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Post-Wedding Checklist: What to Do After ‘I Do’

The post-wedding checklist can seem almost as long as your wedding planning list! Today we’re highlighting the top duties a newlywed must check off his or her list. And don’t worry; we’ve included a more detailed list below.

Organize Your Photos

You will likely have more photos from this one day than any other day in your life. Take the time now to organize, compile, store and share these photographs – you’ll be thankful later. Here are a few tips on how to gather your wedding photos:

  • First, find out from your photographer how and when you will receive your photos. Most often it will be digitally, which is the best way to save your special shots.
  • If you had a wedding hashtag, search for your photos across all social channels and save them to your computer.
  • Reach out to friends to see what they can share. Often, you’ll laugh at the silly moments your guests were able to capture that the professional photographer may have missed.

What to Do With Your Wedding Photos

After you have gathered all the photos of your big day, it’s time to decide how to share and display them. The possibilities are endless.

  • Go ahead and get yourself a gift. Wall art is a great way to decorate your home following the wedding, especially if you and your partner recently moved into a new house. Choose your favorite photo and customize a personal piece of home décor you’ll keep for years to come.
  • Now that you’re officially married, personalized stationery is a fun item to have around the house for sending snail mail to friends and family. They will love seeing such a happy photo of the two of you in their mailbox.
  • If you want a place to feature multiple wedding day photos, a gorgeous wedding photo book is the best option. Pull together images, add in quotes or memories and you have a keepsake you’ll treasure forever. A photo book is also a fantastic anniversary gift, if you can’t find the time to make one just after your wedding.

Send Thank You Cards

Custom wedding thank you cards are a must for any bride, and should be one of the first items tackled after the big day. If you have a wedding registry, you can often get a head start on this by writing thank you notes as gifts are delivered in advance of the wedding.

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  • Wedding etiquette suggests that brides send thank you cards no later than 6-8 weeks after the wedding ceremony. If you are planning to send a photo thank you card with a special shot from your reception, ask your photographer to give you one or two options the day after your wedding. That way, you can order your thank you stationery as soon as possible.
  • Every person who attends your wedding should receive a thank you note – even if they did not bring a gift. Their presence at your wedding took time and cost, and should be recognized. It’s also a great idea to send thank you notes to your vendors.
  • If you’re struggling with what to say in your thank you card, read up on thank you card wording for some ideas to get started.

Change Your Name and/or Update Marital Status

If you are planning to change your name after your wedding, be sure to think through all of the possible accounts you’ll need to update. Start first with your Social Security card, your driver’s license, and your major bank accounts. Then move on to your employer, insurance companies, and other major accounts. You’ll also need to update your marital status in many of the same places, as well as beneficiary for life insurance.

Preserve Your Wedding Day Memories

Beyond photos and videos, there are other mementos from your big day that you will want to save:

  • Start with your bridal bouquet the day after your wedding, whether you plan to preserve the entire bouquet or just dry out a handful of petals, it will make a great keepsake to tuck into your wedding album. Hint: many brides have a special “toss” bouquet to throw to guests, and keep their bridal bouquet for themselves. 
  • Savor the flavor of your wedding cake for longer by preserving it for your one year anniversary. If the idea of year-old cake puts you off, just save the cake topper for a memento as sweet as the cake itself.
  • Take proper care to clean your wedding dress and veil. Find a trusted dry cleaners (with experience in cleaning wedding dresses) to take on this task for you. Then, carefully store your dress. You likely won’t be taking it out of storage too often, so limit exposure to sunlight, heat and other damaging factors.

More Checklist Items

The Days After:

  • Return all rented clothing.
  • Return all borrowed accessories.
  • Return all rented equipment.
  • Contact your gift registry to have gifts delivered.
  • Send your picture to the newspaper if desired.

Before the Honeymoon:

  • Put your mail on hold.
  • Turn on your out of office/away message on your email.

Upon Your Return:

  • Resume your mail service.
  • Contact your videographer for a viewing.
  • If you would like, post any wedding photos online for your friends and family to see.
  • Get an official registered copy of your marriage certificate.
  • Change your address (if applicable).
  • Create a wedding memento box.
  • Return registry gifts as needed.
  • Update your will.
  • Get (or change) a life insurance policy.
  • Update your beneficiary for life insurance/superannuation.