Trust me when I say that after your wedding, all you’ll want to do is sleep and relax! Although that sounds magical, there are still a few things to take care of once the wedding weekend has passed. From thank you notes to legal tasks, here are 10 things brides can’t forget to do after the wedding is over.
1. Journal or Blog About Your Wedding
Although you’ll always have photos and memories of your wedding, the moments will be fresher on your mind in the first week or two after the celebration. Journaling about your wedding experience or blogging about it if you have a public platform preserves all of the small details of your memories and will be a fun read for you or others throughout the years. You’ll love having a diary-style account of your wedding day to look back on!
2. Complete Your Thank You Notes
Although some might think thank you notes are old fashion and unnecessary, I completely disagree. They take only a few minutes of your time and are so greatly appreciated by guests who gave you a wedding gift. Make sure you’ve covered your list completely and that you don’t overlook anybody!
3. Dry Clean Your Gown
Whether you plan to keep or sell your wedding gown, don’t forget to have it dry cleaned by an excellent cleaner. Especially if you had any spills, it’s important to clean your gown as soon as possible. That red wine stain might not come out a year later, so better early than later!
4. Change Your Name (If You’d Like) and Update Legal Records
Some brides prefer to keep their maiden name and some can’t wait to change theirs. If you’re in the latter group, you’ll need to change your name legally with proof of your marriage certificate. After, make sure to update your driver’s license, passport, social security, and other vital records. It sounds like a ton of work, but rest assured that there are great companies online you can hire to do everything for you if you’re feeling overwhelmed!
Additionally, don’t forget to update your name with your insurance companies, doctors, and job and change your personal and work email addresses.
5. Update Your Emergency Contact
If you didn’t already have your husband or wife listed as your emergency contact, now is the time to do it. To get very serious for a moment, it’s not a bad idea for both of you to invest in a living will and name each other as beneficiaries. Although that seems like a downer and possibly even unnecessary at your age, it’s never a bad idea to prepare for all scenarios.
6. Order a Wedding Album
Back to happy and fun things, a wedding album couldn’t be a better investment to make once your photos are delivered. Viewing your photos on a digital screen doesn’t even compare to the incredible feeling of a tangible album in your hands. If you think the costs might not be worth it, consider it’s longevity – this is an heirloom you’ll have for decades and will be passed down to your future children or other family members. You’re totally sold now, right!?
7. Frame Your Wedding Stationery
If you invested in custom wedding stationery, it doesn’t just belong on the fridge! Frame it and hang it on your walls. Not only is it a great way to preserve your invitations, it’s also a fun conversation starter for guests. If you’re wondering how to arrange the pieces, you can simply refer to your professional photos to see how your planner or photographer styled the invitation suite. Additionally, you can browse the Style Me Pretty Vault for wedding invitation photos to gather more inspiration for your framed layout.
Alternatively, if you had custom signs made or other gorgeous wedding pieces that would suit your home better, hang those instead! We had a custom bar sign made for our wedding and plan to hang it above the bar cart in our home. Turning your wedding décor into home décor not only makes your wedding budget feel more practical, it also fills your home with pretty, personalized pieces of art!
8. Review Your Wedding Vendors
I cannot stress enough how important and helpful reviews are for small businesses, especially those in the wedding industry. Although it seems like work, know that writing reviews for your photographer, planner, beauty team, etc. is greatly appreciated and could help those vendors book more amazing brides like you! You can ask them where they would like to be reviewed and simply copy and paste the same review to multiple sites.
So that you don’t forget, I recommend making a calendar event or task on a to-do list for writing your reviews. Also, be sure to write them sooner rather than later while all of the little details are still fresh on your mind!
9. Complete Your Wedding Registry
Didn’t get your registry fully completed by guests? No worries! Most registries offer completion discounts to the couple and some will even let you add items after the wedding date has passed. Often times, these companies never offer public discounts, so this is a great chance for you to purchase your remaining items at a great price.
10. Start Participating in New Hobbies
After planning your wedding for either months or years, you’ll realize that you might have a ton of free time to fill once planning is over. To help fill the time and fight off any post-wedding blues, find a new hobby either for yourself or together with your husband or wife. Whether you choose a new fitness routine, cooking classes, museum visits, or volunteering for hospitals or animal shelters, you’ll be glad that you have the time to add more fun into your life now that planning is over.
Cavin Elizabeth is a wedding film photographer based in San Diego, California. Her wedding work has taken her all over the United States and abroad. In addition to being a photographer, Cavin is an educator and an avid blogger of wedding planning tips for brides and grooms. She authored the book A Bride’s Guide to a Picture Perfect Wedding, which teaches couples how to make wedding plans that are best for photography.