Wheew! The wedding and the reception are over. Now what? Honeymoon? And when you return it’s time to get busy again. No rest for the weary, right? Time to get organized. We’ve put together some ideas that may help you tie up the loose ends after the wedding celebration is over.
Put Away Your Wedding Keepsakes ~ Put your favorite wedding photos in frames and display them. Clean and store your wedding dress or tux. If you intend to keep your wedding dress have it dry-cleaned at least six months of your wedding. Use a service that specializes in wedding dresses so they use the right cleaning solvents. Make sure they stuff it with acid-free tissue, avoid using metal pins or buckles, and store it in a box. Once it’s back home, store it in a cool, dry place. Last. but not least, get rid of gifts or keepsakes from ex-partners.
Change Your Name ~ Ideally, you should change all your IDs as soon as possible of getting hitched. Hopefully when you purchased your Marriage License, you ordered a Certified Copy to be sent to you after the Minister/Wedding Officiant registers it with the County Clerk’s office. Once you receive it, change your name with Social Security first. Wait a couple of day then change your name on your Driver’s License, State ID, Passport. Social security and the passport people both require a certified copy of your license. Depending on where you live, you may need to apply at Social Security in person. Call all of your credit card companies to get your name changed. Store your marriage certificate in a safe, easy-to-remember place.
Ring Up the Tax Man ~ Time to check off a new (married) box on your tax forms! Now that the two of you are a legal unit, you need to decide whether you’re going to file together or continue to file separately (joint filing isn’t something mandated by law, though it’s generally recommended). Don’t decide this on your own. Consult your accountant or attorney to see what he or she advises for the two of you. Think about changing your beneficiary to your husband/wife.
Plan and Review a New Budget ~ Take look at your income and set short-term and long-term goals. Begin to pay off any credit card debt that occurred as a result of your wedding. Fast-track any student debt. If you plan on having children, tighten your money belt before the baby arrives. A baby is something you should plan for. You will need to plan for who will be responsible for the bills since it’s now not just your money now. Remember to begin saving for retirement (Individual Retirement Account (IRA) or Roth IRA). One important goal should be to have at least 6 months or more of your monthly non-discretionary spending in an account separate from your checking account. Check out Dave Ramsey’s website for terrific financial information.
Send Your Thank-You Notes ~ While it’s still fresh in your mind, take notes for which gifts you received and from whom. If you don’t want snippy comments from family and friends, toss those thank-you notes in the mail within two months of your wedding. People will be waiting, and wondering if you liked their gift! Do few each night. Share this project with your sweetheart and the job will be half as daunting. It’s important to each sign your names on every card. Print off address and return address labels on your computer.
Give Everyone Your New Address ~ It’s perfectly fine to send a mass e-mail or an e-card with your new address. The traditional route? Buy store-bought moving announcements and slip them in with your thank-you note or have them custom-designed. Make sending thank you notes a breeze by printing address labels. Make sure to inform everyone of your new address. You never know who might be sending along a late wedding gift or card. Check our name-change checklist.
Return Wedding Gifts You Already Have ~ Sick of looking at those three toaster ovens gathering dust in the corner? Bite the bullet and return ’em within two months of your wedding. While stores are likely to be lenient with couples who’ve registered with them, each store will have a different policy on when you need to make returns by and what they’ll take back. Consider a garage or yard sale. Use it as a great opportunity to de-clutter. Put some of your wedding gift money toward
Update Your Employer on Your New Status ~ Remember to notify your employer of your new marital status. They will need to make any necessary adjustments such as changing any information on your W2 form, adding your spouse to your health insurance, and changing beneficiary designation on any retirement or 401k plans you may be enrolled in.
Finalize Your Wedding Album and DVD ~ Your photos from your photographer and guests won’t file themselves. Don’t put off your photo selection and video requests too long! On your first anniversary, wouldn’t it be great to pop in your wedding DVD and flip through your album? Most photographers and videographers issue a standard contract that gives you six months to a year to select album photos and edit footage for your DVD. If you don’t, you may have to pay extra.
Figure Out Your Finances ~ No one likes having “money talks,” but hopefully you had this one long before you walked down the aisle. Many married couples opt to merge their single accounts into a combined one, so definitely bring it up now if you haven’t yet. Decide if you want to keep your bank accounts separate, merged or a combination of both. Take a trip to your bank to fill out the necessary paperwork and get new debit cards and checks made. You may want to designate your spouse as beneficiary on financial and insurance related accounts, draw up a will, and ensure that you are both carrying the ideal amount of life insurance.
Make It Legal ~ When the two of you made it official, it meant more than just a tacit agreement not to hog the covers. In the next two weeks, you’ll want to talk about changing beneficiaries – most newlyweds switch their spouse to their beneficiary on work and life insurance docs. Call your insurance company and HR department at work for these forms. Decide whose work health insurance plan you’ll use by comparing cost and treatment options. If you’re the one making the switch, make sure the doctors you like are on the new plan. Within a few months, talk about drawing up a will that reflects your newly combined asset. Contact your attorney.
Remember Your Wedding Vendors ~ Send thank-you e-mails or cards to your vendors. Include any positive feedback on their services. If you and your guests were happy with there services, write reviews on wedding websites – and recommend your favorites.
Make Sure All Hired Items are Returned ~ Normally your florist or decor supplier will collect hired items from the venue but things like groomsmen suits and post-ceremony games will need to be returned so that you can get your deposits back. Make a checklist before the wedding and delegate this task to your best man or maid of honor.
Establish a Date Night ~ Very Important. Never let the romance fade in your relationship. Promise each other that no matter what you will always make time to be together. Specify at least one night each week to be designated “Date Night!” Read, “Date Night – No Less Than Once Each Week – No Excuses!”
Plan Your First Wedding Anniversary ~ Begin to think about what you want to do, where you want to go and how you want to celebrate your first anniversary. Make a reservation or just agree on a plan so that you can have the year to look forward to it.
The wedding may be over, but the adventure of marriage is just beginning. A happy marriage is a fun and exciting time. Now it’s time to get busy again. Embrace and enjoy the change marriage brings and celebrate Love and your life together – remember, you’re only newlyweds for so long.
Copyright © 2014 – Larry James. This information is adapted from Larry’s Wedding Website and Wedding Blog. Larry James is a non-denominational minister and performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere! Every wedding ceremony is customized to your complete satisfaction. Call to check availability: 480-998-9411 or 800-725-9223. You will find more than 475 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (90 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: http://www.celebrateintimateweddings.com. Check Larry’s availability.
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