Matt Harrington

For more secrets of social media stars, pick up a copy of InStyle's July issue, on newsstands and available for digital download now.

Christina Shanahan
Jun 28, 2016 @ 5:00 pm

Whether you're new to the scene or just one pastel gown away from landing a cameo in the Bridesmaids sequel, Style Me Pretty founder Abby Larson has you covered when it comes to wedding etiquette. Once you get that invitation in the mail, it’s time to start thinking about how to generously extend your congrats to the happy couple and so we asked the expert to sound off on the art of gifting.

According to Larson, you don’t have to embark on an Etsy hunt in order to appear thoughtful. In fact, cash gifts are not only totally acceptable, but majorly appreciated by most newlyweds. Read on for her tips on how to make a personal check feel more, well, personal. Then get ready to breeze through the season as the best guest ever.

Is there ever a scenario where you should feel too impersonal gifting cash?
Never! Cash it up. Brides and grooms feel like queens and kings when they open monetary gifts after their wedding because they can use them to invest in special goals, like buying furniture for a new house. They will turn those dollars into something that will stand the test of time. My husband and I bought a dining room table with our wedding gift fund, and it was awesome knowing that we didn't have to dip into our savings.

How can you make a monetary gift feel more personal?
Wrap the bills or the check inside a handwritten recipe and tie it together with a pretty ribbon or a piece of twine.

Do you have a suggestion for wedding cards that feel extra special if you’re enclosing a check?
I also love the idea of having a card custom-made. Julie Song creates handpainted stationery using watercolor and calligraphy. Something that beautiful may wind up being framed in the couple's home.

Time Inc. Digital Studio

Botanical Floral No. 2, Gold Foil Love Ombré, and Pink Peonies Bouquet blank greeting cards ($16 for assorted set of 6 or $5 each; juliesongink.com).

RELATED: Watch Style Me Pretty's Abby Larson Break Down What to Wear to a Classic Wedding

If you prefer to stick with a traditional gift, do you ever advise going off-registry for a close friend?
A lot of people want to get creative with their gifts, but the reality is that couples put a lot of time into choosing what they want to register for. Even if something seems mundane to you, they picked that kitchen appliance or spatula because they really need it, so you can't go wrong. I also think that a set of stationary is such a perfect gift to give to a couple. It's such a luxury and something you wouldn’t necessarily splurge on for yourself. Give them something like a set of 25 or 50 personalized note cards with their address printed on the envelope. It can make sending out thank you notes very easy!

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