After The Wedding…
After you say “I do,” sometimes the work isn’t immediately over. There are a few things that need to be taken care of – but only after you’ve enjoyed your honeymoon?
We’ve put together a list (in no particular order) of what you need to do after the knot has been tied.
1. Thank you notes
Make sure you write all of your thank-you notes to the guests that gave you any sort of gift on your wedding day. A nice touch (that is often forgotten) would be to send your vendors thank-you cards, as well. Did your photographer do a wonderful job? Send him/her a thank you! Did your day-of coordinator make your day as smooth as possible? Give him/her a card! Yes, we know that you are paying them, but if someone has gone above and beyond to make your day as special as possible, a thank-you card really can mean a lot to them. Just so you know, etiquette would say that the perfect time frame to finish thank you’s is between three and four months. Any time after that and your guests have completely forgotten what they even gave you.
Make them a priority, and make them personal. These people dropped everything to be there and support you on the biggest day of your life thus far – they deserve a thank-you note between the three-to-four month range.
2. Returning the tuxes
Okay, this one may not be after you’ve enjoyed your honeymoon, but the good part is that you usually leave this with the best man or a family member to take care of while you’re away. If your groom rented his tux, make sure you have a plan as to how it is getting back to its owner BEFORE you leave for your honeymoon. Whether he takes it himself before you head out on your vacation, or leaves it with a close family member, just make sure it gets to where it needs to go.
3. Changing your name
Here comes the paperwork! Now that you’ve officially tied the knot, it’s time to change your name (if you’re planning to do so). The first step is to grab that marriage certificate – the original, not a copy. You will need to bring this with you when you go to the Social Security Office to obtain your new social security card.
You will also need a new driver’s license if you’ve changed your name. You can go to your local Secretary of State to get that changed, but you have to remember to bring your marriage license (there’s that pesky piece of paper again!), your brand-spankin’ new social security card, and your old driver’s license.
Here is a list of other things that may need to change now that you’ve changed your name, as well, that are less important and usually require very minimal effort:
- Post office
- Electric and other utility companies
- Credit card companies
- Schools and alumni associations (if applicable)
- Insurance companies (auto, home, life)
- Doctors’ offices
- Voter registration office
- Investment account providers
- Passport office (This can wait if you’re not leaving the country for a while)
4. What do I do with my wedding dress?
There are plenty of ways to preserve your dress, and even a few that include giving it away, but we’ve found a few adorable ideas that we wanted to share with you. The first is to frame it. Okay, maybe you don’t have room for this (many of us don’t), but it is an elegant addition to any wall, don’t you think?
If you’re the non-sentimental type, or if you just like to give to others, there are many organizations that will take your wedding dress off your hands. For example, Women at Risk, Int’l, out of Grand Rapids, takes used wedding gowns and they put on galas overseas for human trafficking survivors living in their safe houses. Your wedding dress could make a woman feel very beautiful at her own celebration!
The third option (out of many, we’re sure), is to resell your gown. If you don’t want to keep the dress, or feel like it’s just taking up space in your already-small apartment, consider selling it on websites like ruffledblog.com. This site not only takes dresses, but also takes decorations and much more. Many brides choose to go that route when buying decor items because it’s often cheaper, and they are able to be a part of a bride-community, which makes buying a lot more fun!
Or, you can simply keep the dress in the extra bedroom closet. Maybe your little girl will want to wear your wedding dress one day. Maybe she won’t, but will want to use parts of your wedding dress (lace appliques, beading, detailing, etc.) in her own. It’s fun to have that option, especially if you’re looking forward to growing your family!
5. How to preserve wedding cards
Now, many people throw their wedding cards away. Who needs to keep them? Well, sometimes guests like Aunt May write a beautiful poem inside of a card and the thought of throwing it away will make you feel guilty. We get that. We came across this photo the other day and thought it was such a unique way to preserve your wedding cards. If you’re crafty (or know someone who is who would be willing to make this for you), check this out:
6. Starting a life!
*Sigh* Now it’s time to finally sit back, relax, and enjoy the fact that the planning is over, the wait is over, and you are now husband and wife. Enjoy this time that you have. Focus on your marriage, and enjoy the beginning of this life-long ride.