You probably have a to-do list for your wedding that’s longer than most college papers and you’re probably looking forward to tossing it as soon as your wedding day is over. But there are a few things you’ll still need to do, and these five should be sooner rather than later.
1. Take Care Of The Legal Aspects of Changing Your Name (If You’re Changing It)
We know more than a few couples who didn’t get around to changing all their documents for almost a year, and it gets confusing once you have your married name on some things and your birth name on others.
Make it a point to fill in as much of the paperwork as you can before the big day (we recommend buying a name change kit) and then enclose copies/photocopies of your marriage certificate and send them off right away.
2. Write Your Thank You Notes
Thank you note writing doesn’t get any easier the longer you wait, and you’ll find yourself getting more confused as you send them out slowly. Did you write one to Aunt Ruth for the blender? Did your friend Mark’s ever get sent?
We say you take down this task right away. If you have some time after your wedding, take a day or two to open your gifts slowly and write thank you notes as you do. As a bonus, it’ll be easier to write about specific items as you look at them.
Headed out for the honeymoon immediately? If you’ve got hours and hours of travel time, you may just be able to write a few together while you fly (with champagne in hand, of course).
Here’s a guide to wedding thank you note wording.
3. Return/Exchange The Gifts You Aren’t Keeping
As inevitable as the guest who drinks far too much, there will be gifts you simply won’t want to keep. Don’t delay in taking them back. Not only are you up against the clock in terms of standard return times, some of your guests may have purchased gifts well before your actual wedding day, so you may have less time than you think.
4. Review Your Vendors
This is one of those things that is so easy to forget about after the big day, but it’s worth doing and here’s why: You have a chance to do a big favor for future brides and/or the vendors who won you over.
If a wedding vendor falls way short (though we hope they don’t!) posting an online heads up for other brides can keep them for winding up in the same situation. Alternatively, if your wedding vendors are awesome (and we hope they are!) you can help other brides find them and select them.
5. Preserve Your Memories
Finally, take a little time after your wedding to take care of the things that will make your wedding day memories last a bit longer. Press some flowers or petals from your bridal bouquet (easy enough to do with a book), stash a piece of cake (or the top tier) in your freezer for your first anniversary, and sorting out which photos you want for your wedding album, if your photographer isn’t taking care of that.
To appease your guests—who are always dying to see photos right away—you may also want to post a few pictures that friends took to Facebook until your professional photos are in.