Etiquette Hell

General Etiquette => Life...in general => Topic started by: TamJamB on October 10, 2013, 08:00:38 AM

Title: How to give cash as a gift?
Post by: TamJamB on October 10, 2013, 08:00:38 AM
The day before yesterday my husband told me we were invited to a wedding THIS Friday! He's had the invitation on his desk for 4 weeks. bacon-fed knave.

Anyway, usually with weddings I buy a gift and have it sent to the couple a week or two before the big day. Obviously, there is not time for that. And I don't know where they are registered anyway. Kevin asked his coworker (the bride's dad) about gifts and was told that cash would be the best gift, since they are saving for a house. OK, I'm fine with that, except for how to do it... Last time I gave money as a wedding gift was years ago when I still had a checkbook. Like most people I know, I don't use checks anymore and I'm all out of them. Should I just put greenbacks in the card? A money order? What?
Title: Re: How to give cash as a gift?
Post by: bopper on October 10, 2013, 08:02:57 AM
You could go to your bank and get a cashier's check?
Title: Re: How to give cash as a gift?
Post by: Outdoor Girl on October 10, 2013, 08:06:12 AM
If your bank will give you a money order or cashier's cheque without charging you a fee, I'd go with that.  But if they are going to charge you a fee?  I'd just put cash in the card.
Title: Re: How to give cash as a gift?
Post by: TootsNYC on October 10, 2013, 08:11:41 AM
Everybody I know either (a) writes a check or (b) gets big bills.

Wedding-present checks tend to get deposited right away. So that's how we do it. We often write the check out to the man, but sometimes to the couple. And write a note inside.

I don't think there's my sense in trying to not offend them by what you write on the check--write "wedding present to the both of you" on the memo line.
Title: Re: How to give cash as a gift?
Post by: CluelessBride on October 10, 2013, 08:59:14 AM
I attended an elopement party (an informal party celebrating the marriage, but with a gift opening similar to a shower) years ago with a super cute cash gift.

It was a jar painted with the words "Couple's Name Date Night Jar" filled with cash and then a set of brightly colored index cards. The card explained that the index cards were to write down ideas for date nights to put in the jar, so you could pull one out when you were looking for a night out (along with the money to fund it).  The gift giver had filled out a few ideas on cards to get the couple started. The couple (young and just starting out) loved it and still uses it, adding loose change and date ideas and then pulling them out as needed.

When we got married, we received both checks and cash - so I think either option is perfectly fine.
Title: Re: How to give cash as a gift?
Post by: Outdoor Girl on October 10, 2013, 09:01:58 AM
OT:  I have two accounts that I can write cheques on.  I'm getting low on cheques for both.  Ordered them for the one account for $XX.  Went to order them for the other account?  Almost twice as much!  So when I run out of cheques for that account, I will only be writing cheques on the other account.
Title: Re: How to give cash as a gift?
Post by: Zilla on October 10, 2013, 09:27:01 AM
Did he RSVP?  I wouldn't go if he didn't RSVP by the date on the invitation.


As for how to give cash, a cashier's check or a visa gift card.
Title: Re: How to give cash as a gift?
Post by: TamJamB on October 10, 2013, 09:59:46 AM
He RSVPed to his coworker, the bride's father and host of the wedding.  I know we are expected.
Title: Re: How to give cash as a gift?
Post by: cwm on October 10, 2013, 10:02:01 AM
Did he RSVP?  I wouldn't go if he didn't RSVP by the date on the invitation.


As for how to give cash, a cashier's check or a visa gift card.

Be careful with any sort of gift card secured by a credit card name. Some of them have ridiculous fees. Look into them if you have time before getting any. I got a Visa gift card from my dad last year for Christmas. $100 card, fee to activate it, fee if you didn't use it X times a month, fee if you used it too much, fee every month for keeping the account open, fee for adding more money to it, fee for money advances off of it.

Cash or a cashier's check are both valid options, especially if you can get the cashier's check for free.
Title: Re: How to give cash as a gift?
Post by: WillyNilly on October 10, 2013, 10:07:26 AM
I see absolutely nothing wrong with actual cash in the envelope with the card. Please do try to use bigger bills to make it as few actual pieces of cash (one $50 as opposed to three $10s and four $5s for example) but other then that I'm not sure why you are doubting yourself.

I come from an area/social group/family that considers money to the be the first choice in wedding gifting, its simply what we all do, physical items gifts are just not the norm for us. And cash to check in the card is about 50/50 (as has been for at least 20+ years, so its not a new thing now that people don't use checks as often, people always gave cash as an option.)

Just be sure to hand the card directly to the bride or the groom, or if they have a special box for them, slip it in there. Don't hand it to another family member on their behalf. Just in case.
Title: Re: How to give cash as a gift?
Post by: SlitherHiss on October 10, 2013, 10:09:04 AM
Just put actual cash in the card. It's entirely normal, and there's no need to dress it up further unless you really want to.
Title: Re: How to give cash as a gift?
Post by: mspallaton on October 10, 2013, 10:16:24 AM
DH and I got married about a month ago and we got a mix of gifts and cash.  The cash came in three forms from different people:

- Visa gift cards
- Checks
- Actual cash

While we were appreciative of all of it, I would tell you the order of ease of use for us was as follows:

- Checks and cash = easy
- Gift cards = pain in the booty

They are very restrictive - hard to pool with other things.  We have ended up using the gift cards as iTunes vehicles to add music to our collection because it was too complicated to use them for part of a payment here or there.  Wearing them down $1.29 by $1.29 has been the easiest for us.  Definitely not a complaint -- we love getting new music - but since the happy couple is saving for a house, something pool-able would probably be better.

I would recommend cash - if you want it to look particularly nice, you might want to go to the bank and get fresh bills so they look clean and new.  We got both crumpled and fresh bills and it didn't matter a ton, but I know you're trying to make it feel as special as possible.  There was something kind of neat about the crispness of the newer bills.
Title: Re: How to give cash as a gift?
Post by: Zilla on October 10, 2013, 10:18:43 AM
He RSVPed to his coworker, the bride's father and host of the wedding.  I know we are expected.


At least that's a point in his favor. Maybe a mini bacon fed knave.  ;)
Title: Re: How to give cash as a gift?
Post by: TamJamB on October 10, 2013, 10:39:15 AM
Yeah, the whole thing has been a bit of a pain in the patoot.  I've spent the last 2 lunch hours running around trying to find a dress to wear (none of my party dresses fit any more  >:( ), then shoes to match and a necklace and earrings... Had to drop my husband's suit off to be cleaned and pressed, then pick it up.  Today I will be getting my nails done at lunch, buying a card, and (if I have time) getting a money order... If I don't have time for the money order, I will just get cash.  I like weddings and I'm sure I'll have a lovely time but it all would have been much less stressful if I'd had a little more notice!
Title: Re: How to give cash as a gift?
Post by: Arila on October 10, 2013, 11:00:15 AM
Bacon fed knave -- love it! :)


Just be sure to hand the card directly to the bride or the groom, or if they have a special box for them, slip it in there. Don't hand it to another family member on their behalf. Just in case.

Does the HC have time to deal with this in the middle of the celebrations? When I brought a card with cash in it, I kept it with me and then ascertained who the trusted gift collector was (MOB was not to be trusted, apparently! so the bit about not to any old relative is TRUE!) and gave it to that person at the end of the reception as they were moving the gifts to the more secure car which would transport them home.
Title: Re: How to give cash as a gift?
Post by: WillyNilly on October 10, 2013, 11:19:10 AM
Bacon fed knave -- love it! :)


Just be sure to hand the card directly to the bride or the groom, or if they have a special box for them, slip it in there. Don't hand it to another family member on their behalf. Just in case.

Does the HC have time to deal with this in the middle of the celebrations? When I brought a card with cash in it, I kept it with me and then ascertained who the trusted gift collector was (MOB was not to be trusted, apparently! so the bit about not to any old relative is TRUE!) and gave it to that person at the end of the reception as they were moving the gifts to the more secure car which would transport them home.

I never encountered a HC would didn't have the time. Throughout my wedding people came up and handed me plenty of cards. Usually they did it while having a chat with me, but some just came up and quickly said "oh sorry interrupt..." and handed me a card, and I smiled said thank you and spoke with them personally later. During cocktail hour for example, I was holding quite a few cards for a while because people kept handing them to me as I mingled. I was able to put them somewhere secure between cocktail hour and main room. Then once we were in the main room, people came up to DH and I while we were sitting, or gave us cards as we walked around the room.
Title: Re: How to give cash as a gift?
Post by: #borecore on October 10, 2013, 12:44:16 PM
We got checks, not cash (and one gift card to the store where we registered). Even the aunt who gave us $5 or $10 and a note about how she hoped our new restaurant opening went well (I haven't the faintest idea!) gave a check.

We would have liked cash just as much, if not more, but I like the idea of a check if you're not sure you'll be able to hand it directly to the bride or groom, since it's a lot easier for anyone who grabs the card to use cash. :)

A final note about checks: Be sure to put it in the name of someone whose name won't be changing ... just in case, and if you know it. Chances of a hassle are slim, but I've known people who had moderate trouble.
Title: Re: How to give cash as a gift?
Post by: bopper on October 10, 2013, 03:02:59 PM
Bacon fed knave -- love it! :)


Just be sure to hand the card directly to the bride or the groom, or if they have a special box for them, slip it in there. Don't hand it to another family member on their behalf. Just in case.

Does the HC have time to deal with this in the middle of the celebrations? When I brought a card with cash in it, I kept it with me and then ascertained who the trusted gift collector was (MOB was not to be trusted, apparently! so the bit about not to any old relative is TRUE!) and gave it to that person at the end of the reception as they were moving the gifts to the more secure car which would transport them home.

it is quite normal for the bride to have a fabric purse for just such an occasion...during the reception as one walks around visiting people might give you a check and then you tuck it into this purse.
Title: Re: How to give cash as a gift?
Post by: Arila on October 10, 2013, 03:18:49 PM
Bacon fed knave -- love it! :)


Just be sure to hand the card directly to the bride or the groom, or if they have a special box for them, slip it in there. Don't hand it to another family member on their behalf. Just in case.

Does the HC have time to deal with this in the middle of the celebrations? When I brought a card with cash in it, I kept it with me and then ascertained who the trusted gift collector was (MOB was not to be trusted, apparently! so the bit about not to any old relative is TRUE!) and gave it to that person at the end of the reception as they were moving the gifts to the more secure car which would transport them home.

it is quite normal for the bride to have a fabric purse for just such an occasion...during the reception as one walks around visiting people might give you a check and then you tuck it into this purse.

Really? I didn't, and had never heard of such a thing until your post. *shrug*


Also, wouldn't that separate the gift from the card (which would help you remember who to thank later)?
Title: Re: How to give cash as a gift?
Post by: MrTango on October 10, 2013, 03:32:48 PM
We got checks, not cash (and one gift card to the store where we registered). Even the aunt who gave us $5 or $10 and a note about how she hoped our new restaurant opening went well (I haven't the faintest idea!) gave a check.

We would have liked cash just as much, if not more, but I like the idea of a check if you're not sure you'll be able to hand it directly to the bride or groom, since it's a lot easier for anyone who grabs the card to use cash. :)

A final note about checks: Be sure to put it in the name of someone whose name won't be changing ... just in case, and if you know it. Chances of a hassle are slim, but I've known people who had moderate trouble.

For this: I'd suggest asking to sit down with a banker to deposit a bunch of checks and change the name on the account.  Odds are, even a novice personal banker has handled this situation before.
Title: Re: How to give cash as a gift?
Post by: WillyNilly on October 10, 2013, 04:18:31 PM
Bacon fed knave -- love it! :)


Just be sure to hand the card directly to the bride or the groom, or if they have a special box for them, slip it in there. Don't hand it to another family member on their behalf. Just in case.

Does the HC have time to deal with this in the middle of the celebrations? When I brought a card with cash in it, I kept it with me and then ascertained who the trusted gift collector was (MOB was not to be trusted, apparently! so the bit about not to any old relative is TRUE!) and gave it to that person at the end of the reception as they were moving the gifts to the more secure car which would transport them home.

it is quite normal for the bride to have a fabric purse for just such an occasion...during the reception as one walks around visiting people might give you a check and then you tuck it into this purse.

Really? I didn't, and had never heard of such a thing until your post. *shrug*


Also, wouldn't that separate the gift from the card (which would help you remember who to thank later)?

Well if you are only giving a card with money in it, its not going to get separated as its in one envelope and the whole thing goes into the purse.
Also the idea of bringing a physical object gift to a wedding is a very regional thing. In many places it is simply not done. Money gifts can, and often are, brought, but stuff gifts are sent before or after the wedding to the HC's home (or traditionally the bride's parents house in the case of before the wedding).
Title: Re: How to give cash as a gift?
Post by: CakeEater on October 10, 2013, 04:37:10 PM
We got checks, not cash (and one gift card to the store where we registered). Even the aunt who gave us $5 or $10 and a note about how she hoped our new restaurant opening went well (I haven't the faintest idea!) gave a check.

We would have liked cash just as much, if not more, but I like the idea of a check if you're not sure you'll be able to hand it directly to the bride or groom, since it's a lot easier for anyone who grabs the card to use cash. :)

A final note about checks: Be sure to put it in the name of someone whose name won't be changing ... just in case, and if you know it. Chances of a hassle are slim, but I've known people who had moderate trouble.

For this: I'd suggest asking to sit down with a banker to deposit a bunch of checks and change the name on the account.  Odds are, even a novice personal banker has handled this situation before.

The problem might be that the couple will retain separate accounts, or the cheque may have been written out to 'Woman Hislastname' when she won't be changing her name.

I found cheques to be a giant pain. Giving cash was perfectly easy.
Title: Re: How to give cash as a gift?
Post by: WillyNilly on October 10, 2013, 04:42:30 PM
We got checks, not cash (and one gift card to the store where we registered). Even the aunt who gave us $5 or $10 and a note about how she hoped our new restaurant opening went well (I haven't the faintest idea!) gave a check.

We would have liked cash just as much, if not more, but I like the idea of a check if you're not sure you'll be able to hand it directly to the bride or groom, since it's a lot easier for anyone who grabs the card to use cash. :)

A final note about checks: Be sure to put it in the name of someone whose name won't be changing ... just in case, and if you know it. Chances of a hassle are slim, but I've known people who had moderate trouble.

For this: I'd suggest asking to sit down with a banker to deposit a bunch of checks and change the name on the account.  Odds are, even a novice personal banker has handled this situation before.

The problem might be that the couple will retain separate accounts, or the cheque may have been written out to 'Woman Hislastname' when she won't be changing her name.

I found cheques to be a giant pain. Giving cash was perfectly easy.

Even if the woman does change her name, its not always easy. It took 10 weeks for my wedding certificate to come in the mail. And then I had to go to DMV and get a new drivers license, which took a week to come before I could change my name on my bank account.

best to make checks to either the groom's name (you can write the brides name on the memo line if you want) or to "Tom Smith or Mary Jones" so they ccan be deposited in either person's personal account or a joint account.
Title: Re: How to give cash as a gift?
Post by: GlitterIsMyDrug on October 10, 2013, 04:53:30 PM
We got checks, not cash (and one gift card to the store where we registered). Even the aunt who gave us $5 or $10 and a note about how she hoped our new restaurant opening went well (I haven't the faintest idea!) gave a check.

We would have liked cash just as much, if not more, but I like the idea of a check if you're not sure you'll be able to hand it directly to the bride or groom, since it's a lot easier for anyone who grabs the card to use cash. :)

A final note about checks: Be sure to put it in the name of someone whose name won't be changing ... just in case, and if you know it. Chances of a hassle are slim, but I've known people who had moderate trouble.

For this: I'd suggest asking to sit down with a banker to deposit a bunch of checks and change the name on the account.  Odds are, even a novice personal banker has handled this situation before.

The problem might be that the couple will retain separate accounts, or the cheque may have been written out to 'Woman Hislastname' when she won't be changing her name.

I found cheques to be a giant pain. Giving cash was perfectly easy.

Even if the woman does change her name, its not always easy. It took 10 weeks for my wedding certificate to come in the mail. And then I had to go to DMV and get a new drivers license, which took a week to come before I could change my name on my bank account.

best to make checks to either the groom's name (you can write the brides name on the memo line if you want) or to "Tom Smith or Mary Jones" so they ccan be deposited in either person's personal account or a joint account.

Just to complicate checks a little more...I know of three different fellas who opted to change their last names after getting married. All married to women (one took wife's last name, the other two both wife and husband changed their last name to a new shared last name). It might be becoming more common place.

I wonder, does anyone know if pre-wedding HC could drop by their local branch of their bank (the branch they'd most likely deposit checks), and let maybe a branch manager or someone in charge know what's going down and maybe have a list of possible names that could appear on the check? Sorry, this is a bit off topic, just something I thought of that might be a problem for the two of us (I'm keeping my last name, she's changing her's to mine).
Title: Re: How to give cash as a gift?
Post by: WillyNilly on October 10, 2013, 05:09:31 PM
Just doing the "or" thing is probably easiest. Name changes don't happen immediately, you need to show proof at the bank. So any "maiden name" so to speak on the check should work.
Title: Re: How to give cash as a gift?
Post by: gellchom on October 11, 2013, 01:44:50 PM
You know, there's no requirement that your gift come before or at the wedding. 

You say you usually prefer to buy a "thing gift" and send it to the couple.  So go ahead and do that anyway and let it be delivered after the wedding.  Not a thing wrong with that.

And if you can't find registry information, so what?  Choose something nice.  Fight the creeping notion that guests are only supposed to choose gifts that the couple themselves already selected  :) -- it's simply not true.  I wince every time I read the expression "off registry gift" as if it's some sort of odd exception to the norm.
Title: Re: How to give cash as a gift?
Post by: SamiHami on October 11, 2013, 03:01:48 PM
^^^^^^^^
This, 100%
Title: Re: How to give cash as a gift?
Post by: JeanFromBNA on October 11, 2013, 03:31:04 PM
Does the HC have time to deal with this in the middle of the celebrations? When I brought a card with cash in it, I kept it with me and then ascertained who the trusted gift collector was (MOB was not to be trusted, apparently! so the bit about not to any old relative is TRUE!) and gave it to that person at the end of the reception as they were moving the gifts to the more secure car which would transport them home.

I never encountered a HC would didn't have the time. Throughout my wedding people came up and handed me plenty of cards. Usually they did it while having a chat with me, but some just came up and quickly said "oh sorry interrupt..." and handed me a card, and I smiled said thank you and spoke with them personally later. During cocktail hour for example, I was holding quite a few cards for a while because people kept handing them to me as I mingled. I was able to put them somewhere secure between cocktail hour and main room. Then once we were in the main room, people came up to DH and I while we were sitting, or gave us cards as we walked around the room.
Better determine from the planner or the host with whom cards should be left.  I gave an envelope with cash to the bride at the rehearsal dinner, and was horrified to see it left behind at an empty table in a restaurant while she practiced dance steps outside.  I snatched it up and gave it to her mother. 
Title: Re: How to give cash as a gift?
Post by: hobish on October 11, 2013, 03:57:28 PM
You know, there's no requirement that your gift come before or at the wedding. 

You say you usually prefer to buy a "thing gift" and send it to the couple.  So go ahead and do that anyway and let it be delivered after the wedding.  Not a thing wrong with that.

And if you can't find registry information, so what?  Choose something nice.  Fight the creeping notion that guests are only supposed to choose gifts that the couple themselves already selected  :) -- it's simply not true.  I wince every time I read the expression "off registry gift" as if it's some sort of odd exception to the norm.

Yah, good point there (as usual  :D) although in my area money is usual. Generally there is a pretty bird cage or box specifically for putting cards in. I have not seen many ladies carrying a purse for them, although I have heard of it being done.
Title: Re: How to give cash as a gift?
Post by: TootsNYC on October 11, 2013, 09:33:45 PM
Bacon fed knave -- love it! :)


Just be sure to hand the card directly to the bride or the groom, or if they have a special box for them, slip it in there. Don't hand it to another family member on their behalf. Just in case.

Does the HC have time to deal with this in the middle of the celebrations? When I brought a card with cash in it, I kept it with me and then ascertained who the trusted gift collector was (MOB was not to be trusted, apparently! so the bit about not to any old relative is TRUE!) and gave it to that person at the end of the reception as they were moving the gifts to the more secure car which would transport them home.

If there's clearly a trusted gift collector, fine.

But in general, don't just hand it off to anyone and dump the responsibility on them.

In situations in which B&Gs are aware that people will give them cash, they often create some way to deal with it. And it's always better to have them accumulating ALL the cards, instead of the FOB or FOG (trustworthy though they may be) having the chore of holding on to it, passing it off, etc.

They're at the party, too!
Title: Re: How to give cash as a gift?
Post by: TamJamB on October 14, 2013, 01:16:09 PM
You know, there's no requirement that your gift come before or at the wedding. 

You say you usually prefer to buy a "thing gift" and send it to the couple.  So go ahead and do that anyway and let it be delivered after the wedding.  Not a thing wrong with that.

And if you can't find registry information, so what?  Choose something nice.  Fight the creeping notion that guests are only supposed to choose gifts that the couple themselves already selected  :) -- it's simply not true.  I wince every time I read the expression "off registry gift" as if it's some sort of odd exception to the norm.

I'm with you in general.  Few people dislike the 'creeping notions' surrounding the Wedding Industry more than I do.  In this case, however, I had never met anyone involved in the wedding before.  Not the bride and groom; not the bride's parents... nobody.  We were invited by the Bride's dad, who works with my husband.  And they aren't particularly close friends, having only worked together for 2-3 months... So I would have had a very hard time choosing a gift for the couple.  I could have sent a gift after the wedding (I did - on the day of the wedding - find out where they were registered); but my husband comes from a bring-a-gift-to-the-wedding culture and he would have been very uncomfortable showing up empty handed - more uncomfortable than I was going with a cash gift.

Anyway, I took cash in a card and kept it in my purse until I could see what the gift table setup was.  If it had seems unsecure, I would have given the card to the couple or her father directly.  As it was, the card box was provided by the reception venue and was very secure -- a locked metal filligree box with a slot in it.  The box itself was secured to the table.  So I was able to stick the card in there and not think twice.

Lovely wedding, BTW.
Title: Re: How to give cash as a gift?
Post by: Rohanna on October 14, 2013, 01:40:37 PM
If the bride and groom didn't have time to shake my hand and hold a card the. I probably wouldn't bother giving then a gift. I expect to at least have the chance to exchange a handshake with them at some point during the celebration.
Title: Re: How to give cash as a gift?
Post by: GlitterIsMyDrug on October 14, 2013, 02:12:22 PM
You know, there's no requirement that your gift come before or at the wedding. 

You say you usually prefer to buy a "thing gift" and send it to the couple.  So go ahead and do that anyway and let it be delivered after the wedding.  Not a thing wrong with that.

And if you can't find registry information, so what?  Choose something nice.  Fight the creeping notion that guests are only supposed to choose gifts that the couple themselves already selected  :) -- it's simply not true.  I wince every time I read the expression "off registry gift" as if it's some sort of odd exception to the norm.

I'm with you in general.  Few people dislike the 'creeping notions' surrounding the Wedding Industry more than I do.  In this case, however, I had never met anyone involved in the wedding before.  Not the bride and groom; not the bride's parents... nobody.  We were invited by the Bride's dad, who works with my husband.  And they aren't particularly close friends, having only worked together for 2-3 months... So I would have had a very hard time choosing a gift for the couple.  I could have sent a gift after the wedding (I did - on the day of the wedding - find out where they were registered); but my husband comes from a bring-a-gift-to-the-wedding culture and he would have been very uncomfortable showing up empty handed - more uncomfortable than I was going with a cash gift.

Anyway, I took cash in a card and kept it in my purse until I could see what the gift table setup was.  If it had seems unsecure, I would have given the card to the couple or her father directly.  As it was, the card box was provided by the reception venue and was very secure -- a locked metal filligree box with a slot in it.  The box itself was secured to the table.  So I was able to stick the card in there and not think twice.

Lovely wedding, BTW.

I would've been too. The concept of sending a gift before the wedding is so odd to me. In less its due to having to travel for the wedding (thus shipping before is easier). I've always done bring a gift to the wedding.

Anyways, I'm happy to hear you found something that worked and enjoyed the wedding. :)