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Imagine – you have been invited to your friend’s wedding, but are unsure about what gift to give the newlyweds. You decide to go with money as the present. But which is more suitable; cash or check for a wedding gift? How much money should you give and is it tacky to write a check for a wedding gift?
We answer this important question in this post so that you and your gift doesn’t come across as tasteless.
Whether cash or check, money as a gift is ideal for both the giver and couple starting a new life together.
It can assist with honeymoon expenses, buying a new home, home decoration, or even the opening of a savings account.
Is Writing a Check a Tacky Wedding Gift?
Let’s begin by clarifying that money is totally acceptable as a wedding gift.
Research shows that many people from different cultures actually prefer cash over traditional offerings.
But is writing a check tacky? People have hugely split opinions on the matter – (this Reddit thread is proof of that!).
Yes, checks can feel a bit tacky and impersonal, not to mention awkward if you’ve written it out incorrectly and the newlyweds need you to rewrite it – but it all depends on how you present it and the couple who are receiving it.
If you just hand over a white envelope with a check inside, it can feel tacky.
But if you have a cute reason or story for writing the check, include it in the envelope on a separate note with a heartfelt message, and you won’t go wrong.
In terms of if it is acceptable to give money or checks instead of physical gifts, it is actually a custom in countries like Italy to gift the newlyweds with money.
However, changing societal norms have also contributed to this preference in many other cultures too.
The trend of cash over physical gifts seems to be more popular among millennial’s.
People have varying reasons to choose money as their perfect wedding gift. For instance, nowadays, couples tend to live together before they decide to get married and have a wedding.
This means that they probably own all home essentials, and there is no need for more.
Besides, they may lack enough space to store the extra appliances. With the challenging economic times, who wouldn’t want extra cash in their pocket?
Cash or Check for A Wedding Gift?
There is no specific rule against giving money as a wedding gift. Whether you decide to go with hard cash or check, the choice is all yours.
Although both options have their benefits and disadvantages, one thing is for sure. Cash can be more convenient for the receiver, while a check saves you time going to the bank and is more secure.
Here are the pros and cons for both:
Advantages of Cash as A Wedding Present
- Eliminates waste – Sometimes, physical presents end up unused, adding to the clutter. With cash, this is different. It will be put to use sooner or later when buying a needed item.
- Convenience – A cash gift is a convenient option, especially for older people. They may lack the mobility to go shopping for presents. Also, they may not know the perfect wedding gift to give their grandchildren due to the changing trends.
- Portability – cash is also easily movable and usable when traveling. It provides the opportunity to shop and travel without additional costs.
- Immediately usable – unlike checks, you don’t have to go to the bank to cash it
Cons of Cash as A Wedding Present
Impersonal – a cash gift may be seen as a lack of creativity and thought on the giver’s part.
With a physical present, you have to take the time to think and look for the best gift. The couple will appreciate the time and thought put into finding it.
Stashing money into an envelope doesn’t require much creativity nor consideration. It looks lazy and even tacky.
The reaction to receiving the money may be underwhelming and almost places a monetary value on your relationship with the recipient.
Easily lost – once cash is lost or stolen, it’s gone. Where as a check can only be used by the recipient and can be written out again if lost.
Check as A Wedding Gift
A check is preferred by some guests for various reasons. Here are some of the most popular reasons why, but also some drawbacks:
Advantages of Check as A Wedding Present
- A check is considered the safer method of giving money as a wedding gift.
- You can easily cancel it in case of theft or loss.
- It is also easy to carry around without feeling the bulkiness of cash.
- With a check in hand, the married couple can easily track the guests’ contributions and send thank you notes accordingly.
Cons of Check as A Wedding Present
- The downside of a check is that it allows room for error when writing the names of recipients.
- Like cash, it can be considered an impersonal gift to give to loved ones.
- Inconvenient for the recipient; they’ll need to go to the bank to cash it.
How Much Should You Give as A Wedding Gift?
There is no written rule about the least or maximum amount you can provide when it comes to giving money as a wedding present.
Your presence is the best gift you could offer, so always keep in mind that there is no wrong or the right amount of money as a wedding gift.
It will all depend on your personal budget and the company you keep, as well as their expectations.
Nobody should expect you to contribute more than you can afford (though we understand real life doesn’t always work that way!)
Just ensure you send the envelope with your cash or check enclosed with an explanation gift.
The note allows you to personalize the gift and convey your well-wishes to the couple, as well as adding some thought behind the cash or check – which are usually known as gifts that don’t come with much thought.
The amount you spend also depends on your relationship with the recipients and if you are attending with a partner. Be sure to only spend what is right with your budget.
Although there is no rule around the minimum amount you can gift, avoid going below $50.
If you want actual data, studies show that guests spend an average of $75 to $200 in cash or check for a wedding gift, depending on the relationship, age group and what method is used to give money.
Ultimately though, it’s not worth accumulating debt and no friend or family should want that for you. Sadly, the same study saw 33% admit to missing out on weddings because they couldn’t afford it.
When you are attending the wedding, $128 seems the average amount to give according to the study.
But gift amounts are lower when sent via a registry – an average of $72 – which is a good tip to save money!
Again, consider your relationship with the couple. For close relatives and family, you might even go higher than $200 if you can afford it.
Otherwise, $75 to $150 seems the ideal range for any other person.
Remember that money as a wedding gift is not to reimburse the recipients for the cost of their wedding. But rather an appreciation for inviting you.
Ultimately, there are wildly varying opinions on what the appropriate amount is to give when you attend a wedding. Stick to the range we’ve given and consider your relationship with the person and you should be okay.
How to Give Cash or Check for A Wedding Gift
Now that you know the appropriate amount of money to give,
- How do you give it?
- To whom do you address the check?
- The bride or the groom?
- And do you use the names after marriage or names before?
If you are giving the check before the wedding, you should make it to the person you are closer to.
This makes it easier for the couple to use the check and decide how to manage the funds.
Are you closer to the bride? Use her maiden name if she is keeping it.
If you want to support the couple before they are married with wedding costs or honeymoon, addressing the check using her maiden name allows them to do just that.
On the flip side, use the married names to make it payable to both partners if you are giving the check on the wedding day or later on.
In case you are not sure whether the couple prefers cash or check for a wedding gift, check their wedding website if they have one, for the information.
You can also avoid all these issues by giving hard cash or gift cards for the wedding. It eliminates any room for errors, while also remaining convenient for use anytime.
Wedding gifts can be a stressful subject. If you are looking for a practical and timeless option, either cash or check for wedding gifts are ideal.
Now that you’ve explored their benefits and disadvantages, you can answer the question “is it tacky to write a check for a wedding gift?”.
As always, don’t forget to understand the personality of the couple. Whether the check is well received or not will mostly depend on this.