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Now What? What To Do After the Honeymoon is Over

All the months of planning and organizing are over. You had the wedding of your dreams and have come home from a glorious honeymoon. But in marriage, as in life, there are always lots of details to take care of. Here is a handy list of seven essential things to do after the honeymoon — but not the honeymoon phase — is over.

1) Write Thank You Notes

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Sending thank you notes for the many wedding and bridal shower gifts you have received is one of the most important and considerate things that you can do now that the honeymoon is over and the post wedding wrap-up has begun. Do not be the couple that neglects to send thank you’s. At the very least, your loved ones are anxious to know that you have received their gift. Of course, they are also hoping that you loved it.

We know! Even if you had a small wedding, writing so many individual notes can be daunting. Don’t be tempted to send a group email and try not to procrastinate. If it is easier for you to break the job into chunks, consider writing just five or ten cards per night until the task is done.

Think about writing letters for more than just gifts. Did Cousin Elizabeth save the day when your flower girl had a meltdown five minutes before the procession? Did your sister stay up all night with you, boxing chocolate and tying ribbon for your wedding favors? Even within your immediate family, a note expressing your gratitude will be unexpected and delightful.

What about your vendors? If their work made your wedding just a little more special, send a quick note to let them know. An email is perfectly fine in this case. Remember that wedding vendors often rely on online reviews for their marketing; this is a great time to add your two cents while the work they did for you is still fresh in your mind.

2) Take Care of Your Wedding Photos

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Schedule an appointment with your wedding photographer to select your photos and have your wedding albums made. If you have received your photos by email, now is the time to select your favorites and have them printed. If you discover any special shots of friends or family members, it is a lovely gesture to make extra prints as an unexpected post-wedding gift.

3) Clean and Preserve Your Wedding Gown

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That gorgeous dress that you spent months choosing needs a little care now too. Have your dress cleaned as soon after the wedding as you can. This will prevent stains from setting or perspiration from damaging the delicate fabric. If you decide to store your wedding dress in a box, select an acid-free cardboard box large enough to minimize folding. Avoid boxes with cellophane windows; exposure to light can cause fabrics to deteriorate in ensuing decades. Wrap your dress in acid-free tissue paper, being sure to stuff the sleeves and any folds to minimize creasing. Open up the box once a year, to air your dress out. Never store your gown in plastic, which will damage the fabric over time.

4) Change Your Name

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If you are taking your spouse’s name, now is the time to begin. Take a breath, get yourself organized, and be prepared for lots of paperwork. Keep in mind that requirements for a legal name change varies from state to state, so always check the rules for your own state. Generally these are the steps you will need to follow:

You will need either your original marriage certificate or a certified copy. If you haven’t received your marriage certificate, call the clerk’s office where you originally filed. Think you might need additional copies of your marriage certificate in the future? Order them now and kill two birds with one stone.

With your marriage certificate in hand, apply for a revised social security card. Your number remains the same; you will simply be requesting a name change. With your new, improved social security card, you can apply at the DMV for an updated driver’s license or state ID. Be sure to bring plenty of ID with you for this visit, as well as your marriage license.

Phew! The major work is now done, but you are not finished. Once you have received your updated state ID you may now change your name on your bank accounts, credit cards, passport, voter registration, and any other official documents. For more assistance, check out our article: How to Officially (and Legally) Become a Mrs.

5) Organize Your Wedding Presents and Money

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Go through your wedding presents and determine if there is anything that you want to return. Decide if you need to purchase any additional items to complete a matched set.

Now is also the time to decide how to handle any cash gifts you may have received. Investing the money is always a wise decision, especially if you haven’t decided how to use it or if you are using it to start a home-ownership savings account.

6) Deal with Wedding Leftovers

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Anything that you may have borrowed for your wedding should be returned now. If you have any decor items or craft supplies left over, sort them into groups of items that will be kept, given away to specific people, or donated. Remember that leftover favor containers or vases from your centerpieces might be useful for presents in the future.

7) Get Together With Your Besties

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You have probably been overwhelmed with wedding preparations for many months and now is a great time to reconnect and relax with your friends. If you had people who couldn’t make it to your wedding, consider throwing a dinner party. This is a perfect opportunity to use all the fabulous serving ware you received as wedding presents. Or, just have a couple quiet get togethers with your dear friends. Be sure to include your single friends. Many married couples gravitate towards other couples, and your single friends will be happy to know that they are still important in your life!
Armed with a knowledge of the tasks you should complete after returning home from your wedding, you will be able to transition smoothly into married life. Rather than stressing about the many things you have to do, you can systematically knock off every task on this list. Congrats on a successful wedding and honeymoon! Kick off married life with these seven essential tasks!

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