Giving money is a great wedding gift if you are in a rush and unsure of what to give. If the bride and groom do not have a gift registry, a check is usually a good idea, especially if you are not that close to the couple. As with all gifts and wedding behavior, there is etiquette to giving money as a gift, but luckily it is rather straightforward.
Cash or Check
In all situations, avoid giving cash bills as a wedding gift, as it can be considered tacky and appear rushed or insincere. Checks are the better alternative, and they also allow for the name of the giver to go with the monetary gift all the way to the bank. They are also cleaner and more presentable than a giant wad of cash.
Before the Wedding
If you are giving the check before the wedding, write it out to either the bride or the groom, depending on who you are closest with. Don't write the bride's married name if it is before the wedding as there may be a chance that she decides to keep her maiden name.
At or After the Wedding
For checks presented at or after the wedding, write it out to both the bride and the groom using their married names, or individual names if the bride will not be taking her husband's last name. For example, “Mr. and Mrs. Daren Smith” or “Mr. Daren Smith and Ms Cynthia Erickson.”
As checks are gifts of convenience, etiquette requires that they are written for significant amounts of money. Keep the check increments to one hundred, that is, $100, or $200 or $500. Never write a wedding check for $20. The amount you give will depend on your situation and relationship to the couple. To be safe, write it for $100.
There are many check-sized gift cards available for purchase at greeting card stores and supermarkets. Make sure the card is wedding appropriate and comes with a white envelope. If you are feeling creative, consider adding scrapbooking embellishments to the envelope such as flowers, wedding bells or a bride and groom. Write the recipients' names on the envelope in neat calligraphy, if possible, and insert the card with the check into a postal-appropriate mailing envelope.
Mallory Ferland has been writing professionally since her start in 2009 as an editorial assistant for Idaho-based Premier Publishing. Her writing and photography have appeared in "Idaho Cuisine" magazine, "Spokane Sizzle" and various online publications. She graduated from Gonzaga University in 2009 with Bachelor of Arts degrees in history and French language and now writes, photographs and teaches English in Sao Paulo, Brazil.