A lot of planning goes into your big day. But just because you’ve tied the knot doesn’t mean that you’re done with wedding tasks. There’s still plenty to do after you’ve said, “I do.”
Within the first year of your newly minted marriage, you’ll still have a long list of items that need to be addressed. Take a look at the items on this checklist to make sure all of your wedding tasks are complete within the first year.
Open Presents and Say Thank You
Opening wedding presents from your guests is an experience you’ll never forget. The generosity and well wishes from your closest friends and family can be overwhelming. Be sure to show your gratefulness by sending personalized, handwritten thank you notes within two months of your return from your honeymoon.
Like most big tasks, the simplest way to attack it is in small chunks. Commit to writing two notes per day, or set a per-week goal if your work schedule makes it hard to schedule daily. Restrict use of the new gift until you’ve written the note to keep yourself on track.
Order your pictures
Many photographers include an album as part of your photography package. You’ll want to schedule time with your new spouse to sort through all of the photos and order the album. Even if your photo package doesn’t include an album, you’ll still need to decide which photos are your favorites and decide how to preserve them. Set aside two evenings or about eight hours to make your selections.
Although that sounds like a cumbersome task, it’s actually one you’ll enjoy. You and your new spouse can share stories from the ceremony and giggle about the bad pictures. Start by weeding out the worst photos, then sort them into a timeline of sorts. From there you can lay out a rough version of an album to tell the story of your day.
Preserve your bouquet
A wedding bouquet is a personal treasure from the most special day of your life. Make arrangements to have it preserved while you are on your honeymoon. By the time you return, it will be too late because the process needs to start when the flowers are still fresh.
The simplest method is to entrust the bouquet to a bridesmaid who will hang the flowers upside down to air dry for several weeks. After you return from your honeymoon, you can arrange them in a bouquet display box. If you want to preserve the original, vibrant color, then it’s best to arrange for your florist to preserve them professionally. You will still need a trusted bridesmaid to deliver them in a cool container while still fresh. The florist will spray-starch the bouquet, freeze dry it for 2-3 months, and package it in a decorative display.
Clean and store your dress
Whether you decide to keep your wedding dress or sell it to someone else, it’s a good idea to have the dress professionally cleaned as soon as possible. Removing all of the stains and smells is critical so you can pass it down within your family or list it for resale.
You can order a kit online to do it yourself, take it to a certified dry cleaner, or purchase services from the store that sold you the dress. No matter who you entrust with your beautiful gown, try to have it completed within your first year of marriage to get the best results.
Change your name
The first thing you’ll need is a certified marriage license with your new last name on it. Then you can proceed to update your name on various official documents. Start by updating your name with the Social Security Administration by filling out the form and sending it in. Once you have this in hand, you can head to the local DMV to get a new license, change your bank accounts, and employee ID.
The rest of the changes can trickle in after that. You can submit a change form to the post office and your alumni association. Don’t forget to update your voter registration, too!
Complete your tasks within a year
Your honeymoon is a well-deserved rest after planning the biggest event of your life. When you get home, there will still be a few wedding tasks to complete. There’s not a deadline for finishing these tasks, so it would be easy to put them off. Instead of avoiding the extra work, finish these tasks, and you’ll enjoy reaping the rewards.