12 things you must do right after your wedding

our wedding’s over, so it’s clearly time to put your feet up and take it easy, right?
Well, sort of. If you’re going on your honeymoon immediately or shortly after your wedding, relaxation is an absolute must. But once you return, there are a few (relatively simple, don’t worry!) things you should take care of. Here’s a quick checklist to help you get it all done.

Check your social media and wedding hashtag
If you had a wedding hashtag (hopefully you did!), be sure to check all of your social media apps to view your guests’ photos. You’ll also want to check your Snapchat within 24 hours of your wedding to see all of the fun. There may be images that you really like and want to save—so be sure to do that as soon as you can. This is also a nice way to combat wedding withdrawal.

Receive your marriage license
In most cases, your wedding officiant is responsible for filing the appropriate paperwork to ensure that you receive your marriage license. While the time it will take varies from location to location, it usually takes a few weeks to receive the actual marriage license document. Once you have this document in hand, you can move forward with a few more tasks, including…

Change your name (if you want!)
Deciding whether or not to change your last name will probably take some time—and there are lots of reasons why you should or shouldn’t make the switch. If you do decide to change your name, try to start the process shortly after you receive your marriage license. You’ll need to start with your Social Security card, and then change your name on your driver’s license, passport, credit cards, and more. It’s a bit of a process, but there are name change providers that can make it a breeze.

Tell your employer
Whether or not you choose to change your name, you should still let the human resources department at your employer know that you’re married. Changes will likely need to be made to your tax information and documents, and potentially your health insurance, among others.

Write all of the thank-you notes
You probably received gifts at and after your wedding, so get caught up on those pesky thank-you notes! Writing a few thank-you notes per day isn’t too much of a burden, but will ensure that you don’t get behind an end up with a too-overwhelming pile of unwritten notes. Got writer’s block? This fill-in-the-blank thank-you note template will help!

After The Wedding Molly Joseph Photography

Thank and review your wedding vendors
Along with your thank-you notes to your guests, it’s a nice gesture to thank your wedding vendors as well. And a good way to thank your vendors in a public fashion is to review them on a site like WeddingWire. You’ll not only be helping your vendors, you’ll also be helping future engaged couples plan their weddings. It’s all about paying it forward!

Freeze your cake
Saving the top tier of your wedding cake to eat on your first anniversary is a fun tradition—and a one of the very best excuses to eat cake! To ensure that your cake is in edible condition a year from now, ask a friend, family member, or wedding party member to be in charge of retrieving the top tier of the cake and starting the freezing process until you return from your honeymoon and can move your precious treat to your own freezer.

Preserve your attire
No matter what you wore to your wedding, it’s a good idea to have your attire cleaned as soon as possible after the big day so that any dirt or stains don’t set in too much. If you’re headed on your honeymoon immediately after your wedding, you can enlist a family member or friend to drop off your attire to the cleaners.

If you wore a wedding dress, the process is a bit more involved. Do some research about cleaning services that specialize in preserving wedding dresses and identify the one you’d like to use before your wedding. It can take many weeks to properly clean and preserve a wedding dress, so it’s best to get the process started sooner rather than later.

Close out your registry
Once you’ve returned from your honeymoon, take stock in the gifts you did and did not receive from your wedding registry. Are there items you don’t want or need anymore? Are there gifts you wished you received but didn’t? Did you receive duplicates of the same thing? Return or exchange any of the gifts you don’t need, and take advantage of any registry completion discounts your retailers may offer in order to purchase gifts you didn’t receive, but still want. These wedding registry completion discounts often have time limits, so be sure to use them sooner rather than later.

After The Wedding Molly Joseph Photography

Figure out finances
You and your spouse probably discussed your financial situation (hopefully in detail) before you got married. Now that the wedding is said and done, you’ll need to take action. If you plan on combining accounts or making other changes to how you organize your finances, head over to your bank to do so. If you’re creating a new account, be sure to notify any companies where you’re using direct deposit, so that you don’t miss any payments.

Talk to your photographer about albums
You’re probably checking your email or snail mail every three seconds waiting for your wedding photos to come through. Once they do arrive (which can take about six to eight weeks), you’ll want to decide soon what you want to do with them. We recommend putting together an album soon, because if you don’t do it right away, you may be still sitting with a box of disorganized photos years from now. Work with your photographer to figure out the best photo album service and process for you.

Share your photos
Once you do receive your wedding photos, be sure to share them with your guests—they’re probably (almost) as excited to see them as you and your spouse are! You can share your photos on your wedding website or on social media, and of course, display them in your home . Don’t go too overboard with the wedding photos, but be sure to give your guests a peek.

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Photos by (top to bottom): Patrick Nied Photography, Olli Studio, Molly Joseph Photography