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Addressing a couple in correspondence

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By Mary Morel

Reader’s question: How should you address a married couple in a letter?

Answer: I think your choice depends on the formality you want and your choices are:

Dear John and Ann (My preference unless you think it is too informal.)
Dear John and Ann Jones
Dear Mr and Mrs Jones (or Ms if that is her preference)
Dear Mr John Jones and Mrs Ann Jones (or Ms if that is her preference)

If they have different surnames, you could say:

Dear John and Ann
Dear John Jones and Ann Smith
Dear Mr Jones and Ms Smith
Dear John Jones and Ms Ann Smith

If you were emailing them, the same styles could apply, but you may choose to say ‘Hi’ rather than ‘Dear’.

Although ‘Hi’ and ‘Dear’ are courtesies, people like them even if the correspondence is informal. You can sometimes drop them in emails if the correspondence is going backwards and forwards.

Learn more

Learn more about styles with Styles for Business Writing (A$39).