After all is the dancing is over, and the tan from your honeymoon begins to fade, a large laundry-list is left over for a couple, and especially a bride, to start chipping away at. From changing your name to taking care of any unpaid wedding invoices, there’s a lot to get done! I thought perhaps the readers would take my humble, but well-earned advice on what happens after the wedding for a new married couple. It's time to stop preparing for a wedding and time to start nesting!
Changing the Name: Not everyone changes their name after they get married, but I certainly did and I’d love to help. The first thing you need to remember is to keep your wedding license with you at all times in regards to handling any changes. Typically the license is needed by your bank, Social Security office, Secretary of State, etc - they must want some sort of proof that you are, in fact, married…or something. ;) The first step is to go to your local Social Security office and start the process of changing your name with them. My card came relatively quickly but they do advise up to two weeks time. After the new card arrives, take that to the Secretary of State to change your license so it reflects your new name. Be aware! They DO take a new photo…I wasn’t aware of this and my photo reflects my lack of preparation. Eek! Finally when you receive your new license, you are equipped to create a joint-bank account and/or change any credit card or billing accounts.
Cleaning Your Gown: Surprisingly, your wedding dress gets pretty gross and especially if you have an outdoor wedding and/or reception. Not only will you most likely spill or drop something on it, lots of people may step on it during the dancing. It's to be expected that the hem will be pretty soiled, but the rest of your gown will also need to be addressed. J Sheer is a fantastic and trust worthy company if you're looking for a great company. Don't worry though about a time frame too early - typically it's safe to have your gown cleaned as long as you don't exceed the six month mark.
Registry Returns: Pieter and I got really lucky and essentially didn't have to return anything except for duplicate items. (Although I didn't complain when I received two sets of Potter Barn lanterns. haha) Most stores are very happy to help you exchange the items you're returning and thusly provide you a list of the items still remaining on your registry. Keep an eye on the mail, too because those gifts, cards and registry coupons will still flow in after the wedding.
Speaking of the Registry…: Get those thank-you's out! The longer you let it slide, the less likely you are to get them out. One helpful hint is during the wedding shower process, have everyone address their own thank you card so you have their most current address AND you don't have to write them out yourself. Bada-bing, bada-boom! If you're quite busy post-nuptials, I suggest setting aside sections of thank-you's and write out so many per day.
The HR Nitty Gritty: Most couples will want to change their beneficiaries and will want to do so asap when they head back to work. Most HR representatives are happy to sit you down and talk you through the process of setting everything up. This is also a prime time to sit down and discuss insurance plans - which is most cost-effective and beneficial. Most insurance companies offer an open-enrollment period only once a year, provided there's a "life event." Marriage qualifies as a life event, however sometimes only for a set amount of time. I suggest discussing it as soon as possible so you're well versed and prepared to set up your insurance.
I hope you all found this helpful in your post-wedding recap! It may not be the most exciting discussion to have with your spouse - discussing debt, who's paying for what and for how long, and a couple of cramped hands from the many many thank-you's you'll be writing, but it's so very necessary, and once it's over you're really at ease to settle in. Cheers!