Ms. Mrs. Miss and More

When it comes to wedding invitations it is important to consider who you are addressing your invitation to. How to address your guests is a tricky question and not always something that you think of outside of your wedding. The good news is that there is a title for just about everyone! See below for some of the most common titles for woman and married couples.

Addressing a Woman who is

Unmarried

  • Ms. Jane Smith
  • Miss Jane Smith

On Three's word to the wise: Miss is generally reserved for girls under the age of 18 and only when followed by her full name. When inviting a child along with their parents, it is OK to eliminate the use of titles altogether. For example, Mr. and Mrs. John Kelley, Ashley, and Joseph

Married but keeping her maiden name

  • Ms. Allison Smith

Married and uses her husband's name socially

  • Mrs. John Adams
  • Mrs. Courtney Adams
  • Ms. Courtney Adams

On Three's word to the wise: Most women no longer use their husband's name socially. If you are unsure it is best to use her given name instead of her husband's.

Separated but not divorced

  • Mrs. Thomas Jones
  • Mrs. Hailey Jones
  • Ms. Hailey Jones

On Three's word to the wise: Separations can be a tricky subject.. If you are unsure how she would prefer to be titled during this time in her life, it would be best to use Ms.+ given name + married surname.

Divorced

  • Mrs. Julie Brown
  • Ms. Julie Brown
  • Ms. Julie Utz (Maiden name)

Widowed

  • Mrs. John Smith
  • Mrs. Elizabeth Smith
  • Ms. Elizabeth Smith

On Three's word to the wise: If you are unsure which she prefers, it is safest to use Mrs. + Husbands given name + Husbands Surname. Mrs. John Smith

Addressing a couple who is

Married and she uses her husband's name socially

  • Mr. and Mrs. Henry James

Married, she prefers Ms.

  • Mr. Henry James and Ms. Kristen James
  • Ms. Kristen James and Mr. Henry James

On Three's word to the wise: If a woman prefers Ms., do not link her name with her husband's name. Mr. and Ms. Henry James is incorrect.

Married, informal

  • Kristen and Henry James
  • Henry and Kristen James

Married and she uses her maiden name

  • Mr. Henry James and Ms. Kristen Kensington
  • Ms. Kristen Kensington and Mr. Henry James

On Three's word to the wise: If you can't fit both names on one line, put "and" on the second line. Either name may be used first.

Unmarried but living together

  • Mr. Henry James and Ms. Kristen Kensington

A woman outranks her husband (elected office, military rank

  • The Honorable Jane Smith and Mr. John Smith

On Three's word to the wise: If you can't fit both names on one line, put "and" on the second line. 

A woman outranks her husband (professional or educational degree)

  • Dr. Jane Jones and Mr. John Jones

Are both doctors (PhD or Medical) and uses the same last name

  • The Doctors Anderson (omit first names)
  • Drs. Elizabeth and John Anderson / Drs. John and Elizabeth Anderson
  • Dr. John Anderson and Dr. Elizabeth Anderson / Dr. Elizabeth Anderson and Dr. John Anderson

Are both doctors (PhD or Medical) and she uses her maiden name

  • Dr. Annie Smith and Dr. Patrick Kelly
  • Dr. Patrick Kelly and Dr. Annie Smith

Married, two women who use the same last name

  • Mesdames Jane and Elizabeth Jones
  • Ms. Annie Smith and Ms. Elizabeth Jones

On Three fun fact: Mesdames is the French title to refer to multiple women simultaneously. In English, we have no plural for Mrs. so Mesdames may be used when addressing two married women who share the same last name. Again, if you are unsure Ms. and Ms. is a safe bet!

Married, two women who use their maiden names

  • Ms. Jane Jones and Ms. Catherine Kelley

Married, two men who use the same last name

  • Messrs. David and Joseph Sanders
  • Mr. and Mr. David Jones
  • Mr. David Jones and Mr. Alexander Jones

On Three fun fact: Messrs. is an abbreviation for the French messieurs, plural of monsieur. Since we do not have a plural for the title of Mr. in English, Messrs. may be used to address two married males who share the name last name.

Married, two men who use their given surnames

  • Mr. David Janssen and Mr. Alexander Jones