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How and when to cash wedding checks

What we'll cover

  • Considerations when opening a joint account

  • Tips on depositing wedding checks

  • Alternative types of payments for wedding gifts

It’s official: You’re getting married! While you’re likely planning for the big day by choosing flowers and writing your vows, you might not be thinking about some of the post-wedding logistics, like combining finances with your significant other. And because a portion of your wedding guests will likely give a monetary gift, it helps to have a plan for what you will do with the money, specifically if it’s given in the form of a check. 

Consider opening a joint account

Couples getting married that open joint bank accounts do so for a variety of reasons. Joint accounts can make it easier for couples to track and manage expenses, set a budget and build trust and transparency in the relationship. They can also come in handy when depositing wedding gifts. Without one, you’ll have to make deposits into an individual’s bank account. Sharing finances is a big step, so it’s important to do what makes sense for you and your spouse’s financial goals and comfort levels. 

It’s recommended to deposit any checks you get for your wedding within a few weeks of receiving them.

Opening a joint account before the wedding

If you open a joint checking account prior to your wedding day, it may be easier to deposit checks given as a wedding gift. (Especially if the check is made out to both of you, but more on this later.) With a joint account, each person can make deposits or withdrawals. And you’ll both have full access to the account — which may give each of you the ability to use a mobile banking app, set up automated transfers and more. 

One factor to consider before opening a joint account is whether one spouse will be changing their name after the wedding. If so, you will need to update your account details accordingly by providing proof of your wedding (typically a marriage certificate) after the big day.  

Opening a joint account after the wedding

Some prefer to open a joint account post-wedding. One benefit to waiting is that you won’t need to update any account details if you or your spouse decides to change their name. Just know it may take some extra steps before you can deposit any checks you receive leading up to or at your wedding that are made out to both of you. And checks made out to only one of you will have to be deposited into that person’s individual account.

How long do you have after the wedding to deposit checks?

Banks are legally required to honor personal checks for up to six months after the issue date and some may offer even more flexibility. It’s recommended to deposit any checks you get for your wedding within a few weeks of receiving them. This is not only courteous to the giver, but it’s also beneficial for you and your spouse because you could use it or start earning interest on it by depositing it into an Ally Bank Savings Account .

Tip: Use the  smart savings tools  in Ally Bank's Savings Account to further boost your savings.

How do I deposit a check with two names?

If the check is written to you and your spouse, both of you must endorse it to deposit into your joint account. But if it’s payable to you or your spouse, only one of you needs to endorse it.

If for some reason you’re not able to deposit a check, contact the person who gifted you the money and ask if they can either write a new check or send the money through another method.

Other forms of payment for wedding couples

Some couples ask their guests to use alternative methods for financial gifts. Make your preference clear to attendees on your invitations and/or wedding website, providing information for gifting via:

  • Cash

  • Mobile payments (Venmo, Zelle)

  • Gift cards

  • Honeymoon fund

And now, to the next chapter

Cashing your wedding checks is just the beginning of you and your spouse’s financial future together. Planning ahead for what you will do with monetary gifts will help you make decisions as a team and reduce potential financial-related conflict down the road.

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