How to Address a Lesbian Couple

Written by andrew smith
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How to Address a Lesbian Couple
Addressing a lesbian couple is somewhat different than addressing a man-and-woman couple (Creatas Images/Creatas/Getty Images)

Sending out cards, invitations and other pieces of mail to couples you know is standard as you prepare to get married or approach the holiday season. While greetings such as "Mr. and Mrs." and "Mr. and Ms." are fine for many couples, they are not appropriate when addressing a lesbian couple. While there is no one "right" way to address a lesbian couple, doing so in the proper manner ensures you don't accidentally insult the women you are addressing.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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  1. 1

    Learn if the couple is actually married. If the couple is married, it's possible the two now share the same last name.

  2. 2

    Choose a level of formality. This determines if an honorific is used when addressing the lesbian couple.

  3. 3

    Use "Ms." for more formal instances. When "Ms." is used, place one name on top of the other on the envelope or card instead of side by side. For example,

    Ms. Jane Smith

    Ms. Joan Smith.

  4. 4

    Write the names side by side if you don't use "Ms." (For example Jane Smith and Joan Smith).

  5. 5

    Write the name of the woman you know better, such as a relative, ahead of the other woman in the couple. Writing the names alphabetically is fine if you have an equal relationship with both partners. (For example Jane Smith and Joan Smith).

Tips and warnings

  • The Knot website recommends against using "Mrs." when addressing a lesbian couple.

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