Among the guests invited to our wedding are several officers from the military. Can the envelopes be addressed to "Mr. and Mrs." or is it proper etiquette to address them by the husband's rank? What if the wife is an officer, too?
Dear Title Tizzy,
Best wishes on your upcoming wedding. You can address the envelopes with Mr. and Mrs., but if you wish use their military ranks, then address the envelope as follows:
Only the man is an officer: Captain and Mrs. John Smith
Only the woman is an officer:
Captain Jane Smith and Mr. John Smith
If both are officers of the same rank:
Captains John and Jane Smith or
The Captains Smith
If both are officers, but different ranks, then write their separate titles with the higher rank first:
Major Jane Smith and Captain John Smith
Note: depending on the formality of the invitation, the military branch of service may be included on the line underneath the name.
Note: for official correspondence, the military branch of service is included, i.e. Major Jane Smith, USAF
For more information on military titles, see:
The Department of the Army, "A Guide to Protocol and Etiquette for Official Entertainment" (2001)
Hickey, "Honor & Respect" at www.formsofaddress.info