You’ve said your “I do’s” and danced the night away and you’re still riding that wedding day high. But what are you supposed to do now that it’s over? From thank you notes to legally changing your name, there are quite a few tasks on your post wedding day checklist that you should complete in the first year. Just follow our handy to-do list below and enjoy your newly-wedded bliss!
To Dos AFTER “I Do!” – Your Post Wedding Day Checklist
Keep the Cake
Don’t let leftover cake go to waste! Ask your caterer to box up the top tier for you to enjoy on your first anniversary, (or for later that night in the honeymoon suite, we’re not judging). And if you are planning on saving the cake, make sure you remove any embellishments and wrap it tightly in many layers of plastic wrap before putting it in an airtight container in the freezer. The plastic wrap will help prevent freezer burn and seal in freshness. But keep in mind that some cakes freeze better than others and any year old cake is just not going to taste quite the same.
Pro Tip: If taste is more important than nostalgia, consider ordering a mini cake in the same flavor from your baker when your anniversary rolls around instead.
Save Your Bouquet
There are two options if you’d like to hold on to your flowers after your big day. You can either have your bouquet pressed and framed or vacuum sealed in a dome or shadow box. The second option, while more expensive, preserves your bouquet in its original shape. Either way, let the pros handle this one, and make sure it’s at the top of your list. You’ll want to have this done within just a few days of the wedding so your flowers don’t start to wilt (keep them in water or the fridge in the meantime).
Clean and Preserve Your Dress
Your gorgeous gown deserves a post wedding day spa treat. But before you can preserve it for your own daughter or just as a memorable keepsake, you’ll need to have it professionally cleaned. We recommend going to a cleaner that specializes in wedding gowns, and not the Fold and Fluff down the street. This is because ideally you want your cleaner and preservationist to be one and the same. Once your dress is cleaned, it will need to be preserved and packaged for long term storage. And do your research. Make sure you ask about warranties, testimonials, and procedure before you hand over your once-in-a-lifetime gown. Once your dress is preserved and packaged, store it in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight.
Write and Send Thank You Notes
This is easily the most procrastinated item on this list. But don’t let it intimidate you. Etiquette dictates that for all gifts received on or after your wedding, you have three months to send your thank you notes. But don’t wait until that third month to start working on them. Give yourself a goal of writing 5 thank you notes per evening and you’ll have them finished in no time at all. Spacing them out also ensures that you have the time to craft personal and thoughtful replies. You don’t want to be the bride who sends out the exact same thank you message because you tried to do them all in one weekend.
Pro Tip: Let’s make this even easier – Order your custom thank you’s here!
Create or Order your Wedding Album
We can’t recommend this post wedding day step enough, you need to PRINT your wedding photos. It’s so easy to get your files back from your photographer and keep them online. But you paid good money for those gorgeous photos and they deserve to be printed and enjoyed. There are so many options for keepsake albums too. You could try your hand at creating your own, or order one through your photographer. Chances are they will have a vendor they prefer to use that really showcases their style.
Review Your Vendors
Your vendors put in a lot of hard work to help make your day perfect. So share the love and review them online. Many of them may even offer referral credits if you send friends or family their way. And don’t forget to send them individual thank you notes too!
Take Down Your Wedding Website
This step is especially important if you’re paying to host your website. Otherwise, you can keep your registry up if you think guests will still be referencing it for the next few months (they have up to a year to send a gift).
Return Unwanted/Duplicate Gifts
Take care of this step as early as possible too, as many stores may have strict return policies. And let’s face it, if you don’t return that extra punch bowl right away it’s going to just collect dust in your cabinet for years. This is also a good time to use any cash or gift cards to treat yourself to any items on your registry that you didn’t receive but still want.
Donate or Sell Your Decor
You spent so many hours DIY-ing, but now what do you do with all of your decor? If you have a friend who is getting married and loved your table numbers, gift them to her! Or photograph and sell your items as a collective unit online. The most important thing is that it doesn’t take up space in your garage forever. Keep the essentials and let the rest of it make somebody else’s day special.
Create a Keepsake Box
A keepsake box is a great place to put all of the little trinkets that you want to keep as mementos. Your programs, place cards, the wine you served, his boutonniere, the sky’s the limit. If you want to keep it and it has special meaning to you, put it in the box!
Legally Change Your Name
If only legally changing your name was as easy as it is on Facebook. This post wedding day step comes with a mini checklist of it’s own. To begin you’ll need your official marriage license (with the raised seal) with your new last name printed on it. (The county clerk’s office should send this automatically). Then you’ll need to change the following:
Your Social Security Card
You can find the application (and where to send it) on the Social Security Administration’s website.
Your Driver’s License
Head down to the DMV (with your new social security card) to change the name on your Driver’s License. Check with your local office beforehand to make sure you have all of the appropriate documents.
Your Banking Information
The easiest way to change your banking information is to bring your new social security card and marriage license down to your local branch. They will get all of your accounts changed and order you checks and debit cards with your new name.
After the main three are taken care of, changing your name everywhere else should be easy. Make a list of all of the places you’ll need to change it and just call them one by one. You shouldn’t need anything fancy to let your employer, the post office, voter registration, etc. know of the change.
Pro Tip: If that just sounds like too much work, checkout a name changing service like Hitchswitch. It’s a little pricey (up to $89) but they do all of the heavy lifting and you just fill out a single form.
Find a New Passion Project
Avoid the post wedding day blues by finding a new hobby to occupy the now endless hours of free time you’re going to have. Giving yourself a personal project, like taking a Spanish class or learning watercolors, will give your brain something else to focus on now that you’re not swamped with planning. It’s natural to feel a little bummed after your big day. Keeping yourself busy with a project that’s just for you will help prevent that from happening.
Hang Out With Your Hubby
This is by far the most important thing on this list. Don’t forget to just relax and enjoy your time with your new husband! You are only newlyweds once, so don’t rush through your first year together. Even post wedding day, there are still many wonderful milestones to come. And Marrygrams will be there to help you celebrate them all.