By a show of hands, who else leaves the check writing or cash withdrawals to the day of the wedding - I’m sorry, I say day-of very conservatively, because what I really mean is like one hour before cocktail starts, as you’re en route to the reception? I swear, my husband and I are usually great wedding guests, we really are, but when it comes to assembling the gift, we do tend to procrastinate. A lot. And it’s stressful, incredibly stressful, especially when or if the wedding’s been on a Sunday and the only option for getting that paper is fast cash (in the form of twenties) through the ATM. Yup, we’ve been there… filling a card for our friends with an embarrassingly large stack of small bills…
We’ve said at least 30 times, umm, can we just Venmo this? I don’t know, IMO, it seems a bit more thought out than the obvious last-minute run to the convenience store to score the dough for the happy couple’s I Dos. It sounds so bad, but true story, the last time we were attending a wedding, we picked up our card contents at a QuickChek along with deodorant and a king size bag of Peanut M&M’s. Real classy, right?
In any case, I’ve come across a lot of message boards and public opinion polls in the last few months that bring up the great debate of whether or not Venmo is 👍 or 👎 in relation to a celebration of wedding vows. Not everyone has personal Venmo gift giving or receiving experience, but for all other matters (leading up to the wedding, on the day of the wedding, etc.), it’s pretty apparent that instant text $$$ transfers are totes OK. We had a whole Wedding Chicks discussion about this, and thought it’d be interesting to share some feedback and testimonials.
“At our wedding there was a little mishap with the gifts + card box. We forgot one! So, there might have been some cards that had gone missing + walking around with a stack of envelopes was not the easiest thing to do! The day after the wedding, when I finally got my hands on my phone, I noticed that I had some Venmo notifications. We had a whopping $400 from guests who had simply transferred us money. Easy & sustainable! May be a little less personal, but in our minds, them enjoying their time at the wedding was all we could have asked for. And the extra cash was a bonus!” ~ Diem
“I never have cash on me, like ever; it’s debit or credit always - has been and always will be. So, when I got married, I made sure that my bridesmaids remembered to bring cash for tips for our hair and makeup artists (because I knew that if cash were involved, I’d obvi need reminders, too). I collected the money at our rehearsal dinner, and knew that we’d all be set for the next morning. For two of the weddings I was in last year, though, I totallyyyy forgot about cash for tips (and not that I’m a bad tipper, either, I tend to go overboard) - Venmo was a saving grace for me, because on both days, the hair and makeup girls were like “oh yeah, just Venmo me!” The $15 and $20 tips straight into their phones were appreciated just as much as cash would have been, and I was SO thankful I had some sort of payment plan. Granted, I have no idea whether they would have been cool with the ENTIRE payment going that way, but I had already covered off on that, so the tips were just the cherry on top.” ~ Michelle
“I was recently a bridesmaid in a wedding and used Venmo religiously. For example, the bride fronted the money to her HMU people in advance, and we were able to Venmo the bride to reimburse her. I’m pretty sure she even paid some of her vendors via Venmo. We also used it the entire time on the bachelorette. One person would put down their card for a bill and everyone would Venmo.
Oh, and I know in other cultures, it's a lot more common to gift money rather than the traditional kitchenware that Americans do. My sister has a friend who is Lebanese, she's having a huge wedding (this weekend actually). She had to send out two different invites to best match the culture. To her American guests, she sent out her invite with her American-made registry page, but to her Lebanese guests, they literally put their bank info on the invites so that people could seamlessly wire them money. In America, I would imagine that a lot of people might find that out-of-the-ordinary, maybe even unsafe, but in some cultures, it's just what they do. I haven’t seen anyone here just add their Venmo handle to a registry, but I don’t know, I could see it blowing up!” ~ Emily“I paid for my son’s entire wedding with Venmo! It was super easy, the only downside is that they have a rolling weekly cap. The limits make it hard if you are trying to pay everything at once, so you just have to stagger your transactions.” ~ Amy
Photo Credit: Nick Arnot on Unsplash
“If you’re not already using Venmo for ALL the things, being someone’s Maid/Matron of Honor will very quickly flip that switch. I was my sister’s MOH last year, and on top of paying for various bridal shower accoutrements and a pricey group gift, which her bridesmaids reimbursed me for, I had to plan her bachelorette Bahamian cruise. There were 14 of us who went, a lot of cabins to book, travel arrangements to secure, and deposits to put down pronto. So, I handled all the deposits just to hold our spots on the ship, and her girls Venmo’ed me with their shares. Of course, with 14 people (13, really, because my sister didn’t pay for her cruise), not everyone was super fast, there were even a couple $50 payments that were totally dropped, oh well, wasn’t an issue, but the important thing is just to take control of the situation and if you’re asking for reimbursement, SPELL IT OUT, send those Venmo notifications, but also send advanced noticed and follow up emails to everyone, as well.” ~ Angela
“Oh! Venmo gifts… so okay, at my younger sister’s wedding last year, we ended up using Venmo in a kinda weird way. We told her and my brother-in-law well in advance that we’d probs forget their card on the wedding day - because my husband and I both had large roles in their wedding day AND were handling our 1.5 year old toddler/ring bearer the whole day. We did, of course. But at the end of the night, they had totally misjudged how much cash they brought for their vendors’ tips, and were scrambling to put together a nice tip for their band. Well, apparently they (the band) had Venmo, so we actually Venmo’ed my sister and her hubs what we planned to give them a wedding gift, and they Venmo’ed it directly to the band. So, yeah, we Venmo’ed our gift, and it was absolutely fine. In fact, it was a godsend for the couple!” ~ Justine
Instead of pros and cons (because LBH, we could come up with a lot for either), we figured it’d be best to highlight our FAVORITE ways to use Venmo for the wedding:
And just as a caveat, some vendors are now accepting Venmo for official payments - deposits, incremental and final payments, but it still isn’t totally mainstream, so you’ll just want to cover off with your wedding pros on their accepted forms of payment (from the beginning).
Couldn’t really think of another way to say it, but if you’ve been a bride or a bridesmaid, you for sure know what I’m talking about. There are so many things that brides and bridesmaids have to pay for over the course of an engagement, so it’s easy just to have Venmo on standby for these occasions. Bridal showers and bachelorette planning seriously couldn’t be done without it these days. Maybe the MOH wants to get a particular present for the bride’s engagement party, she can cover the costs, then the rest of the crew can spot her their shares shortly after. The bride wants to get special T-shirts or bathing suits made for the bachelorette party, she can shell it all out to Etsy - get the guarantee that her party will be Insta everything - and then have her maids, friends, and fam pay her back.
Because who actually has cash? On the day of the wedding, there’s like SO much to worry about, really, money for tips can escape any and everyone (including the bride and groom, their wedding party, etc.). Venmo is the best thing in the world for these cases, when you’re the bridesmaid getting glammed up, wondering how awful - on a scale of 1 to 10 - it’d be if you couldn’t tip your makeup artist for the insane smokey eye she did or the beyond fluffy fakes she used on your lashes. Or, if you’re the bride, and you’re saying goodbye to all your guests at the same time you see your band / DJ packing up - knowing full well that you forgot their gratuity not just back at the hotel, but altogether. If they accept Venmo, then you’re golden.
Day-of drinks, snackage, makeup, etc.
Just like we mentioned above, the morning of the wedding is crazy chaotic, and even if you don’t forget a card box, you could easily forget to cater in some food for your bridal party, or drinks to toast with, I even had to Venmo one of my best friend’s wedding guests who courteously offered to go on a CVS run for all of us bridesmaids who - in one way or another - forgot lipstick or mascara, deodorant, even a couple bottles of water to last us through the morning. And if you caught up with the Lauren Conrad “Asking for a Friend” podcast last week, you’ll remember her mentioning that at one point, she and her hubby had to run out to Costco for a friend’s wedding to get a whole new stash of liquor when they ran out. That’s a great scenario for Venmo. As is a cash bar 😒😒😒, if you’re the one popular person with cash, getting the drinks, you’ll be rewarded with ALL the Venmo influxes later in the night. That’s the hope, of course...