Wedding planning is no easy feat—it takes a ton of time and energy. And all of a sudden, before you know it, it’s your wedding day. When all’s said and done, virtually every bride will tell you that a wedding feels like a complete whirlwind that’s seemingly over the minute it started.
Yet the work is far from over after the guests have gone home and you’re piecing together all the highlights of the night.
Here are 8 things all newlyweds should do shortly after the “I do!”
File Your Paperwork
While many officiants file the official wedding paperwork for you with your city, county or state, this isn’t always the case. Check with your officiant about their procedure. If you learn that it’s up to you to submit the license and any other legal papers, call your local municipality to learn about the proper steps.
Change Your Name (if applicable)
Some brides and/or grooms decide to take their spouse’s name. While it’s not always the case, if you do decide that this is the path you want to take, there are certain steps you must take. Start by getting a certified copy of your official marriage license in the mail. Then, take that to the Social Security Administration office in your town.
Once you receive your temporary social security letter with the new name, you can then change the name on your passport, driver’s license, bank accounts, etc.
Go Through Your Gifts
If you’re anything like most couples, this is one of the first “to dos” you tackle. Opening presents is one of the most fun post-wedding activities! As you go through your gifts, write down the giver and the gift. It’ll make the thank you note process a ton easier.
Send Thank Yous
Speaking of “thank yous,” it’s definitely best to start working on them as soon as possible. In general, wedding etiquette specialists say that it’s important to get your thank you notes out three months after your wedding. Make sure each one is personalized as well.
Review Your Vendors
Don’t wait to review your vendors. Not only is this a great way to let them know you appreciate their work, other brides-to-be will also appreciate a truly honest review. Many wedding vendors are registered through Wedding Wire, Wedding Lovely and The Knot. If you don’t know where to review your vendors, ask them!
Sometimes, it makes financial sense to buy your own decor, including mason jars, candles, table cloths, cloth napkins, runners, etc. But once your wedding is over, it’s likely that all these items will just sit in your garage for years on end. Do something good by donating your gently used decor to your local thrift shop. You’ll get a tax write-off and you’ll help another bride in the process!
Determine Plans for Your Dress
Many brides simply hang or box up their dress right after the wedding and don’t think about it for some time. However, your beautiful dress (that you likely spent a pretty penny on) is susceptible to moth holes and fading over time.
If you’re not interested in keeping your dress, consider donating it. Otherwise, look into preservation options at your bridal shop or a nearby dry cleaner.
Ordering pictures from your photographer is usually a fun and exciting time for newlyweds. After browsing your pictures, consider which ones you want to order. Many photography packages include a custom wedding book and a number of portrait options. Once you receive your photos, you’ll enjoy a permanent reminder of one of the happiest days of your life.
The work isn’t over after you say “I do.” In fact, there are a number of things every bride and groom should do in the months following a wedding. By making sure you complete these 8 tasks, you’ll thank yourself for it later!