My Lovely North: Post-Wedding Honey-Do's

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!

Out and About: The Nest, Downtown Traverse City

By now you should all know that I am an avid downtown Traverse City shopper!  I absolutely adore our little piece of Main Street USA and the stores that line Front Street.  Nest of Grand Traverse is by far one of the poshest home decor and interior design houses in Northern Michigan and is a regular stop on my jaunts downtown.  Owner, Jennifer Ringl has brought an element of decorating sophistication with a flare for all things chic to Front Street.  With ever changing (not to mention eye catching) window displays I encourage you to step inside to explore the great products carefully styled and showcased in her beautiful store. For couples planning a wedding in Northern Michigan be sure and make Nest one of your chosen locations for your wedding registry.  Their helpful staff will assist you in tailoring a registry blending your unique tastes and personal styles.  With interior design services, beautiful furniture selections, kitchen wares and accessories just to name a few, your registry will surely dress your new "nest" in style!  (They offer shipping and online updates for each registry holder, for more information contact Beth their store manager.)

If you aren't lucky enough to live or visit the Grand Traverse area (just kidding... maybe!) be sure and visit their website by clicking here- you can now shop their fabulous store products online!  But if you do live near TC make sure to stop by Nest of Grand Traverse the first Thursday of each month for their Nest-ing nights featuring great in store specials and fare.  Our very own Cammie and Andy of Epicure Catering will be assisting Jen and her staff this Thursday kicking off the new year with Epicures delightful dishes... trust me readers, this is one night you don't want to miss!