Home Legal Advice Post-wedding checklist: What to do after the big day

Post-wedding checklist: What to do after the big day

Hey there, newly-weds! You’ve just experienced one of the most magical days of your life, and now you’re probably wondering, « What’s next? » Well, don’t worry – I’ve got you covered! While you’re still basking in the afterglow of your special day, there are a few important things to tick off your list to ensure a smooth transition into your new life together. This easy-to-follow post-wedding checklist will guide you through those must-do tasks, so you can relax and enjoy the wonderful journey ahead as a married couple. Let’s dive in and get you organized!

▶️ Read also: How to plan a wedding in Europe for under $10,000

Official documents and name changes

Navigating the world of official documents and potential name changes can be a bit of a maze post-wedding, but it’s a crucial step to start your married life on the right foot. Here’s a breakdown of what you need to know and do:

  • Marriage licence: First things first, make sure your marriage is officially recorded! Typically, it’s the officiant’s job to file the completed marriage licence with the local county clerk’s office after your ceremony. But it’s always good to double-check that this has been done. Within a few weeks, you should receive a copy of your marriage licence in the mail. These documents are essential for any legal changes you’ll be making, so keep them safe. In some cases, you might need to pick them up in person, depending on your local regulations​​.
  • Name change (if desired): If you’re considering a name change, now’s the time to start. Whether it’s taking your spouse’s surname, hyphenating, or any other variation, this is a personal choice and entirely up to you. Remember, the process can be quite detailed and may feel tedious, but it’s a one-time effort for a lifetime of unity. You’ll need to update your name across various government and financial institutions. This includes your Social Security details, driver’s licence, passport, bank accounts, insurance policies, and employment records. Make a list of all the places where your name needs to be updated to ensure you don’t miss anything. The process can differ slightly depending on your location, so it’s wise to check specific requirements for each change. For example, some places might require you to mail in forms, while others necessitate an in-person visit. Gathering necessary documents like your marriage licence, current identification, and possibly birth certificate in advance can streamline the process​​.
  • Update your passport: If you’ve changed your name, don’t forget to update your passport. This is especially important if you’re planning any international trips. Make sure any travel bookings match the name on your passport. If you’ve already booked a honeymoon or other trips under your maiden name, you might want to wait until after your travels to update your passport to avoid any confusion​​.
  • Voter registration: Don’t forget to update your voter registration information with your new name and/or address to ensure you can vote in upcoming elections. In general, this is a document that is forgotten.

Tying up loose ends: Essential post-wedding admin made easy

After the celebration comes the administration. While it might not be as glamorous as your wedding day, taking care of these tasks is essential to wrapping up your wedding event smoothly and starting your married life without pending chores.

  • Return rentals and borrowed items: If you’ve rented items for your wedding, such as decor, sound equipment, or furniture, make sure to return them promptly. Assigning this task to a responsible friend, family member, or wedding planner can be a huge help, especially if you’re heading off on your honeymoon. Also, return any items borrowed from friends or family members to show your gratitude and maintain good relationships​​.
  • Vendor appreciation and reviews: Your wedding vendors played a big role in making your day special. Write thank-you notes to express your gratitude. Additionally, leaving reviews on their websites or platforms like Google, Yelp, or wedding-specific sites helps them immensely. Share your positive experiences and recommend their services to future couples. This not only shows appreciation but also supports their businesses​​. Of course, ensure that all payments to vendors and service providers are completed.
  • Guest thank-you notes: A heartfelt thank-you note goes a long way. Aim to send these out within three months of your wedding. Personalize each note to express your gratitude for their presence and any gifts received. This is a meaningful way to acknowledge the love and support of your friends and family during this special time in your life​​.
  • Gift and registry management: Make a list of all the gifts you received and who gave them to you. This will help when writing thank-you notes and also ensure you don’t overlook anyone. If you had a registry, review it to see if there are any items you still want to purchase, sometimes at a discounted price.
  • Wedding décor resale: If you have leftover wedding decor items, consider selling them online or donating them. This not only clears space but also helps recoup some of your expenses. Websites like eBay, Craigslist, or wedding-specific resale sites are great places to start. For example, we sold our sound system immediately after our wedding, in « almost new » condition.

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Taking care of these administrative tasks promptly and efficiently allows you to fully embrace your married life without lingering to-dos from your wedding day. Remember, it’s all about starting your new chapter together on the right foot!

Cherishing your wedding day: Creative ways to preserve memories

Your wedding day may have flown by in a blur of joy and celebration, but the memories created are timeless. Preserving these special moments allows you to relive the day and share it with others for years to come. Here are some creative ideas to keep those memories alive and accessible, not just for you, but for all your loved ones who shared in your happiness.

  • Photo and video keepsakes: In addition to creating a beautiful photo book or video montage, consider making your wedding photos available to your guests. This is a lovely way to share the memories and allow everyone to revisit the special moments of your day. You can use platforms like Google Photos, Dropbox, or Flickr to create shared albums where guests can view and download photos. Another option is to use wedding-specific photo sharing apps or websites like The Knot’s Wedding Photo Swap, where guests can not only view your professional photos but also upload their own snapshots from the day. If your photographer has a website, there may be a private section where you can share photos taken during your ceremony.
  • Wedding dress and attire preservation: Your wedding dress and suit are symbols of your special day. Have them professionally cleaned and preserved, or turn a piece of your dress fabric or a suit material into a new keepsake, such as a framed piece or a decorative pillow, for a daily reminder of your wedding day in your home.
  • Treasured wedding items: Frame or place sentimental items like your invitation, a piece of your bouquet, or a copy of your vows in a shadow box. If you’re crafty, create a scrapbook with these items, along with wedding day mementos like your place cards, favour tags, and selected guest notes or signatures.

Remember, while this process can seem overwhelming, it’s all about setting the foundation for your new life together. Take it step by step, and don’t hesitate to ask for help or clarification when needed. Once you’ve ticked these tasks off your list, you’ll be ready to fully embrace your married life!


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