How to Address an Envelope to a Couple

Written by christina schnell
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How to Address an Envelope to a Couple
Leave enough room on the envelope for title lines if the couple is unmarried. (envelope image by Peter Baxter from Fotolia.com)

Once upon a time, if you addressed an envelope to a couple they were typically married and shared the same last name. But the variety of lifestyles and living situations in 2011 make addressing mail to a couple a bit more complicated. Modern couples may or may not be married, and they may or may not share the same last name. Properly addressing an envelope to a couple requires basic knowledge of their living arrangement and relationship to avoid offending either individual.

Skill level:
Easy

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Write both first names of a married couple, separated by the word "and" and followed by their last name if shared. The first and last name of a name-sharing married couple should be on a single line with the subsequent postal address below. Whose name comes first is at your discretion. Whether you add "Mr." or "Mrs." depends on the formality of the mailing and how well you know the couple. Use proper prefixes for formal events, like a wedding or party, or for unfamiliar couples. A traditional, more formal envelope would therefore read:

    Mrs. Elizabeth Smith and Mr. Paul Smith

    401 West Conrad Circle

    Sugarland, TX 09140-3278

    A more informal address of a married couple with the same last name should read:

    Elizabeth and Paul Smith

    401 West Conrad Circle

    Sugarland, TX 09140-3278

  2. 2

    Write the individual first and last names of each person on a single line for a married couple with different last names. Use proper prefixes for formal invitations or unfamiliar couples. A formally addressed envelope or a letter to an unfamiliar couple should read:

    Mrs. Elizabeth Jones and Mr. Paul Smith

    401 West Conrad Circle

    Sugarland, TX 09140-3278

    A casually addressed envelope or mail sent to a couple you know well should read:

    Elizabeth Jones and Paul Smith

    401 West Conrad Circle

    Sugarland, TX 09140-3278

  3. 3

    Write the first and last name of each individual on separate lines for an unmarried couple residing at the same address. Use proper prefixes for formal invitations or for unknown couples. The formally addressed envelope should read:

    Ms. Elizabeth Jones

    Mr. Paul Smith

    401 West Conrad Circle

    Sugarland, TX 09140-3278

    Informal mail or mail sent to a couple you know well should read:

    Elizabeth Jones

    Paul Smith

    401 West Conrad Circle

    Sugarland, TX 09140-3278

Tips and warnings

  • Double check the spellings of each person's name.
  • Never assume that a married couple shares the same name.

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