Sorry to raise this from the dead, but it came up when I was googling (going to write a blog post on the topic).
#1 – Send an email transfer instead, if you can
#2 – Make it out to one person, in their pre-wedding name. In the note field write “congrats Chris and Kris” or whatever, so that it’s clear it’s for both of them.
#3 – Do not make anything out to CASH. Unfortunately, gifts go missing all the time and at least if it’s a cheque you have the ability to put a hold on it, plus it would be much, much more difficult for someone to cash it.
#4 – Dont make it out to Mr & Mrs HisFirst HisLast. Yes, it’s just money, but that really offends some people (I’d be one of them). Plus, it runs into some of the other listed problems.
Reasons – banking laws are different all over, as are name change laws. Friends just got married, one is American and one is Canadian. Holy crap did that cause issues. Some couples do not have joint bank accounts, causing another problem. Some couples will not be changing their name(s) and then that causes problems as well. Some jurisdictions will not automatically accept another’s marriage licence and sometimes it takes a couple several weeks to get a copy of the marriage certificate. It’s best to avoid all of these things.
I ended up showing my bank my marriage certificate, so that they can have a secondary name on file for me that uses my spouse’s last name. I have not changed my name though.
If you are really worried that making a cheque out to just one person would offend, you could consider writing two checks for equal amounts, though that makes it seem more like you are splitting the money, to some.
..I might have missed some things, but that will cover most.