(Closed) How to Address a Couple When they Both Have Fancy Titles?

posted 9 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 47
1320 posts
Bumble bee

@Overjoyed:  I just read what you wrote about your parents being unsupportive and that sucks, esp. because they would know the proper way to address everyone. I am a bit confused though. Since their names are on the invitations as “hosts,” wouldn’t they be more concerned about having the proper titles/wording? Do you maybe have any other family members who’ve had weddings (w/in the same social circle) that you can ask?


ETA: I promise I’m not trying to pry. I was just curious as to why they wouldn’t help you with this etiquette issue with their names attached to the wedding.

Post # 48
7439 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2012

Etiquette Snob here…

A lot will be determined on WHERE they are holding these titles.

America… or elsewhere ?

The rules can be different for the US vs Countries of the Commonwealth.

And when it comes to Judges, at what level ?

Supreme Court, Federal Court, etc.

As well…

Is the Ambassador a Visiting Ambassador to the US… or are they a US Ambassador to another country ?

All of these things can come into play in regards to the proper form of address (be that written, or in person)

So more info would be helpful.


Post # 49
4394 posts
Honey bee

You might be the coolest bee in the history of wb lol. I’m really intrigued!

Post # 53
7439 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2012

TO @Overjoyed:  you could always send me a PM… if you like (don’t have to lay out your entire guest list, just let me know if they are American titles or Commonwealth ones… as that is the key factor in many cases

Definitely know all the ins & outs on this topic.

— — —

Etiquette Snob… call it a poor attempt at humour I soppose.  Fact is I know all this boring etiquette stuff quite intimately (from my career).  Don’t mean it to be off putting, just a quick way of explaining that I truly know what I am talking about without having to give a long intro blurb on me and my background in each & every Etiquette post if you will.

As always is the case on any type of Discussion Board / Forum / Advice Column… folks will take away from it what they choose.

Anyone who knows me from WBee, knows I am a lot more diverse, than just this one aspect of my posting history.  I think that would prove out a lot more than just one phrase that I use on occasion.


Post # 55
67 posts
Worker bee

@This Time Round:  There’s a difference in how you address the invites based on what type of judge a person is?  It’s not just “The Honorable X”?


My invite “problems” won’t be as complex, lol- people are either MDs or Ph.Ds in which case I am using “Dr,” and FI’s father is a Federal judge.  That’s it, haha!

And By The Way, I don’t think your posts are snobby or snarky!


Post # 56
438 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

@cmsciulli:  But PhDs aren’t addressed as “Doctor” outside of the academy.  They just aren’t.  Same way I’m not addressed as Magistra (being a female holder of an MA) anywhere.  It’s not a title used outside of the academy because it’s professional only.  It’s incorrect usage to call someone with an academic degree by their title outside of academia.  I know people who cringe at it, honestly.  It is a different degree than an MD, which is definitely addressed as Doctor, formally.


I mean, I get it, I’ve worked hard for the MA, and I’m working towards the PhD.  But I don’t expect social invites to be to [MY NAME], MA.  This is one where the title really honestly stays at work.

Post # 57
67 posts
Worker bee

@mistress_anne:  That’s fine, but I’m addressing the PhD’s as “Dr.” 

MDs and PhDs are terminal degrees and I have the same amount of respect for both “Dr’s” on my guest list, so this is one etiquette rule that I am fine with breaking.

Don’t worry, I’m not having a gap or a cash bar, though! 

Honestly, I don’t get why physicians are afforded the title of “Dr.” socially, but PhDs are not. . . I just haven’t seen a convincing rationale for it yet.  It’s an interesting debate though!

Full disclosure, I work both in Academia and in a hospital environment,so I work with both MDs and PhDs.

ETA: GL on your PhD. . . I hope yours goes faster than my FI’s did 😉

Post # 58
7439 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2012

TO @cmsciulli:  yes there are variations… depending on WHO and WHERE, and if the address is written or spoken


* The Chief Justice ___ (The Chief Justice of the USA)

“The” used in the USA… and not Mr. or Mrs. Chief Justice

* Justice ___ (Associate Justice, Supreme Court)

* The Honorable ___ (all lower court Judges)

In the USA, a lower court judge can also be addressed as just Mr. Justice / Madam Justice or Judge in casual conversation.  Judge can not be used in casual / social address for someone at a higher level.  “Your Honour” is not appropriate in a social setting, only when appearing before a Judge in court.



* The Right Honourable ___ (Head of the Supreme Court of Canada)

Mr Chief Justice ___ OR Madam Chief Justice ___

* The Honourable Justice ___ (Supreme Court of Canada or Provincial Superior Court)

Mr Justice ___ OR Madam Justice ___

* The Honourable ___

Judge ___

— — —

As for the person who mentioned Academic Titles.  They are not usually used in social situations… so no need to address / call Robert Jones PHD…  as Dr Jones.

Although… the general rule of thumb is, if you don’t know for sure how the person wishes to be addressed it is best to err on the side of caution and use the title (Dr Jones)

Honorary Academic Titles (such as when they give an Actor an Honorary Doctorate Degree), are never used.  They are merely an honour.

Hope this helps,


Post # 59
67 posts
Worker bee

@This Time Round:  Oh duh, brain fart on the Chief Justice thing!  Excuse my idiocy and thanks, very good info!

Post # 60
592 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: February 2012

FOr the love of god don’t do the “Mr and Mrs John Smith” thing… I’ve never met a woman whose name is “John”, women have the right to be addressed by THEIR names, they’re not their husbands’ property.

I don’t see why you can’t do

Dr. John Smith

The Hon. Jane Smith


two lines, two peoples’ names. Solved.

Post # 61
558 posts
Busy bee

@This Time Round:  

View original reply


I know this is an old thread, but this hits on a problem I’m currently encountering with STD’s and invites to come. FI’s cousin is an ambassador but he’s on his way OUT. One year out does he revert back to Mr. or can he still be Hon. or his excellency?

Also, is there a way to do a feminist revival of this rule and NOT call his wife Mrs. Ambassador or whatever?


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