The First Steps to Take After Your Wedding Day
by Sara Haugland May 20
The most perfect day of your life has come and gone, now what should you do to start off your married life? There are a few essential steps you’ll need to take once you’re back from honeymoonin’ with your new spouse to help the transition go as smoothly possible. From legally changing your name to returning items off of your registry to submitting your perfect day to Brides of Austin, we’ve got all the deets on the steps to take after your wedding day!
Photo // Reagan Wright Photography
1. Send out thank you cards
Completing your thank you cards may seem like a daunting task, but we can assure you it’s not as bad as it may seem! Writing thank you cards can be fun if you incorporate fun stationary, a pretty pen with colorful ink, or even add your own personal touch with playful stickers. Once you get these letters written and give yourself a check off the big to-do, we can guarantee you are going to feel less stressed, accomplished and most importantly, happy! The sooner you can sit down and crank out thank you cards after your wedding, the better. We recommend no later than three months after your wedding day as a deadline for getting them all sent out! Make sure to be as detailed or sentimental as possible, as this will show your guests how much you appreciated their gift and for attending your celebration. If you’re needing some stationery to get you going, you can find our top pics in our Amazon shop under Paperie!
2. Preserve your dress and bouquet
The dress and bouquet are some of the most cherished items from your wedding day, so why part with them if you don’t necessarily need to? There are several ways to preserve your wedding dress and bouquet that will keep them looking brand new and also help preserve your memories of your special day!
Taking or sending your dress to a preservationist is the easiest way to preserve your dress, but is also a pretty pricy option. For a DIY route to preserve your dress yourself, first, take it to get professionally cleaned within six weeks of your wedding, and immediately if it is silk. Do your research on the best local cleaners – we recommend asking local bridal boutiques who they would recommend. Once it’s back from the cleaners, handle your dress with extreme care, as to not get any new stains on it! From here, you can either seal, box or bag your dress. Sealing your dress involves vacuum sealing it in a bag. While this might seem like the best option, sealing your dress could cause permanent creases, yellowing, molding and mildewing of your gown that you’re trying to avoid! Boxing your gown involves simply folding your gown, wrapping it in white acid-free tissue paper, and then placing your gown in an acid-free box. With this option, it is advised to re-fold your gown once every two to three years to prevent permanent creasing! Finally, if you decide to bag your dress, make sure it is hanging on a padded hanger by the loops inside the dress that are closest to the strongest seam. Bag it in a cotton or acid-free plastic bag, NOT regular plastic. This is a good option for the short-term, as hanging your dress for a long period of time is not ideal.
Once your wedding is over, you’ll need to act fast to preserve your flowers while they’re still as fresh as can be! Pressing your flowers is a trendy option we always love to see our brides do with their bouquets. For the best results, make sure you do research on your flowers before starting, as you’ll need to know how each flower will react to getting pressed! Once they’re pressed, the options are limitless for all you can do. Adding them to a photo album or surrounding a photo in a clear class frame are two unique and sentimental options! Another option to preserve your flowers is by drying them and placing them in a clear box to always have to look at. By drying out your flowers, they’ll retain their original shape, color and perfume.
3. Legally change your name
Luckily, for Austin brides, the state will accept a valid marriage certificate as proof for a name change. Once that piece of paper is signed on your wedding day, it’s time to use your new name – congratulations! Now, what comes next?
Are you simply going for a last name change, or do you want a hyphenation or middle name change? This decision determines the necessary steps needing to be taken after your wedding day. We always suggest to brides to make multiple copies of your marriage license to give to any vendors, like insurance companies and any others that may require it. If you’re moving, this is also the perfect time to update your address everywhere, too.
Top 20 places you should update your new name:
- Your social security card (click here to get more information!)
- Driver’s license
- Bank accounts
- IRS (click here to get more information!)
- Voter registration (click here to get your voter registration application)
- Passport (click here for detailed information)
- Post office (click here to get more information!)
- Credit cards
- Insurance companies
- Doctors’ offices
- Car title and/or mortgage/landlord
- Professional or educational associations, clubs and organizations
- Attorney’s offices
- Electric and utility companies
- Phone, cable and internet companies
- Financial institutions
- Online shopping sites
- Social media accounts
4. Send friends & family your updated address
While your close friends and immediate family may know about you getting married, there’s a lot of people that won’t — and it’s important to get the word out there! Making a cute “it’s official” post and celebrating your new marriage is one of the sweetest ways to make the news known – it’ll get people’s attention and give you an excuse to post more wedding photos, which is always a bonus! Sharing your updated contact information through your phone is just the nudge people will need to change your name and update your address in their phone (here’s a quick tutorial on how to do just that). If you’re an old-school bride who loved getting snail mail, you could opt to send out an official announcement – it’s just like a wedding announcement, but for your new address and name!
5. Return duplicate registry items
As thankful as you are for all the registry items you received throughout your wedding journey, it’s easy to say that you only need one shiny new air fryer in your life, not two or three. Was there one registry item you really wanted but weren’t gifted? Here’s your opportunity to get that gift for you and your new spouse!
When returning items from places you registered with, make sure you are familiar with the return policy. Will the store accept your item without a receipt? Do they have a time-oriented return window? While Walmart and Target, along with Amazon and Bed Bath and Beyond, will all accept returns without a receipt, there are restrictions that apply at each. Researching every store is key before walking in and being turned away because you don’t have the proper means needed to make a return. Become very familiar with each store’s return policy, then confidently return your items with as little hassle as possible!
*Tips for buying gifts for future couples: stick to the registry, and always give a gift with the receipt attached! The more you can do to help the couple return your gift if needed, the better.*
6. Review your vendors
Did you have the dream team of vendors helping you with your wedding? Was there a vendor you wished you would have looked a little closer into? Let the world know! Most wedding vendors have websites where you can leave reviews about the services they provided for your big day. If not, hyping up your vendors on social media by liking and commenting on their posts is like a review in itself! Reviewing your vendor is one of the best ways you can thank them or critique them, and by doing so, you’ll also be helping out all of the future couples that could potentially use them. If you used a Brides of Austin vendor, you can easily find their website and socials on their vendor profiles!
7. Order a wedding photo album & prints
There’s no better way to remember your wedding day than by printing out all of the beautiful photos! It’s no secret that good quality photos of your day was a big investment, and printing them out could actually give you the biggest bang for your buck. Printing your photos and placing them in an album tells your wedding day story in a unique way that you can personally lay out, from getting ready to the grand exit and everything between. There’s just something so emotional and intimate about flipping through hard copies of photos instead of scrolling through an online gallery. Also, the internet isn’t forever! In the event your computer crashes or websites get deleted, having print phots and albums is the best backup. Plus, albums make the sweetest family heirloom for generations to come!
8. Submit your wedding to us!
We’re on the search for the prettiest weddings in Austin to grace the pages of our magazines, and we would love your special day to be one of them. After all the months of planning and preparing for your big day, you definitely deserve to show it off – bragging rights are definitely encouraged here! Head to our Vows that Wow link on our site to submit your wedding to us today!