We're not sure if the bride is taking the groom's last name, we plan on the check being delivered before the wedding. Who do we make it out to?
Do we send the check to: Mr. and Mrs. John Doe ?
Or to: John Doe and Jane Smith ??
I would make it out to: Jane Smith or John Doe rather than "and" so that only 1 signature is required.
all gifts delivered before the wedding are given to the BRIDE.
So, make it out to her.
Or, make it to both of them, w/ their unmarried names, as Mona has suggested, w/ the "or."
Thank you. (I sent it to both, with the "or" between their names).
I would use their unmarried names even if it is being delivered at the wedding. Many women don't change their names and those that do usually deposit the checks before they have their checking account changed over. Take it from me, it is a PITA trying to deposit a check with a name on it for someone that doesn't exist. I didn't change my name. Checks were written every which way. Maiden names, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, Sue and Mike Smith, etc. Luckily I'd been with the same bank forever and they let me deposit checks written to Sue and Mike Smith even though I am Sue Jones and Mike Smith wasn't on the account.
I don't think it would even be a problem for a bride to cash a check made out to her in her maiden name after the wedding even if she does change her name. As long as she isn't doing it for fraudulent purposes, it is not unlawful for her to use more than one name anyway. If it is a new bank for them, though, she should make sure the bank knows that she is the same person.
The issue is when the check is made out to the assumed married name, and the bride doesn't change her name. I agree that if the check is written out to the maiden name there won't be an issue even if she changes her name.
I didn't change my name, and we got checks written to Mr. and Mrs. William Hisname. We just deposited them into DH's checking account--nobody blinked.
I think my point holds in either case. Just because a woman doesn't adopt her husbands name doesn't mean she is committing fraud by depositing a check made out to her with that name; the point is that SHE IS the person to whom the check writer intends the money to go, even though the check writer got the name wrong. Think of it as comparable to a misspelling of her name.
My experience is the same as Talley Sue's. Neither of us changed our names (pretty common in 1982), so I'm "Gell," he's "Chom." In almost 26 years, we've never had a problem with the occasional check made out to the wrong name (either way; people mistakenly call him "Mr. Gell" just as they call me "Mrs. Chom") or similar situation.
From working at a bank, if you're depositing a check that has a name on it that doesn't match the name on the account, the teller is supposed to ask you to show ID, or ask why. if the bride has the mariage licence, or a drivers licence w/her maiden name on it, it shouldn't be a problem. when in doubt just make it to solely the bride in her maiden name, or solely the groom (whoever's side you were invited from) because generally both the groom and the bride will have an account that they can cash it against with that name, then deposit into the right account if all else fails.