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Tips for The Perfect Post-Wedding Checklist

You did it. You found the perfect man for you, tied the knot and chased your dreams into the sunset. All you want to do after the big day is bask in your love and enjoy the thrill of being a new Mrs. . . Not so fast. Your post-wedding checklist is an essential part of the planning process, too. The post-wedding paperwork and errands may not be as fun, but the longer you put them off, the more stress they’ll cause. All you need is a directory, planner and a little bit of free time to wrap up and preserve your wedding memories.

Get Your Gown Cleaned and Stored

Your gown is the most important piece of clothing you’ll ever have, so take care of it Find a specialized dry cleaner that uses optimized solvents and acid free tissue—make sure they have experience or specialize in wedding dresses. The absolute longest you should wait to get your dress cleaned is six months, according to “The Nest,” but preferably sooner. When it’s returned, store it in a cool, dark place.

Call Up The Tax Man

Now you get to check a new box on your tax return, and you’ll most likely get financial benefits, too. After the honeymoon, be sure to schedule a meeting with your accountant and decide how you want to file as man and wife.

Remember to Change Your Name

If you decide to take your husband’s last name, get the paperwork done as soon as possible. “Live Science” reports that, despite the feminist movement, trends show that more women are choosing to take their husband’s last name. If you’re one of them, change your name within the first few months of marriage:

  • IDs can be changed at dmv.org
  • Passports information can be found at travel.state.gov
  • Social security card information can be found at socialsecurity.gov
  • Credit card companies must be individually contacted

Make A Point to Give Thanks

Common courtesy is the glue that holds society together, and thank you notes are no exception. If you don’t send them shortly after the wedding, your friends and family will talk about you behind your back for years to come. Thank you notes don’t have to be a chore though. Personalized thank you cards can be designed, ordered and shipped from companies like Overnight Prints with little effort. Once the cards arrive, split them up equally so they don’t become overwhelming or cause a repetitive stress injury.

Get A Jump On Registry Returns

You don’t need four blenders and a life-sized statue of George Washington in your living room—it’s best to tackle those returns within 30 days. Although many stores have lenient return policies for newlyweds, play it safe and get a jump on cleaning out the unwanted clutter.

Put Together Your Wedding Album and DVD

How many couples do you know that still haven’t finalized their wedding album, even years after getting married? The answer is way too many. Your first year of wedded bliss will go by in a jiffy, and your album should be ready to go by your first anniversary. Before you know it, you’ll have kids of your own begging to see what mommy and daddy looked like on their magical day. Most photography contracts allow six months to a year for you to edit and make changes—take advantage of it.

Just Married car photo from Flickr user Alexandre Delbos / aleske.

Written by: Donna Knightly

Donna is a mom, wife, and freelance writer from Washington. She studied theater and hopes to open a children’s playhouse when her kids grow up.

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