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Cher, Educator-40+ yrs
Category: General
Satisfied Customers: 20815
Experience:  M.A., B.A., Author, Information & Research Specialist
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I have two last names, lets say they are Murphy Smith, since

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I have two last names, let's say they are "Murphy Smith," since getting married, and my husband is "XXXXX XXXXX." How are we addressed? Are we "the Smiths"? Mr. and Mrs. Smith? Ms. Murphy Smith and Mr. Smith? I want to get return address labels printed but I'm confused.

Two last names
Hello, It appears formally it would be Mr XXXXX XXXXX and Ms XXXXX XXXXX Smith. It seems to be the choice of the couple and Mr and Mrs Smith is not incorrect. I checked several manner sites and they vary slightly. In the end it is what is most comfortable for you. Thank You Tom Please click accept.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
What I'm asking is how should I word my address labels? Would "The Smith Family" or "Tom and XXXXX XXXXX" be correct? or "The Smiths"? I've checked the manners sites myself, and as you say, they vary on the topic. I was hoping an etiquette expert would answer my question, rather than an accountant, so I could get a definitive answer, but thanks for your time.


My friend has the same issue.....and she did two things. She had a set of labels printed up with just her name (Kallie Wolfe-Best) - since she is the "payor of all bills"....and her second set of labels is Eric & Kallie Wolfe-Best, XXXXX XXXXX's 'common' for the woman to do a hyphenated last name. The vast majority of people in the USA know that the man's "family" name is XXXXX XXXXX be Best......something to think about also if you are planning on children - their last name could go either way too. By utilizing your hyphenated last name, you allow your maiden name to carry on....much more important in an "all girl" family where there are no boys to pass on the name. Hope this helps a little more, but let me know if I can help further.

Edited by Lori on 1/4/2010 at 10:26 PM EST
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Thanks for your time, but I don't have a hyphenated name, so it doesn't help too much.

When you say you have two last names, but your name is XXXXX XXXXX do you mean your maiden name is "Murphy" and your married name is "Smith", or is your first name 'Murphy' and your married name is 'Smith'?

Is this what's causing your dilemma with the address labels, the fact that your first and last name appear to be two last names?

Thanks for your additional detail.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
No, my confusion is not in the fact that my first and last name appear to be two last names. Let's say my name isXXXXX and husband's name isXXXXX means my maiden is Murphy and married is Murphy Smith. So what I'm asking is how we are addressed as a household, particularly when it comes to stationary/return address.
Hi again, and thanks for your additional and helpful information.

As a household/as a couple, it would be appropriate to be addressed as 'The Smiths', because you have legally taken your husband's last name when you married.

As far as your return address labels, it would be appropriate to put either: 'The Smiths' or 'The Smith Family' above the address. These return address labels would be appropriate if you are sending something that is from both of you as a couple/as a family. In addition, you can have your own return address labels printed, just for your own personal use, and those could say 'XXXXX XXXXX Smith' or 'Mrs. XXXXX XXXXX Smith'.

Another idea, if you feel that the return label saying simply 'The Smiths', might not be recognized by people who know you as Ms. Murphy Smith, you may choose to do this:

Smith/Murphy Smith, followed by your address.

If you have found this answer helpful, please click 'Accept' and leave positive feedback; if you have additional questions, need more information and/or clarification, please click 'Reply'. Thanks.

Cher, Educator-40+ yrs
Category: General
Satisfied Customers: 20815
Experience: M.A., B.A., Author, Information & Research Specialist
Cher and 22 other General Specialists are ready to help you

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