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

———-Also on this Page:
———-—–Couple with One “the Honorable” (See below)
Couple with Two “the Honorables”

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

—-#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

—-#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

—-—-The Honorable Linda Blake
—-—-and Mr. William Smith


Robert Hickey author of “Honor & Respect”

—-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

—-—-See more on How to Use The Honorable.

—-#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)

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

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

— Robert Hickey         How to Address Couple

Related Posts:
Couples: Private Citizens
Couples: Christian Clergy
Couples: Rabbis
Couples: Military
Couples: U.S. Officials
Couples: Same Sex


Robert Hickey author of “Honor & Respect”

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?
————-– Rick Eckis

Dear Mr. Eckis:

—-#1) NAME ORDER: The person who has higher precedence is listed first.
—-• Who has the higher office?
—-• If both are retired – who held the higher office?
—-• If they currently hold the same office which one is senior? Who has held that office longer?
—-• Current officials are listed before former officials.
—-• Neither age nor gender are considerations.
So if you determine he has higher precedence, his name is on the first line and hers is on the second. If she has higher precedence she is listed first.   When they are equal (which technically is impossible, because there is always precedence) they list the man first and the woman second in what’s called the “Mr. and Mrs.” order.  See also the post on same-sex couples for additional information.

—-#2) List each person’s name on a line by itself. Anyone’s who is addressed as 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 after the ‘and’.  It is capitalized on the first line .

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

— 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

See also post on how to address the president and how to address the First Lady

— Robert Hickey


Robert Hickey author of “Honor & Respect”

How to Address the Vice President and Spouse?

The traditional formula a Vice President whose wife uses the same surname and  “Mrs.” is:
—-—-The Vice President
—-—-and Mrs. (Surname)

If the wife of the Vice President uses the honorific “doctor” she gets her full name:
—-—-The Vice President
—-—-and Dr. (Full Name)

If the Vice President has a husband:
—-—-The Vice President
—-—-and Mr. (Full Name)

— Robert Hickey    How to Address Couple

Related Forms of Address:
—-Couples: Military
—-Couples: Private Citizens
—-Couples: U.S. Officials
—-Couple, Same Sex
—-First Names
—-Gender-Neutral Honorifics
Man or Woman, Social
—-Woman, Married
Mrs. vs. Ms.
Spouse of an Official


Robert Hickey author of “Honor & Respect”

When Should You Use the Forms on this Page?

You can use these forms of address for any mode of communication: addressing a letter, invitation, card or Email. (If there are differences between the official and social forms of address, I will have mentioned the different forms.)  The form noted in the salutation is the same form you say when you say their name in conversation or when you greet them.
___What I don’t cover on this site are many things I do cover in my book: all the rules of forms of address, about names, international titles, precedence, complimentary closes, details on invitations, place cards, all sorts of introductions, etc. I hope you’ll get a copy of the book if you’d like the further detail.

Not Finding Your Answer?

—-#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)  If you don’t see the official you seek included or 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, Sometimes I post the question  – but always change all the specifics.

— Robert Hickey 


Robert Hickey author of “Honor & Respect”