The wedding may be over, but your work isn’t finished just yet! There are a few important things to take care of after the big day has passed, so to hep with the overwhelming reality of being back in the real world after the honeymoon, we’ve created a quick-and-easy post-wedding checklist to get you started on what you need to get accomplished!
Clean and Preserve Your Wedding Gown
Try as you might, your wedding dress will get dirty between bridal party portraits, outdoor photo ops, and a night full of dancing! But don’t be alarmed, most of the stains will come out, especially if you act quickly. You should try to get your gown cleaned within six months of your wedding, but the sooner, the better! Even if you’re not sure you want to preserve your gown quite yet, you should definitely get it professionally cleaned. Southern Bride & Groom’s recommended gown preservation services are experts in cleaning bridal gowns and packaging them to last for years to come. Once you get your gown back from the cleaners, make sure to store it in a cool, dry place.
If you’re not into preserving your gown, considering donating it to a worthy cause, or consigning it. Consignment is a great way for brides with a smaller budget to get the wedding dress of their dreams! Or, you could take part in one of the newest wedding trends and trash the dress in a fun photo shoot.
Order Your Wedding Album
You’ve posted all your favorite photographs to Facebook and Instagram, now what? While you don’t normally print out your photos like your parents may have, your wedding photos are a memento you’re going to want to have. Work with your photographer to select your favorite ones. Depending on the package you purchased with your photographer, some offer an album created for you with the photographs you choose, others will supply all your photos to you digitally and you are able to use an outside vendor to create your album.
Write Your Thank You Notes
Here in the South, we’re big on etiquette. As soon as you return from your honeymoon, you should get to work on those ever-important thank you notes…especially if you had a lot of guests at the wedding, because they’ll take more time to write than you think! Take a moment to include a personal note in each to show your guests how much you appreciate not only the generous gift, but also that they were able to share in your special day. You should have all of your thank you notes in the mail by, at most, three months after the wedding. To avoid getting overwhelmed, figure out how many you need to write and divide them into manageable chunks to tackle nightly over several weeks. Get your husband involved, and the task will be far less daunting!
Tackle Registry Returns
No matter what, you’ll most likely end up with more than one of certain items you registered for. Don’t let those three hand mixers collect dust in your closet, return them! Most stores will take registry returns up to 90 days after your wedding date, but it’s best to get a jump on the returns, because handling gift receipts can be tricky. And, after all, you’ll get a store credit you can use for something else on your registry that you may not have received.
Change Your Name and Get Organized
Read our full post on this subject here – you should also start to think about the other legal aspects that changed when you tied the knot. Are you and your husband merging your finances? Will you be filing your taxes jointly or separately? What about insurance? Beneficiaries? No one enjoys having these mundane conversations, but that doesn’t mean they’re not important!
Preserve Your Bouquet
Your flowers are one of the most beautiful details of your wedding day. Now, your stunning bouquet — or your husband’s boutonniere — can be another fantastic keepsake from your big day! If you want to hold onto your flowers for the long haul, you’ll need to get them preserved. Victorian Seasons specializes in floral preservation. The staff works one-on-one with brides to create a beautiful, freeze-dried memento of their bridal bouquet or other special flowers. They’ll even pick your bouquet up at the reception, or advise you on how to care for the flowers after the wedding until you have the opportunity to drop them off.
This list will get you well on your way to accomplish everything you need to get done!