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  1. #1
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    Etiquette for addressing check for a wedding gift?

    So I'm going to a college friend's wedding in a few weeks, and I plan to send a check with my handmade biscuit blanket tomorrow. Except, I'm not entirely sure who to address the check to. I only know the bride, I've never met the groom, not once, so addressing the check to just him (in case of last name changing fiasco) seems awkward.

    Is there a way to include her name when I'm not sure if she'll be changing her name or not?

    Also, thinking ahead for my own wedding...how do I let people know that I don't plan on changing my name?

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    Re the friend: if she is going to change her name, I'm guessing she will have to file forms and such to make the change legal, which I doubt she is going to have time to do before the wedding. If you write the cheque to her in her own (original) name, she may be able to cash it before she changes her name legally. If she doesn't, I don't see why the bank wouldn't cash it if she shows them the change of name document(s) to prove that she's the same person the cheque was written to.

    If you don't see the cheque clear your account in a reasonable time after the wedding, you could always contact her and ask if the name is a problem, and if it is, offer to write her a new cheque with the correct name.

    For yourself: I got married when almost nobody changed their name, so I'm not sure what to suggest - other than to say some people are not going to get that you are not changing your name, no matter how much you publicize it. So be ready for that The best I can suggest is to put both of your full names on anything that has the bride and groom's name on it. And make sure anyone who is doing any kind of public speaking at your wedding or reception knows that they are not to say "Mr. and Mrs. [Fiancee's Surname}".
    You should never write words with numbers. Unless you're seven. Or your name is Prince. - "Weird Al" Yankovic, "Word Crimes"

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    The easiest way is to write the check out to "Jane Doe or Jack Smith".
    3539 and counting.

    Slightly Wounding Banana list cont: MacMadame.

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    Don't worry too much about what is proper. We didn't judge people based on how they wrote the checks. Most people wrote them to the person they knew. Lots did Mr. And Mrs. His last name. Others did his first and my first and his last name. The bank did not care that I didn't change my name. They understood they were wedding gifts.

    If the bank is picky "or" is better than "and", but I'd just address to your friend.
    Last edited by Skittl1321; 07-06-2012 at 02:29 PM.

  5. #5
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    I always do it just to the person in the couple that I know better, and if it's the bride I use her maiden name.
    "The Devil is joining in, and that's never a good sign." Phil Liggett

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    Quote Originally Posted by Garden Kitty View Post
    I always do it just to the person in the couple that I know better, and if it's the bride I use her maiden name.
    ^ This
    AceOn6, the golf loving skating fan

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    It takes some time to change your name legally--it took me over a month and I had the summer off to run around and do it all. If you don't have that time, it would likely take longer.

    All our wedding checks were cashed before any of that was done. Some made them out to me (maiden name), some to him, and some to both of us with his last name. Our banks did not care and all were cashed with no hassle. So nothing to worry about, make out however you want!

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    Can you not leave the name section blank? Just put the amount and sign and they can fill the name themselves? My roommate did this when giving me checks, I just filled in my own name and deposited the check, no problems. You can put a note in the envelope to explain to the bride that you weren't sure how to address it.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Garden Kitty View Post
    I always do it just to the person in the couple that I know better, and if it's the bride I use her maiden name.
    No idea if this is standard, but if I got a check addressed to me and not Sweets for a wedding, I would assume the gift-giver did not like Sweets. I follow Milanessa's example -- Person A or Person B, bride's current name -- or else just give cash.

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    I've always written it to one of them, and put both of their names in the memo line along with "Wedding." The card is always adressed to both of them, and the note inside is to both, so I hope there isn't any umbrage taken.

    Some banks are very, very picky about depositing checks made out to multiple people if both of the people aren't on the account. (We saw this in Los Angeles. Not a problem in Colorado.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ajax View Post
    Can you not leave the name section blank? Just put the amount and sign and they can fill the name themselves? My roommate did this when giving me checks, I just filled in my own name and deposited the check, no problems. You can put a note in the envelope to explain to the bride that you weren't sure how to address it.
    I would not leave it blank. We don't like to think about it particularly at a wedding, but people do steal checks. If there is no name, it would be easy to write in whatever name and cash it.
    At all of our sons weddings/receptions the gift table/baskets were easily accessible and anyone could grab anything. We don't like to think that our guest would do that, but they might as well as anyone else who could come in and out of the reception hall.

    Putting both names on the check is a good suggestion.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Louis View Post
    No idea if this is standard, but if I got a check addressed to me and not Sweets for a wedding, I would assume the gift-giver did not like Sweets. I follow Milanessa's example -- Person A or Person B, bride's current name -- or else just give cash.
    Honestly I think in the busyness of it all, couples are just happy to get the money, and won't be picky about how the cheque was addressed

    I do think the card itself or gift label should be addressed to both quite clearly, but for a cheque, going with the person you know is entirely acceptable.

    As for a name change, I think most people don't make assumptions nowadays and will ask you what your plan is. You can also make it official at the wedding and beyond - have your MC introduce the happy couple with your full names, get thank you cards/envelopes with your full names, send out your first round of Christmas cards with a return address label with both full names etc.

    People will get it wrong - even years later - so you just quietly correct them and move on.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Garden Kitty View Post
    I always do it just to the person in the couple that I know better, and if it's the bride I use her maiden name.
    Just a sidebar note, but I never use the phrase "maiden name" or "I kept my name" like it's something I have to explain. If it comes up, I just say "my husband and I have different names" or simply correct them and tell them what mine is.

    Subtle differences I know, but I've never liked the notion that this is some big decision that I made. To me, it's a much bigger decision to change your name, not maintain the one you already have.

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    Quote Originally Posted by numbers123 View Post
    I would not leave it blank. We don't like to think about it particularly at a wedding, but people do steal checks. If there is no name, it would be easy to write in whatever name and cash it.
    At all of our sons weddings/receptions the gift table/baskets were easily accessible and anyone could grab anything. We don't like to think that our guest would do that, but they might as well as anyone else who could come in and out of the reception hall.

    Putting both names on the check is a good suggestion.
    This. Not only that but, when was a teller, we were trained to watch out for differences in the handwriting, especially between the name it was made out to and the amount.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jenny View Post
    Honestly I think in the busyness of it all, couples are just happy to get the money, and won't be picky about how the cheque was addressed

    I do think the card itself or gift label should be addressed to both quite clearly, but for a cheque, going with the person you know is entirely acceptable.
    Maybe I'm overthinking the issue, but one name can lead to a lot of subtle assumptions. I would be at least a little bit insulted if Sweets' name only were on a check -- e.g., does the gift-giver not like me, not think I'm good with money, not think I hold or should hold the same power....

    Also, more and more couples are getting married when they already live together. Chances are they already have "yours - mine - and ours" money, so why go with "yours" or "mine" on a check? They may also have a process for the "ours" money. E.g., in my household, I do all of the banking. If I have to set aside certain checks for Sweets to endorse (and then nag Sweets for a minimum of seven days to actually do it ), it's a hassle that I'm going to remember.

    Anyway, for what it's worth, there's my perspective. Two names are always better IMHO.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jenny View Post
    Just a sidebar note, but I never use the phrase "maiden name"[....]
    I agree, it's a poor term, and thanks to your posts in the past, I have banned it from my vocabulary.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karina1974 View Post
    This. Not only that but, when was a teller, we were trained to watch out for differences in the handwriting, especially between the name it was made out to and the amount.
    When my sister was busy doing various activities in high school, my mom would just sign the check and my sister would fill in the rest. Not sure how the bank would handle that, since their handwriting was WAY different!

    I think I'll stick with "or" so there isn't any confusion. Leaving it blank was definitely not an option.

    Thanks all!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Louis View Post
    Chances are they already have "yours - mine - and ours" money, so why go with "yours" or "mine" on a check? They may also have a process for the "ours" money.
    We've been married three years and still don't have joint checking at all. We have joint savings but didn't have that for almost a full year. Our checking accounts are even at different banks. Too much hassle to change it when employers pay with direct deposit. Now that I am underemployed, I occasionally need money from my husband. He writes a check from his account and I deposit it in mine.

    In other words...don't assume.

  18. #18

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    If she's your friend, I don't understand why you can't just ask her?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Louis View Post
    Also, more and more couples are getting married when they already live together. Chances are they already have "yours - mine - and ours" money, so why go with "yours" or "mine" on a check? They may also have a process for the "ours" money. E.g., in my household, I do all of the banking.
    We didn't live together before we were married and it was pre-auto deposit checks (about 40 years ago when you still took the physical paycheck to the bank to cash or deposit ), but we had the yours, mine and ours checking accounts. After a while it seemed silly to have all three accounts as we would deposit money into our separate accounts, then have to write a check to put into the shared account (again pre-Internet or on-line banking )so we put everything into our joint account. We eventually closed our separate checking accounts

    We still have separate savings accounts for our retirement investments and for any money that we "inherited" - my husband's mom died about 14 years ago and my parents gift me with money every year. We do draw out of the inherited monies account to pay for some things.

    It's still fairly common in my area to change your name, but again it is not something to be assumed.

  20. #20
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    Hubby and I not only have separate accounts, we have separate banks.

    But I do see Louis' point, although it's never been a problem. If cheques come addressed to both of us, we've never had any problem depositing it in one of our accounts. I think when it comes to wedding and other personal cheques, banks get that it's likely some harmless gift from a relative. Might be different in the case of large amounts or something written from a business account.

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