable in writing. How do I address the envelope?! Thanks.
————————-– Rick Eckis

Dear Mr. Eckis:

—-#1) First determine which person has higher precedence so you can know whose name is listed first. Who has the higher office? If they are retired – who held the higher office?  Current goes before former. Neither age nor gender are considerations. So if you determine he has higher precedence, his name is on the first line and hers in on the second. If she has higher precedence she is listed first.

—-#2) Then list each person’s name on a line by itself. Anyone’s who is the Honorable gets his or her name written out in full as a unit.

—-#3) the “t” in “the” is not capitalized on the second line. Only on the first.

—-—-The Honorable (full name)
—-—-and the Honorable (full name)
—-—-(Address)

— Robert Hickey  How to Address Couple

Forms of Address: How a conversation begins can have a huge impact on how the conversation - even the entire relationship - develops.

How to Address The President and First Lady?

What is the correct way to address an envelope and salutation to use when writing Presidential couple at the White House.
————————–– Desiree Whitley

Dear Ms. Whitley:
You don’t see a joint form in my book because my book is for official forms of address … and an official letter would not be jointly addressed to the both.

I guess one could imagine them opening their mail together, but that’s not what happens. Each has their own office … his in the West Wing … and hers in the East Wing … both at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. It would be better to send separate correspondence to each.  But if you address it to them both – then someone will decide which wing opens it I guess.

—-But that said … if you are set on writing them as a couple write it line-for-line like this:
—-—-The President
—-—-and Mrs. (Surname)
—-—-The White House
—-—-1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
—-—-Washington, DC 20500

—-Open the letter with the salutation:
—-—-Dear Mr. President and Mrs. (Surname):

—-Close the letter with:
—-—-Most Respectfully,
—-—-Desiree Whitley

— Robert Hickey

pres and VP

How to Address the Vice President and Spouse?

I am sending a formal invitation to several government officials. How would I address an envelope to the VP and his wife?
— Melanie Schaeffer

Dear Ms. Schaeffer:
The formula a Vice President whose wife used “Mrs.” would be:

—-—-The Vice President
—-—-and Mrs. (Surname)
—-—-(Address)

If the wife of the Vice President uses the honorific doctor, use this formula:

—-—-The Vice President
—-—-and Dr. (Full Name)
—-—-(Address)

— Robert Hickey    How to Address Couple

–_-Related Forms of Address:
—-—-Boy, Girl, Child
—-—-Couples: Military
——–Couples: Private Citizens

——–Couples: U.S. Officials
——–
Couple, Same Sex
——–Family
—-—-First Names
—-—-Man or Woman, Social
——–Woman, Married
—-
—-Miss
—-—-Mrs. vs. Ms.
—-—-Mx.
——–
Retiree
—-—-Spouse of an Official
—-—-Widow

Not Finding Your Question Answered?

—-#1)  At right on desktops, at the bottom of every page on tablets and phones, is a list of all the offices, officials & topics covered on the site.

—-#2)  After checking the list and reading the posts, if you don’t see your question answered send me an e-mail. I am pretty fast at sending a reply: usually the next day or so (unless I am traveling.)  Note: I don’t have mailing or Email addresses for any of the officials and I don’t keep track of offices that exist only in history books.

—-#3)  If I think your question is of interest to others, I will post the question & answer – always changing the names and specifics.

— Robert Hickey

The Protocol School of Washington (PSOW) was founded in 1988 and offers open-enrollment, classroom-based programs where students learn to become a licensed Intercultural Etiquette and Protocol Trainer, or can earn a certificate in operational protocol by completing Protocol Officer Training. Private, on-site training is also available to provide tailored training solutions. In 2020, PSOW launched online, instructor-led training to meet the needs of students worldwide.

PSOW has offices in: Washington, DC; Columbia, SC; and Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The school is nationally accredited by the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET) and provides international protocol, cross-cultural awareness, business etiquette, and image training preparing professionals to build lasting business relationships.

.

Protocol and Diplomacy International – Protocol Officers Association promotes the protocol profession and raises awareness of its central role in business and diplomacy through education and networking. PDI-POA’s mission is to share the highest level of collective expertise, training, information and advice regarding accepted rules of protocol. PDI-POA is committed to facilitating communication, understanding and cooperation among individuals, governments and cultures around the globe.