There are tons of checklists out there to help you plan a wedding, but how about after the wedding? While you may be feeling a sigh of relief that your wedding is now over, there is still a lot to do! Today, we're sharing our after-the-wedding checklist to help you tackle the ten most important things to do after getting married.
1. Send Thank You Cards
Thank you cards should be mailed out one to three months after your wedding. If you've already waited too long, it's still better to send one than none at all! If you didn't write down everything that everyone got you as a wedding gift, write down a generic "thank you" for attending your wedding and thank them for "their gift". Our thank you card templates are easy to customize and can be printed from home so you can get them mailed out quickly.
2. Freeze Your Wedding Cake
This is optional, but if your bakery doesn't give you a free first anniversary cake, we recommend freezing the top of your wedding cake so you can enjoy it for your first anniversary! Here's how:
Freeze the cake first, before wrapping it, until the icing hardens
Wrap it loosely in several layers of plastic wrap (not aluminum foil)
If inside a box, wrap the box in several layers of plastic wrap, or place the cake in an airtight container
When it's time to eat it, take the cake out of the freezer and allow to thaw for 24 to 48 hours in the refrigerator. Let it come to room temperature for 2 to 3 hours before enjoying!
3. Clean & Preserve Your Dress
If you want to pass down your dress to future generations, preserving your dress is a great idea! Before getting your dress preserved, take it to a dry cleaning shop to have your dress professionally cleaned. Even if your wedding dress looks clean now, stains can appear later and become more difficult to remove. You'll want your dress to be preserved when it's in pristine condition.
4. Change Your Name
If you'll be changing your last name, don't wait! Start the process as soon as possible so you can start updating all of your accounts. If you're moving, don't forget to update your address, too! Here's how to change your name:
File your marriage certificate. Typically, this is done by your officiant, but make sure it's being taken care of as soon as possible after the ceremony.
Get certified copies of your marriage certificate from your county clerk's office. Three copies is recommended.
Update your Social Security card at your nearest Social Security office. You'll need a copy of your marriage certificate, proof of citizenship (passport or birth certificate), valid photo identification, and your current Social Security card.
Get a new driver's license at the DMV. You'll need your new Social Security card, proof of address, a copy of your marriage certificate, and a few payment options in case your DMV doesn't accept credit cards.
Update your passport by mail. Your I.D. and boarding pass have to match, so wait until after your honeymoon if you're leaving soon after your wedding. If you just got your passport in the last 12 months, your name change will be free, but if it's been more than 12 months, it will cost $130.
Change your name on your bank account by visiting your bank in person or, if they allow, by mail or online. Bring all of your supporting documentation: copy of marriage certificate, new Social Security card, new driver's license, etc.
Change your name on credit cards. Contact the customer service number on the back of your card to ask what the steps are for your credit card company.
Update your insurance. Marriage is considered a "major life event", so you can be added to your spouse's health insurance, or vice versa, without having to wait for the open enrollment period.
Update all other accounts you make payments with. This includes your mortgage, utility companies, student loans, car payments, etc.
Notify your Human Resources department at your job so they can update your payroll, health insurance, and 401(k) or other benefits they provide.
Update all other accounts, like loyalty programs, streaming services, social media, etc.
5. Print Your Wedding Photos
I'm a little embarrassed to admit this, but I still haven't printed a single photo from my wedding 😂. Don't wait too long to do this! You can get your wedding photos printed out for frames, put them in an album, get your favorite pictures as large canvases, you name it! While having them posted on social media is nice, it's even better to have physical copies to look back on or pass down to future generations.
6. Leave Vendor Reviews
If you were happy with the services your vendors provided, leave them a positive review! They will be so appreciative and this helps their businesses grow!
7. Buy What's Left on Your Registry
If there are items on your wedding registry that you still want to have, you can use the money you received from your wedding to buy them! This is so fun to do! Also take the time to return the items that you don't want to keep if you were given a gift receipt.
8. Adjust Your Tax Withholdings
If you receive a W2 from your job and plan on filing your taxes jointly with your spouse, you'll need update your W4 form. Be sure to check the box for "married filing jointly" to update your tax withholdings for your paychecks.
9. Preserve Your Bouquet
If you used artificial flowers for your bouquet, you can skip this step! But if you used real flowers, consider getting your bouquet preserved. Here are some unique ways to "preserve" your bouquet:
Pressed flowers in a frame
Air-dry them upside down, then display in a vase, glass box, or basket
Have an artist paint a custom watercolor of your bouquet
Have them encapsulated in resin
Get them put into a necklace
10. Update Your Address
If you're moving in with your spouse or into a new home, you'll need to update your address! You can update your address online for your license and receive a corrected address sticker or card by mail. Don't forget to update your address on all of your accounts, too!
We know this can all feel overwhelming, and it doesn't all have to be done at the same time. Take it one day at a time and make sure you enjoy being married!