Money is a great gift for both the marrying couple and the giver. Oftentimes money is a much more useful present for a new couple starting a life together, especially when there is no gift registry. Checks also take the guesswork and potential “wasted gift” worries away from the giver. When giving money as a gift, however, there is a certain etiquette to follow to make sure your gift is well received and appreciated.
Cash vs. Check
There is no official etiquette rule against giving cash as a wedding gift; whether you choose to give cash or a check is up to you. However, checks have a few advantages over cash. Wedding gifts are usually relatively large sums, therefore giving a pile of $20 bills is messy and difficult to keep track of. Writing a check allows one single “bill” to be given rather than multiple pieces. As checks have the giver's name written on it, it is also easier for the bride and groom to remember exactly who gave them the check.
In the Mail
If you are giving the check as a wedding present before the wedding, send it in the mail written and addressed to either the bride or groom (whoever you are closest to) but not to both. Do not write the couple's married name on the check yet, because technically they are not married yet and anything could happen before “I do” is said. If sending to the bride, use her full maiden name.
At the Wedding
Checks are acceptable gifts to be taken directly to the wedding as they are small and easy to store. Oftentimes a couple will request that gifts are sent directly to their house in the case of out-of-town weddings where getting heavy and cumbersome gifts home is difficult. Checks on the other hand can be given at the wedding. The check should be written out to the couple's married names; either Mr. and Mrs. Ryan Jefferson,” “Tanya and Ryan Jefferson” or “Ms. Tanya Cho and Mr. Ryan Jefferson” if the bride decides to keep her maiden name.
Deciding on the amount of money to write the check for can be difficult. The amount should be based on both your relationship with the couple and on your own financial situation. The amount increments should be kept to one hundred, such as $100, $300 or $1,00. Avoid writing uneven amounts such as “$275” or amounts under $100. As a basic rule, $100 is a safe check gift.
Cards and Envelopes
Never write the check on site and hand it to the bride and groom. There are countless check-size cards and envelopes available for the exact purpose of housing a check. If you are sending it in the mail, place the card and envelope inside of another envelope. Write the names of the couple on the outside of the inner envelope as neatly as possible. If giving the check in person, only one envelope for the card is necessary.