How to Address an Envelope for Doctor & Wife

The way you address the doctor and wife shows proper etiquette.
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The approach you take when you address an envelope to a doctor and wife depends on how the wife wishes to be addressed, whether the wife has a similar qualification of her own and whether you're sending it to a same-sex couple. Before you address the envelope, contact the recipients to determine exactly how they refer to themselves in writing; doing so helps you avoid the embarrassment of addressing your correspondence incorrectly.

1 Traditional Approach

For a doctor's wife who uses the doctor's surname and prefers the address form of "Mrs.," the approach of correctly addressing an envelope to the couple is traditional. Write "Dr. and Mrs.," followed by the man's given name and surname. For example, the first line of your envelope could appear as: Dr. and Mrs. Stephen Muller

2 Wife Uses Maiden Name

When the doctor's wife uses her maiden name and "Ms.," the approach you take for addressing an envelope to the couple differs slightly. Write "Dr." and the man's given name and surname, followed by "and Ms." and the wife's given name and surname. For example, you could write: Dr. Stephen Muller and Ms. Stephanie Adams

3 Both People Are Doctors

If the doctor's wife is also a doctor, your envelope's address must honor this professional qualification. You can address a pair of doctors in multiple ways, based on whether they share the same surname. A simple approach is "The Doctors" and the couple's last name, while an alternative address is "Drs." and the given names and surname of the couple. For example, "Drs. Stephanie Muller and Stephen Muller." If the wife has kept her maiden name, write "Dr." and each person's given name and surname. For example, "Dr. Stephanie Smith and Dr. Stephen Muller."

4 Same-Sex Couple

When the doctor and spouse are a same-sex couple, the way you address the envelope depends on whether the couple shares the same surname. For a couple with different surnames, use "Dr." and the doctor's given name and surname, followed by "Ms." and the spouse's given name and surname. For example, write, "Dr. Sally Kelly and Ms. Tamara Jones." For a couple with the same surname, write using "Dr. Sarah Andrews and Ms. Samantha Andrews."

Toronto-based journalist William McCoy has been writing since 1997, specializing in topics such as sports, nutrition and health. He serves as the Studio's sports and recreation section expert. McCoy is a journalism graduate of Ryerson University.