My cousin is getting married. She is considerably younger in age and we live in different parts of the country. I would not be attending the wedding.

I know how much I would like to gift. But how can I 'send' it? Western Union just doesn't sound right. I'm not close enough to ask her email in order to 'email' the funds, as some banks allow these days.

Would mailing a prepaid Visa or MasterCard be appropriate?

Update I really don't know her good enough to venture a (department store) gift card.

  • 3
    Can you send a check in a wedding card? – DaveG Aug 4 '18 at 2:22
  • 1
    Is anyone else (your parents, siblings, etc) going to the wedding, whom you could ask to 'deliver' your gift? – Arsak Aug 4 '18 at 7:28
  • I'm voting to close this as off topic since it's asking about finances and not about interpersonal skills. – sphennings Aug 4 '18 at 9:35

I'm not close enough to ask her email in order to 'email' the funds, as some banks allow these days.

There's something to work on ...

Send a card, Postal Money Order, and perhaps a note/letter congratulating her and asking for an email address (you'll write a couple of times a year). The card goes on a table for all to see, the MO is good at any bank, and she can put the note in the scrapbook.

A prepaid card doesn't say how much it's for and you are settling up a credit card account for someone else. Cash in the mail isn't a good idea, unless it's a tiny amount (which I presume it is not).

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When I got married cash gifts were pretty common and honestly really helpful as we were fitting much of the bill on our own. Those cards that unexpectedly showed up in the mail helped an awful lot.

It may seem less secure but sending cash inside a card is a reasonably common thing to do in the US. Snail mail is slow, but still pretty reliable and a nice card adds a personal touch that a wire transfer doesn't.

If you're terribly worried about security, consider sending a wire transfer to a trusted local family member and mail them the card with an envelope and so on. I'm sure someone you know will be attending a wedding shower and would be happy to pass along your card and best wishes.

For those that think gifting cash is thoughtless, impersonal, or in poor taste... Think about all the expenses and stress involved in planning a wedding and getting started as a young couple. Cash is exactly what they need, so stop it.

So... Go down to your local grocery, pick out a nice card, write something sweet in it, insert cash, and mail it. Or nudge a family member for a little help if you're a little paranoid.

Another more endearing approach could be to call around to local florists in the couple's area and see if any of them do "money trees". Yes that's really a thing... Usually small bills folded into oragami flowers and/or leaves clipped onto a wire frame tree. This will likely put you a little more out of pocket, but they look pretty, and it may be a nice touch for folks who care about that sort of thing. (Pro-tip many young couples could probably use the extra cash more than the presentation, so consider that when making your choice.)

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