You are finally married. It was the most perfect day, and all the months of planning every last detail came together in a way that you and all your loved ones will remember and cherish. But hold on – just because the wedding (and maybe honeymoon) are over, doesn’t mean your list is done. There are a few extra things you’ll want (and need) to get taken care of and we’ve got your after-wedding checklist ready to go to help you transition into married life smoothly.
What to Do After the Wedding - Your After-Wedding Checklist
Make Sure all your Vendors have been paid.
Hopefully someone took care of this at the wedding so you didn’t have to think about it on your big day. If you still have any outstanding bills to pay to your vendors, make sure those are paid in full before you head off to your honeymoon. For your own peace of mind, you will also want to make sure you have some form of written confirmation that your final payments have been received.
Mail Your Thank You Cards
Despite being one of the most dreaded tasks, you must send thank you notes to everyone who helped, participated, provided a service or gift and/or attended your wedding. Ideally the thank you cards should be mailed out within two months of the wedding or within two weeks of receiving a gift prior to the wedding. To make this daunting task easier and more manageable, we’ve got a few resources to help you.
Change your Name (if you want) – How to Change your Name after you get Married
It’s easy to update your social media accounts but what about the big stuff? If you aren’t sure what to do or how to do it, this task could feel a little scary. No worries. We suggest starting this process soon after the wedding and it’s not that hard if you follow the steps below.
- Make sure you have your marriage license. You will need the original or a certified copy with a raised seal. You most likely were sent one automatically but if you need a new copy, a simple phone call to your local clerk’s office where your license is filed to request a new copy will work.
- Apply for a new Social Security Card. Your SS number will remain the same but your name will change. You will need your (original) marriage license to do this. Mail your application to your local Social Security Administration office. A new card should be issued to you in about 10 business days.
- Change your Driver’s License. To update your driver’s license, stop into your local Department of Motor Vehicles Office (DMV) to get a new driver’s license with your new name. Check with your local office but go prepared with as many forms of identification as you can. This will include your current driver’s license, your (original) certified marriage license and your new Social Security Card.
- Update Your Bank Accounts. The best (and fastest) way to change your name on any bank accounts is to visit your local branch location. Be sure you have your new driver’s license and marriage certificate with you. In addition to changing the name on the account(s), you should also request new checks and credit / debit cards. Please be aware that you may have to pay some additional fees to get a new card, checks, etc.
- Update Everything else. The big items are your social security card and driver’s license. After that, changes are pretty straightforward. There are other places you may need to update your marital status and your new name. Some may be as simple as a phone call, where others may require a copy of your marriage license or social security card. Other places to update your status:
- Employer (yours and your spouse’s)
- Post Office (especially if your address has changed)
- Utility Companies (electric, water / sewer, cable, etc.)
- Credit Card Companies
- Student Loan Providers
- Schools and Alumni Associations
- Mortgage Company or Landlord
- Insurance Companies (Life, Home, Auto, Health)
- Doctor’s Offices
- Voter Registration Office
- Investment Account Providers
- Your Attorney (update any legal documents like your will, etc.)
- Passport Office
- Airlines (to transfer miles if applicable)
Feeling a bit overwhelmed with changing your name? There is an easier way to do it. Check out HitchSwitch.
Return or Exchange Registry Gifts
Sometimes, even with a registry, you will get duplicates or a gift that you simply don’t love or want. Returning wedding gifts purchased through your registry is pretty simple to return. You can either take the gift back to the store or send it back to the online retailer. With any gift you plan to return or exchange, make sure you understand the retailers return policies so you know what to expect.
Sell or Donate any Extra Wedding Decor or Items
You may want to keep a few things but if you’d like to make a few extra bucks and don’t need to keep every candle holder, table number or sign that you bought for your wedding day, consider selling those extra items. Facebook marketplace is a great place to sell your unwanted wedding decor but a simple google search for “sell your wedding stuff” will yield plenty of other online resources.
Select your Wedding Photos
Photography packages vary quite a bit from photographer to photographer but many packages today do not include prints and albums like they used to. Once the wedding is over and you have your photos back, you’ll need to decide how you want to preserve your photos. Do you want any canvas prints for you or your parents? Do you want any prints to give out or create an album? Make these decisions together as a couple so that you both can enjoy them for years to come.
Clean and Preserve Your Gown
Your beautiful wedding gown deserves to be kept safe. The first thing to do is have it professionally cleaned. Be sure to confirm that the cleaner you choose specializes in cleaning wedding gowns to ensure that it is cleaned properly without damage. If you are also having it preserved, be sure to store it in a dark, dry place after you have it back. Direct sunlight, extreme temperature changes and moisture can still damage your gown.
Review Your Vendors
Before too much time has passed, take a little bit of time to write reviews for all of the vendors and experts that played a role in making your day come together. This includes everyone from your caterer and wedding venues to the photographer, makeup artist and florist. Remember how reviews helped you in your vendor decisions so be sure to provide helpful and meaningful feedback not just for the vendor but for future customers of those vendors.
Plan Something New
After you’ve had a little time to settle into married life, plan something new to look forward to. Whether it’s a holiday dinner or a dinner party with friends, a weekend getaway or day trip, having something new to plan and look forward to gives you something to fill your time and is a great way to spend time with family and friends again.
Hopefully this after-wedding checklist gives you some confidence to know what needs to be done after the wedding and makes changing your name a little easier with the step-by-step instructions.
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