The wedding bells have rung, the confetti has settled, and you’ve embarked on a grand adventure as a married couple. As you step foot into this uncharted post-wedding territory, it’s time to explore the unspoken tasks that await beyond your “I do’s.” We’ve compiled a post-wedding checklist that will help you smoothly transition from the whirlwind of wedding planning to the reality of married life. While it may not be as exciting or as romantic as picking out your bridal gown or choosing a song for your first dance, each item on our list is just as important to ensure a successful and fulfilling journey ahead.
Step one on the post-wedding checklist is the name change. For those who choose to take on this age-old tradition, changing your name is a significant part of the post-wedding process, symbolizing the beginning of your shared identity as a married couple. Whether you decide to take your partner’s last name, hyphenate both surnames or even combine them to create a new name, updating legal documents like your driver’s license, passport and health card should be done soon after the wedding. And don’t forget to inform institutions like banks and insurance providers, too.
The guests at your wedding took time from their busy lives to attend your wedding. Many may have travelled from far away, while almost all have certainly given you generous gifts. The least you can do is thank them, properly, with a handwritten note of thanks. Get some custom stationery printed from an online store or a nearby printer with matching envelopes, and start the process of writing thank you notes with your spouse to mail to your guests. Though printing a generic note on all the cards may be faster and easier, handwriting them and addressing each guest personally will be much more appreciated.
You’ll want to start married life on the right foot, with common financial goals that will set you and your partner up for life. Assess your financial situation as a couple and review any debts or loans you may have, and plan a strategy for managing them together. You may also want to consider merging or reorganizing your bank accounts. It’s also a good idea to speak with a financial advisor to discuss budgeting and savings goals.
Another important item that should be on your post-wedding checklist is evaluating your insurance policies. Consider adding your spouse to your employer-sponsored health insurance plan or exploring individual policies. Update other types of insurance, such as car or home insurance, to include your spouse.
Review and update beneficiary designations on retirement accounts, life insurance policies, and other vital documents. Consider creating or updating your wills and powers of attorney, taking into account any changes in assets or beneficiaries.
One big decision that should be on your post-wedding checklist is to figure out what to do with the wedding dress. Some brides preserve it as a cherished keepsake, while others sell, donate, or repurpose it. If you wish to preserve your wedding dress, consider getting it professionally cleaned and store it properly to maintain its pristine condition for years. Selling or donating your dress can bring joy to another bride while at the same time recoup some of the cost. And for those feeling creative, repurposing the dress into a special memento or transforming it into a new garment allows you to cherish its sentimental value in a unique way.
As part of your post-wedding checklist, remember to take the time to write reviews of your wedding vendors. Sharing your experience and feedback is a valuable way to express your gratitude and helps future couples make informed decisions when choosing their vendors. Whether it’s the talented photographer who captured your special moments or the caterer who delighted your guests with a delectable feast, a thoughtful review on forums like Yelp or Facebook, or on the vendor’s personal website, can go a long way in supporting these professionals and recognizing their hard work. Take a few moments to share your honest thoughts and experiences, highlighting what made each vendor exceptional. Your words can significantly impact their reputation and serve as a helpful guide for couples embarking on their wedding planning journey.
Your post-wedding checklist should also include taking down your wedding website, if you had one. While it served as a hub of information during your wedding planning journey, it’s time to bid farewell to this online presence gracefully. Remove any outdated information, RSVP forms, and event details. Consider writing a final message expressing gratitude to all who supported and celebrated your union. Taking down your wedding website signifies the end of a chapter and allows you to shift focus toward the future as a married couple.
With the wedding festivities behind you, it’s time to wrap up your wedding registry and address any unwanted gifts. Take the opportunity to review your registry and ensure that all desired items have been purchased or fulfilled. If you received duplicates or items that you don’t need, promptly handle the returns or exchanges. Express your gratitude to those who gifted you, regardless of whether you decide to keep or return their presents. By finalizing your wedding registry and managing any returns, you’ll close the gifting chapter and set the stage for the next phase of your married life...and here's to your AMAZING future together! ~ Dave ~