Archive for November 23rd, 2010

In your book you show all the options of how to list a husband and wife as host and hostess of an event.

What if a husband is president of a company and invites his direct reports with spouses to a dinner party off site (but not at the president’s house)?  Should the invitation state the president as the host and his wife as the hostess? Or just the president as the host?
— Rhonda

Dear Rhonda,
There could be a company policy in a particular company stating a policy to the contrary, but it’s typical when a corporate exec hosts employees and their spouses … and the exec’s spouse assumes the duties and responsibilities of a co-host (hostess) … for the exec’s spouse to be listed on the invitation.  I asked some graduates of The Protocol School of Washington® to comment on what they do in their environment:
From Protocol Officers at Military Bases:
It would be common for social events (dinner’s etc.) but not for ceremonies. On the invitation we always list both names if spouses were invited to the event. i.e.:

The Commanding General, 2d Marine Division
and Mrs. Smith
request the pleasure of your company

From a Protocol Officer at a Museum:
If the Chairman of our Board and his wife are serving as hosts, we include the wife on the invitation to telegraph that spouses are welcome. We would do this even if the event is not in their residence.  We also include the spouse if the event is for families, again to signal that the event is open to families.
From Protocol Officers at Universities:
Yes, we include the spouse of the official on the invitation if they will act as host/hostess of the event even if the University is paying. For us, it is more a question if she (or he) is actually going to participate.
From, of course from political situations as shown below.
– Robert Hickey www.formsofaddress.info


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Our annual holiday party invitations have always read:

On behalf of the
Alabama Automobile Dealers Association
Chairman of the Board and First Lady
Avery and April McLean
Cordially invite you and yours to attend the

This year we have a married female Chairman of the Board and I’m struggling on how to word the invitation.  Would the wording below be acceptable?

On behalf of the
Alabama Automobile Dealers Association
Chairman of the Board
Cindy Haygood and her husband Daniel,
Cordially invite you and yours to attend the …

This is a semi-formal event held at the Governor’s Mansion.
Debbie at the Alabama Automobile Dealers Association

Dear Debbie,
What you’ve been doing isn’t strictly casual … or strictly formal … and it’s sort of backed you in to a corner!
There are no rules for casual and informal forms of address  … everyone does whatever they want to do.
On my site I am just showing formal forms … which can be done consistently … hence their benefit.
But that said … how about:

On behalf of the
Alabama Automobile Dealers Association
Chairman of the Board Cindy Haygood and Mr. Daniel Haygood
Cordially invite you to attend the …

What do you think?
– Robert Hickey www.formsofaddress.info

Mr. Hickey,
That is much better – just needed a professional opinion!  Thank you very much!


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How do I address a letter salutation to a Governor-elect?
— Gayle P.

Dear Gayle,
A governor-elect is immediately the Honorable since he or she has been elected in a general election.
And in the salutation use the honorific  … Mr., Ms., Dr. … he or she would be entitled to — prior to the election.
Use of Governor as an honorific is reserved for the current … singular … official.
One might introduce him or her as The Governor-elect … but it’s not actually a title or office or position …. it’s more of a state of being!
– Robert Hickey www.formsofaddress.info


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