There are graduation announcements, party invitations, weddings, thank-you notes. Oh, the agony of addressing envelopes!
Below are tips for most situations….
Etiquette calls for the following protocol.
Use of Titles:
Always use a title before or after the name unless the sex and the title are unknown. For example, Shannon Ryan may have a title unknown to you. The sex of Shannon Ryan is unclear. Use the full name, Shannon Ryan, on the envelope and in the salutation of the letter: Dear Shannon Ryan.
Use only one title per person, per line in an address. For instance, Allen Framer, M.D. (not Dr. Allen Framer, M.D.).
Alice Waller, R.N. (not Ms. Alice Waller, R.N.)
Mark Allen, Ph.D (not Dr. Mark Allen, Ph.D)
President Carl Wynn (not President (or Mr.) Carl Wynn, Ph.D.)
Marcia Day, Esq. (not Ms. Marcia Day, Esq.)
Note: "Jr." is not considered a title, but part of the name. When Bryant Sims has a son, he may be named Bryant Sims, Jr. (not II). The father becomes Bryant Sims, Sr. When Bryant Sims, Jr., has a son, he may be named Bryant Sims, III. When Bryant Sims, Sr. dies, Bryant Sims, Jr. usually drops the "Jr."
Esq. is never used when writing to a couple, either of which is a lawyer. It is Mr. and Mrs. Day (not Mr. and Mrs. Miles Day, Esq.)
When the wife has a professional title and he does not:
- Mr. Michael Bartholamew
and Dr. Elizabeth Brtholamew
When both are doctors:
- The Doctors Jones
- Dr. Ray Jones
and Dr. Emily Jones (or Smith)
When the wife uses a different last name:
- Mr. Clarence Lafayette Millersporter
and Ms. Abigal Bittle Lynnablesmyth
- Mr. Clark Mills and Ms. Agnes Ables
(The Etiquette Advantage, June Hines Moore)
And then the 'rule' many are unaware of AND do not believe (me)…but believe me, I did not make this up! It usually applies to invitations, or sending thank you's, etc.
- Betty and Bob Bibb (not Bob and Betty Bib) A man's name is not separated in this type of address.
Etiquette is not rocket science….but when you know the 'rules' you are comfortable. And that is what good manners are about - to help YOU feel comfortable!