Monetary wedding gifts
- Don’t give more than you can afford.
- Are you a close friend or relative? In the US. monetary gifts, if given, usually come from relatives or very close friends. Sometimes, however, friends of the couple from an office or club, participate in a group gift where money is collected. Cash should never be given. Loose bills are hard to keep track of and too easily lost. Checks are the proper form to use.
- Will the money be useful to the couple? Would they rather have something more tangible, with your thoughtfulness behind it, by which to remember your friendship?
- Consider giving a gift card rather than a check.
- Generally the check is addressed to the couple (so both must endorse it). When the check is given at the reception, it is presented to the groom, without fanfare. If sending money before the wedding, the check is delivered to the bride.
- The donor’s name is never revealed when gifts are displayed. Their name is discreetly covered. Gifts and checks of similar amounts are displayed together to avoid comparisons.
- Some ethnic traditions allow for a money tree or money dance where guests may “shower” the couple with reasonable amounts of cash. All such goodwill gestures are appropriate when not excessive or mandatory. Remember, here again the rule saying, “Do not give more than you can afford” takes the pressure off while joining in the fun. These customs have the potential to embarrass some guests who may not have the funds to give and that’s why its best to not stipulate amounts or participation.
These are good rules. They keep us from hurting or embarrassing other people. It has been said, and I agree, that “the excellence of a gift lies in its thoughtful appropriateness rather than in its value”. This is why the widow, giving her only mite, was praised by Christ for her loving generosity. And, this explains why a carefully chose item, or special handmade piece, or carefully handwritten note expressing sincere best wishes on the wedding card, because of its thoughtfulness, is often times more meaningful than a monetary gift. Thanks for your question. Protocol Matters!