Author Topic: Addressing Checks to Newlyweds  (Read 3584 times)

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SylviaBug

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Addressing Checks to Newlyweds
« on: February 27, 2013, 04:06:47 AM »
So, after lurking awhile I decided to come out of hiding and see what everybody thought about this situation.

This is resolved, but I was a bit curious for future reference. When my aunt got married, my grandmother wanted to write a check for the happy couple (Aunt E and Uncle L), but she wasn't sure how to address it. She was going to do the standard 'Mr. and Mrs. Hisfirstname Hislastname', but Aunt E is a vet, and her official title is Doctor. (She also kept her last name, to avoid the hassle of changing her license.) Uncle L does not have a doctorate. She considered doing 'Dr. and Mrs. Hisfirstname Hislastname', but my mother talked her out of it. I suggested 'Dr. and Mr. Herfirstname Herlastname', but was told this was improper. In the end, she just wrote out each of their full names, without titles.

In a similar scenario, how would you proceed?

Margo

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Re: Addressing Checks to Newlyweds
« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2013, 04:21:09 AM »
I think I would ask the couple, or a close family member who is involved with the wedding arrangements, what would be best.

Not everyone changes their name,  and those that plan to may not get around to making the change on their bank account immediately. (So a cheque made out to Mary Jones and John Smith might be better than one to 'Mary and John Smith' or Mr & Mrs J. Smith', as they can then bank the cheque straight away even if the paperwork to change the account name takes a few weeks longer)

Not every couple has a joint account.

Even if they intend to have a joint account, if the couple haven't lived together before they marry, they may not get around to opening an account together until a little while after the wedding, so there could be a delay in their being able to bank the cheque.

If it isn't comfortable or practical to ask, I would go with both full names, on the basis that that is likely to make it practical for them to deposit the cheque, whether or not they subsequently change their names. (And it's always possible to put a note in the card with the cheque to say that that's why you've used those names, if you are worried that they might think you're making a comment about their marriage or making assumptions about what name they plan to use!)

webhill

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Re: Addressing Checks to Newlyweds
« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2013, 06:22:32 AM »
People address stuff to Mr. MyHusband & Dr. Hiswife OurLastname all the time. FWIW. I'm the medical degree holder.

MrsCrazyPete

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Re: Addressing Checks to Newlyweds
« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2013, 06:24:04 AM »
When DH and I got married, we went to the bank the day after the wedding so we could have our money for our honeymoon. We most appreciated the checks that said DH firstname+lastname OR my firstname+lastname. We had a joint account but obviously there was no way for me to have the paperwork necessary to change my name legally one day after the fact. Some of the checks said Mr & Mrs DH lastname, which we both signed and hoped for the best with the bank (they did deposit everything, I'm sure they figured out what was going on when we had fifty-some checks to deposit!).
Sell crazy somewhere else, we're all stocked up here.

suzieQ

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Re: Addressing Checks to Newlyweds
« Reply #4 on: February 27, 2013, 06:56:58 AM »
DD had this same problem - right after getting married, they were unable to cash checks that were made out to both of them. If I wrote a check to newlyweds, I would write it to bride OR groom name.
(DD checked with the bank and I think they told her to bring the checks in for them to look at, but in the meantime, her Nana just wrote another check so she could get the money without any hassle)

Miss Unleaded

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Re: Addressing Checks to Newlyweds
« Reply #5 on: February 27, 2013, 07:33:45 AM »
Is filling in the amount and leaving the name field blank an option?  I haven't had a chequebook for twenty years so I don't really remember how they work.

Either that or ask one of the happy couple their preference.

cutejellybeen

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Re: Addressing Checks to Newlyweds
« Reply #6 on: February 27, 2013, 08:13:43 AM »
I agree with writing His Name OR Her Name - that was what was easiest for us.



Luci45

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Re: Addressing Checks to Newlyweds
« Reply #7 on: February 27, 2013, 09:56:59 AM »
I never put the title on the check. When I don't know if the bride is changing her name, I ask someone who does and fill it in at the last minute - between the wedding and the reception. Or if I am not attending but send a gift anyway, I ask a relative, or even the couple.

John or Jane Smith
John Smith or Jane Doe

I use OR instead of AND, also, as mentioned by MrsCrazyPete and suzieQ.

(When the grandchildren were little, their checks were addressed  with the child's name or parent's name:
Susie Smith or Jane Smith.)

I've been doing it this way for 50 years and never had a problem.

wolfie

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Re: Addressing Checks to Newlyweds
« Reply #8 on: February 27, 2013, 10:01:26 AM »
Is filling in the amount and leaving the name field blank an option?  I haven't had a chequebook for twenty years so I don't really remember how they work.

Either that or ask one of the happy couple their preference.

that is a bad idea - if the check gets lost or stolen anyone who finds it can fill in their name and cash it.

Outdoor Girl

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Re: Addressing Checks to Newlyweds
« Reply #9 on: February 27, 2013, 10:02:17 AM »
Is filling in the amount and leaving the name field blank an option?  I haven't had a chequebook for twenty years so I don't really remember how they work.

Either that or ask one of the happy couple their preference.

Oh, no - don't do this!  If the envelopes get stolen at the reception, the thief can fill in their own name and claim the money.

I put one or the other name on the cheque, usually the person I'm closest to.  If I'm really close to them and know they already have a joint account, I'll put both their names but I don't ever put Mr. and Mrs. Smith, because I know it will take a while before she officially becomes Mrs. Smith everywhere she has to change her name.
I have CDO.  It is like OCD but with the letters in alphabetical order, as they should be.
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Donovan

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Re: Addressing Checks to Newlyweds
« Reply #10 on: February 27, 2013, 10:02:29 AM »
I usually make it out to the groom's name as that one is the safe bet. That way I don't need to know if the bride is changing/not changing her name or if they do or don't have a joint account.


Girlie

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Re: Addressing Checks to Newlyweds
« Reply #11 on: February 27, 2013, 10:04:52 AM »
I agree with the poster above who said that they found it easiest and most convenient when the checks were made out to "Mr John Doe" or "Ms Jane Smith." Legal name changes don't happen overnight, and although banks understand the scenario, you are saved from a lot of explanation upfront if the checks are addressed that way.

fluffy

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Re: Addressing Checks to Newlyweds
« Reply #12 on: February 27, 2013, 10:06:39 AM »
I always put 'or' so that either person can cash it. If you put 'and,' they both need to sign it and it can be problematic if one person changes their name.

I don't think I'd just put one person's name on it. It's supposed to be a gift for both of them.

I kept my name and we got checks addressed all sorts of different ways, and we were able to cash them all. Even the ones that had assumed that I'd changed my name.

I wouldn't bother putting formal titles on a check.

Long story short, this is what I'd do. I'd find out if the bride was changing her name, and then I'd write it like this: "Bride First Last or Groom First Last"

Or give cash.  ;D

Pro Tip: If you're keeping your married name, send out thank you notes and then Christmas cards  with your married name splashed all over them. When we first got married, we got all sorts of things addressed to the wrong name. After two rounds of cards, everyone mostly gets it right.

We still get mail addressed to Mr. and Mrs. Fluffy's Husband. But I just say "eh, technically that's correct" and move on with my day.
« Last Edit: February 27, 2013, 10:09:07 AM by fluffy »

WillyNilly

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Re: Addressing Checks to Newlyweds
« Reply #13 on: February 27, 2013, 10:32:14 AM »
As others have pointed out, changing names doesn't happen overnight - it takes at least days in my experience, and that's 3 days starting from about 2-8 weeks after the wedding! The process is (in my area anyway): get married, officiant mails in the paperwork, city processes it, city mails out a marriage license, wife takes marriage license to Social Security and DMV fills out forms etc, SS and DMV mail out new SS card and new DL.  Only then is her name legally changed.

Also I don't know that its proper to put social titles on a legal/financial document... I mean I don't think the bank would reject "Mr", "Mrs", or "Dr" but they certainly don't need them. (Just curious - why did she consider "Dr. and Mrs. Hisfirstname Hislastname"? That would always be wrong if the wife is the Dr...)

I found, like others the easiest were the checks made out to just one of us, or that had both our names connected with a "or" instead or an "and".

Any cute sentiments can be put on the memo line or in the accompanying card, the actual payee line should be all business.

Surianne

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Re: Addressing Checks to Newlyweds
« Reply #14 on: February 27, 2013, 11:02:32 AM »
Whoa, I didn't know you *could* write "or" on a cheque.  One of those things that had never occurred to me.  Very cool.  I'll do this for the next wedding I attend.