Receiving a check as a wedding gift can be pretty exciting. How you spend it is totally up to you, whether you're adding it to your honeymoon fund, buying new hardwood flooring for your living room, or heading out for an indulgent date night. But there can be some confusion when it comes to addressing the check. Should it be written to the bride, the groom, or both? Should it have the bride's maiden name or her married name? And sometimes, guests get it wrong. So what can you do if you've been sent a check but you can't cash it? Ahead are a few tips.
The Right Way to Address a Check
First of all, here's how checks should be addressed. If a guest is sending a check as a gift before the wedding, it should be addressed to either the bride (using her maiden name) or the groom, whoever the guests knows better. If the check is being sent after the wedding, address the check in the following format: "Susan or Andrew Michaels."
By using "or" instead of "and" you'll make it easier for the bride or groom to cash the check without having to be together at the bank (especially if they haven't set up a joint bank account).
Head to the Bank
If you've received a check that's addressed incorrectly, whether it has your first name and your fiancé's last name but you won't be changing your name, or a guest incorrectly wrote his middle name as your last name, start by heading to the bank together and bring along both of your IDs and your marriage license. Usually, if it's a minor mistake and you have proof that the check is for you, the bank should be able to deposit it for you. They might ask you to both endorse the check, so being there together will save you an extra trip later.
Contact the Sender
If, for whatever reason, the bank says they can't accept the check, get in touch with the person who sent it to you and explain the situation. Let them know the best way to address a new check, then tear up the old one.
Spread the Word
To help avoid this happening in the first place, make sure to let your parents and wedding party know whether you'll be changing your name. Ask them to then encourage guests to address checks to one of you or the other (not both) to avoid checks you won't be able to deposit.