How to Correctly Write a Wedding Check to Newlyweds

Don't let your gift bounce!
Person writing a wedding check
Illustration: Natalie Romine for The Knot
chapelle johnson the knot associate editor
by
Chapelle Johnson
chapelle johnson the knot associate editor
Chapelle Johnson
Associate Editor
  • Chapelle writes articles for The Knot Worldwide. She covers all things wedding-related and has a personal interest in covering celebrity engagements and fashion.
  • Before joining The Knot Worldwide, Chapelle was an editorial intern for Subvrt Magazine.
  • Chapelle has a degree in English writing from Loyola University New Orleans.
Updated Sep 12, 2023

Who doesn't love to receive money as a gift? Not me, and certainly not the newlyweds you're shopping—er, withdrawing from your bank account, for. Exactly how to give money as a wedding gift is up to you. A wedding check or cash is always an option, though, nowadays, many couples have a cash registry, like The Knot Cash Funds, to accept money digitally, too. If you choose a wedding check gift, make sure you know how to write a check for a wedding correctly. Note: Addressing a check to two people has its quirks. Keep reading to ensure the couple can cash your generous gift.

In this article:

Common Questions About Wedding Checks

Now, before we get into how to write a wedding check, you'll need to decide if giving a check is the best option for you and, if so, how to give the check to the newlyweds.

Wedding check or cash—is one better than the other?

Writing a check is better than giving cash because only a person with the exact name as the payee on the check can deposit it and you can cancel the check if it gets lost or stolen in the mail. You can also track the delivery status of the wedding check using the tracking number given to you by the post office to ensure it gets to the couple promptly. Unfortunately, if you send cash through the mail, anyone can steal it and you'll have to send more money to make up for it. Not to mention, while both forms of money can slip out of a card, one (the check) has your endorsement on it, so the newlyweds will still know who to thank.

What about sending cash through a mobile payment app like Venmo or Zelle? Unless the couple explicitly asks you to, "I do not suggest using online payment options," says August Abbott, etiquette expert for JustAnswer. "[It's] too easy to become lost in the crowd," Abbott explains. If convenience is your motivation for sending the money digitally, we suggest you check to see if the couple has a cash fund before writing a check. A cash fund allows you to put money towards a specific purchase the couple is saving for, which arguably holds more sentimental value.

Should I put the check in a wedding card?

We suggest you put a check in a wedding card and Lizzie Post, co-president of the Emily Post Institute, agrees that it's a nice touch. She adds: "It also allows you to convey your sentiment with it by writing someone congratulations and encouragement along with the check." By writing sweet and thoughtful wedding wishes to the newlyweds, your wedding check will stand out from the others delivered in plain envelopes.

How should I give the couple the wedding check?

Sending the wedding check to the couple in the mail is the safest way to give it to them. "Some people do worry about a check getting lost in the mail. But you, as the guest(s), can follow up if you haven't seen it deposited within a certain amount of time and just check in with them, no pun intended," Post says. Most likely, the couple is enjoying their honeymoon or getting their new life together after the wedding, so wait at least two to three weeks before asking the couple if they received the check.

That said, if you want to bring the wedding check to the ceremony or reception, both Post and Abbott say that's an acceptable option. We suggest you avoid the gift table if you're bringing a monetary gift, since it can get lost, and instead give it to a close family member of the newlyweds, a wedding party member or, better yet, the wedding planner. (The wedding planner is usually responsible for collecting all the gifts and getting them to the couple.) Giving the gift directly to the newlyweds isn't the best option because the couple will be busy doing 100 different things and the gift can get misplaced. No matter which delivery method you choose, remember to write your name and address on the envelope, card and wedding check.

How to Write a Wedding Check

When it comes to writing a wedding check, there are certain wedding gift etiquette and bank protocols you must adhere to. If you don't want to waste a check, read our expert tips below.

Use both of the couple's premarried or maiden names.

Post advises that guests should not only write the names of both members of the couple on the check, but use their premarried names. There are many reasons for using their premarried names on the wedding check: Though one or both of them might be planning to change their last name(s) after the wedding, they may want to cash your check before saying "I do" to help pay for things like honeymoon travel. Additionally, even if they cash it postwedding, the name-changing process takes time, so the couple could hit a snag with the bank if your check is addressed to their not-yet-official new name(s). And lastly, if only one of them is making the trip to the bank, including both of their premarried names allows either part of the pair to cash the check.

Stick to using "or."

This teeny-tiny conjunction packs a punch on a wedding check. Using the word "or" instead of "and" between their two names (for example: "Kim Jones or Jackie Garcia") will ensure the couple can cash their check into either of their accounts. If you write "Kim Jones and Jackie Garcia," the bank might require them both to be present at the time of deposit or for the account used to be in both of their names (aka how it's written on the check).

Don't make assumptions about name changes.

Always(!) double-check the names on the wedding check. Don't assume a heterosexual couple has gone the traditional route with the bride taking her husband's last name or that a couple who hyphenated their last names did so in alphabetical order. Ask their parents or another person close to the couple to clarify their official new names if it's confirmed you'll be handing over your check after a name change (otherwise, stick with the aforementioned premarried names).

Make sure you have the funds in your account.

One of the most crucial things you have to do before writing a wedding check is to make sure the appropriate funds are in your bank account. You don't want the check to bounce when the couple deposits it, which can be a few weeks after the wedding, so make sure your funds are in order before (and a bit after) sending the wedding check.

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