Manner Monday®: How to formally address someone for written correspondence

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Two different friends reached out this past week with questions about the formalities of names when addressing an envelope so I thought I’d share some of the most common salutation rules that may be helpful to you.

Carey Sue Vega
Street Address
City, State, ZIP CODE

Mrs. Ricardo Vega
Street Address
City, State, ZIP CODE

A lady, when married who takes on her husband’s last name is now:  Mrs. Ricardo Vega (Carey Sue). She is not Mrs. Carey Sue Vega as she is not married to herself.  As a couple they are Mr. and Mrs. Ricardo Vega.  As with anything, there are exceptions to the rule. Additional family members would change the order, head of the house first, followed by the lady, then the children: Ricardo, Carey Sue and Billy Vega or Carey Sue and Ricardo Vega, Billy and Oliver.

Basic rule of thumb for couples:  A man’s name should never be separated from his surname, also remember ‘ladies first’: Carey Sue and Ricardo Vega

Married Couple:
Mr. and Mrs. Ricardo Vega (formal) or
Carey Sue and Ricardo Vega (informal)

Single woman: Ms. Carey Sue Vega
Single man: Mr. Ricardo Vega
Ms. can be used for women over the age of 18, Miss is used for young ladies under the age of 18.
Master can be used for young boys until the age of 12, then no form of address should be used until the young boy turns 18, at that point Mr. may be used.

When a woman keeps her Maiden Name:
Ms. Carey Sue Majors and Mrs. Ricardo Vega

If the ‘title’ is not known:
Carey Sue Majors and Ricardo Vega.

When the man is a Doctor:  Dr. and Mrs. Ricardo Vega
When both are Doctors:  The Doctors Vega (I know it sounds weird, but it’s technically correct)
When the woman is a Doctor:  Dr. Carey Sue Vega and Mr. Ricardo Vega

Unmarried couple living together:
Ms. Carey Sue Majors
Mr. Ricardo Vega

Same sex couples living together (listed alphabetically by last name on two separate lines):
Mr. Jack Moore
Mr. John Smith

Same sex couples who are married (listed alphabetically by last name with the ‘and’ showing the union):
Mr. Jack Moore and Mr. John Smith

Man is an officer: Colonel and Mrs. Ricardo Vega
Woman is an officer: Colonel Carey Sue Vega and Mr. Ricardo Vega

Do you have a ‘manner’ or question you would like to see covered next week in Manner Monday?  Feel free to send me your thoughts, I would love to hear from you.

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Thanks for reading!
Carey Sue

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