I can almost guarantee you that no one is going to tell you the truth, the wedding checklist doesn’t end on your wedding day. Or even the day after or the day after that. There is so much more to do after you’ve enjoyed probably one of the best days of your life. The best thing you and your fiancé can do is plan accordingly and set your expectations so you’re not disappointed that the wedding saga isn’t quite over yet.
If you two are as diligent planning the post wedding stuff as you are planning your actual wedding, you’ll be fine. If you’re still nervous about what could possibly be left to do after the big day and how to prepare yourself for it, take a deep breath and let it go- I’m about to show you all you need to know.
To be clear, everything I’m about to tell you is meant to be planned before your wedding day. That way, after your beautiful day is over, you don’t have to think about what you need to do next. The decisions have already been made and the checklist can simply be followed.
Make it Official
Probably most important, someone needs to drop off your completed Marriage License! Sometimes the officiant will take care of this but most of the time this is the couple’s responsibility. Once this has been dropped off to the local municipality, you will be able to get your Marriage Certificate! This is the official copy with a raised seal. Buy SEVERAL copies. You will have to be mailing these everywhere if you plan on changing your last name and plus it’s always good to have an extra copy. You’re going to have to pay for them but it’s worth it.
Record the Gifts + Organize
Nowadays almost everyone gives a card and some sort of monetary gift. Maybe you’ll get some straggler gifts from your registry that weren’t purchased from your shower but that’s not the norm. So, after the wedding you are going to have a large amount of envelopes with checks, cash and maybe a random gift box. You need to open these cards, make a record of them somewhere, make a plan for a bank run and a time to write thank you cards. I would recommend having a spreadsheet already prepared with three columns: name, attendance and gift. This will make it very easy for you to plug in numbers as you open the cards.
Write Thank You Cards
Once you’ve opened the cards, recorded the gifts and made your bank run, you will need to write your thank you cards. We ordered a large amount of very simple Thank You Cards with our names printed on the back that we used for BOTH the bridal shower and the wedding. You don’t have to have the same Thank You Cards if you don’t want to, but I would definitely recommend having your thank you cards in hand before the wedding. If you already have them, you can start writing your Thank You cards the next day if you want to. It gives you the flexibility to start thanking your guests for attending your wedding while the energy and love from the day is still fresh in your mind. We were able to finish writing our Thank You cards before we left for our honeymoon a few weeks later and honestly, it was the best feeling getting on that flight knowing that when we came back, we didn’t have any items left on our wedding checklist!
Changing Your Last Name?
Will one of you be changing your last name? If so, check out this blog post for the step by step on how to do that. It doesn’t have to be overwhelming! If you couldn’t tell the theme here, if you’re prepared, everything will flow much more easily.
Preserving Your Gown
Next is preserving your gorgeous wedding dress. This will be the best fitting dress you will wear probably in your entire life. It’s also the one you married the love of your life in. Do you want to preserve it? If so, before the wedding, call local dry cleaners and ask if they do wedding dress preservation. Not all dry cleaners do it and they all have different processes. Some of them will do it in house and others will send it out. Ask all the questions. When you are working on your wedding timeline, include dropping your dress off at the dry cleaners on the itinerary. It’s important you get the dress to them as soon as possible after the wedding! I dropped my dress off the day we got back from our wedding weekend, and I swear it made all the difference. I danced the night away barefoot in the grass and mud and my dress showed it. But after my magical dress preservers worked their magic, she was good as new. It was worth the forethought for sure!
Preserving Your Bouquet
There is definitely a new trend of preserving wedding bouquets and I’m all about it. I’ve seen bouquets in resin, made into ornaments + coasters, serving trays and ring trays and they are absolutely stunning. I love the simplicity and timelessness of a dried and pressed floral so that’s the direction I went in. I found the AMAZING Jessica from Atlanta Flower Press and immediately messaged her to find out what I needed to do to preserve our florals. She had examples of pressed bouquets, pressed florals with invitations and even pressed boutonnieres. I wanted a little bit of all of that and I wanted to include our vows. She custom made our piece and it is one of my favorite pieces commemorating our wedding. So, if you are looking to preserve your wedding day florals in any way, find the company you want to do so before the wedding. This will ensure you know exactly what you need to do to get them your flowers in the best condition possible. I literally brought an empty carboard box to our wedding weekend with a Ziplock bag, pens and paper so we could handwrite our vows, and fill the box with as many flowers as possible so Jess had plenty of options to choose from when making our pieces. They turned out absolutely better than I could’ve ever imagined.
See! I told you the To Do List wouldn’t be that bad. Each of these tasks aren’t difficult to prepare for. Ordering thank you cards, making a couple phone calls and having a clear path after your wedding day is all you need to focus on before the wedding.
Your future self with thank you immensely!