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Respectfully Yours: Wedding money

Dear Jacquelyn,

My granddaughter is getting married later this summer. I would like to give a check as a gift. Should I write the check to the bride or the groom, or both? What is the proper way to make out a check for a wedding gift?

Dear Reader, A wedding gift of money is a fantastic and thoughtful way to help a newly-married couple start a savings account or put aside money toward buying a home. For a couple starting their lives together, it can be far more freeing than a coffee maker ever could be. It also helps if you are unsure of what to give. Checks take the guesswork and worries away from the giver.

However, if the check is made out incorrectly, it can quickly lead to a headache. The couple might not be able to cash the check, leaving them in the uncomfortable position of asking you to reissue the check. You probably want to write it out to your granddaughter with her new last name. But, you may be unsure if or when she is changing her last name. If the bride takes her time changing her last name, or doesn’t at all, that makes it very hard to cash the check. If you want to make it easier on the couple, you can simply address the wedding gift check to the groom only. Consider leaving the bride off the check unless you’re positive of what her post-wedding last name will be. If you feel this might offend the couple eager to share everything, there is another option to consider. Instead, make the check by using “or” instead of “and” for the couple’s names. This way, you’ll make it easier for the bride or groom to cash or deposit the check.

If you want to avoid the issue altogether, you can always give cash. This eliminates the possibility of name error and makes your gift immediately available. Your thoughtfulness and thinking ahead will eliminate any undue awkwardness for the couple.

Respectfully Yours, Jacquelyn

Have a question? Email: jacquelyn@ptd.net. Jacquelyn Youst is owner of the Pennsylvania Academy of Protocol, specializing in etiquette training. She is on the board of directors of the National Civility Foundation. All Rights Reserved &Copy; 2018 Jacquelyn Youst