Can You Send Wedding Gifts via Venmo?

The rise and fall of cards and checks.

The text messages just keep coming in!
Jay Yuno / Getty Images

Your smartphone has become a must-have accessory. In a matter of 15 minutes spent in a waiting room, subway, or in the comfort of your family room, you can catch up with friends you haven’t spoken with in years, watch your ideal life flash before your eyes on Instagram through a lens of “gathering inspiration," and take a peek inside someone’s day while watching Snapchat videos. You can Google faster than calling your best friend to ask for advice, book virtually anything, and shop without ever leaving home.

Should you choose to spend a night out with friends, you can even pay them back with a few quick clicks on your smartphone’s keyboard thanks to Venmo. With the app, money is transferred from your account to the recipient’s account in a matter of seconds. In recent years, cash has seemed foreign. But, are credit cards now becoming passé too? A signature on a credit card receipt can’t quite compete with immediate payment accompanied by a collection of your recipient’s favorite emojis.

Immediate, fast, and simple are now the ways of our world, which is wonderful and needed while on the go. However, what happens when you’re invited to an event, like a wedding? At what point does our desire to create ease and a constant source of connection beg us to ask a different question: has social media become a way of avoiding socializing?

Just a few years ago, the options present for wedding gift giving were simple: choose a piece off of the couple’s curated registry, go rogue and wrap something you chose on your own that you thought they might enjoy, or write a thoughtful message to the new couple and pair it with a check. At the wedding, a table was reserved for the sole purpose of housing the card box and a collection of boxes wrapped in paper from the top retailers. At some point, even the largest tables would be filled to overflowing. But now, we have Venmo.

Can you send money-based wedding gifts via Venmo? The short answer is yes. And, in some ways, it truly is better, faster, and easier than including a check. However, there is more to consider. Below, we’re diving into the pros and cons of Venmo at weddings and advising on decorum too.

The Pros:

Avoid the Bank: Among those who have gotten married, one of the biggest problems noted post wedding is checks made out to the bride or groom complete with his or her new married name. Because the check notes a name that is not yet legal, the individual cannot deposit the check easily. Instead of depositing checks in a group inside the bank or at an ATM, the bride or groom must meet with a banker in person. Depending on that bank’s protocol, the banker may ask to see proof of the couple’s marriage in the form of their marriage certificate. It’s a hassle.

Venmo solves this problem completely because you’re wiring money to the bride or groom directly, and all you need to know is their Venmo username. The bride or groom can then deposit the funds directly into the account of their choice whether it’s personal or joint. It’s simple and hassle-free for everyone!

Current Currency: In order to write a check to include in a card, you have to physically have a check book. Do you? As more companies offer the option to pay online, the need to write physical checks continues to lessen. Although checks will never disappear entirely (there is a population who favors them!), you may find yourself tossing your checkbook to the wayside. That leaves you with two options: include cash in a card that can get lost or appear tacky or send your gift via Venmo. Venmo clearly wins!

Convenient: In every way, shape, and form, Venmo is more convenient. As a guest, you can send a gift from the parking lot (something we don’t actually recommend!). As a couple, Venmo is faster and far more convenient because they can deposit funds that will be available to then on their honeymoon before they leave (something that likely won’t be an option if the couple has to go to the bank). In this case, everyone truly wins!

The Cons:

Impersonal: It’s fast to type in an amount and pair it with an emoji-filled note, no words needed. Because the need to find the perfect card and pen a heartfelt note is no longer (necessarily) needed, Venmo can easily appear impersonal.

Our Conclusion:

As noted above, there are far more pros to Venmo than cons. From the sender to the receiving couple, it’s quick and simple for everyone involved. However, we do have one suggestion. Although emojis, like brides, grooms, presents, hearts, and nods to honeymoon destinations are fun (who doesn’t get a thrill from seeing or using the wave and palm tree emojis?), there are few things like reading a penned note from a friend or family member.

Handwriting is tangible, cards can be kept, and while we think sending cash via Venmo is on point, we do recommend popping a card in the card box (with a note to remind the couple you have sent your gift via Venmo!) just as tradition has always suggested. It adds a personal touch, and it acts as a great reminder that being social offline will always win over being social through media.