10 Things You Need to Do After Your Wedding Is Over

In the first few weeks after all the wedding festivities wind down, your big day is still probably all you'll be able to think about. You'll want to ride that post-wedding high for as long as possible, but then, before you know it, you've been married for six months... and there's still a pile of unused wedding favors sitting on your kitchen table. Here are 10 things you're going to want to take care of before your first anniversary rolls around.

1. Send out thank you notes. Your friends and family traveled from near and far to be with you on your special day, and they probably got you nice gifts as well. So don't wait too long to complete this oh-so-important task; we suggest you and your partner block out some time on your calendars to take care of it as soon as your honeymoon is over. Avoiding it because you don't know what to say? Here are some tips for what to write in your thank you notes!

wedding thank you note
Photo Credit: Sunshine and Ravioli via Lover.ly

2. Have your wedding dress cleaned and/or preserved. If you're planning on keeping your wedding dress for posterity, you should have your dress professionally cleaned as soon as possible. Even if you don't think your future daughters will wear your dress some day, it's a good idea to get it cleaned soon rather than later to deal with any stains and smells. When you pull it out of your closet in the future, you want to remember how pretty you felt in it, not those 5-year-old champagne and sweat stains.

wedding gown
Photo Credit: Handcrafted Affairs via Lover.ly

8 Things You Can Do With Your Dress After Your Wedding >>

3. Order your wedding album. After you've posted the digital images of your big day on Facebook, you might forget to create an album IRL. But at some point, you'll probably want the actual photos, so schedule a weekend date with your new spouse to choose your favorites and order your album. This is an especially important thing to cross off your to-do list early on if your album was part of your photography package — you don't want to forget about something you already paid for!

wedding photo album
Photo Credit: Photobook Press via Lover.ly

4. Review your vendors. Your wedding vendors worked tirelessly to make your day feel so magical and special, so return the favor by posting a great review on Yelp and wedding boards. It's a great way to express your gratitude and help your vendors grow their business. And don't just do it for them — do it so other couples can discover your amazing makeup artist or fabulous florist. It's just good karma!

wedding day makeup
Photo Credit: Amber McGaughey Photography on Wedding Chicks via Lover.ly

8 Ways to Properly Thank Your Wedding Vendors >>

5. Return or exchange any unwanted wedding gifts. Even if you take the time to put together a registry, duplicate purchases and off-registry gifts will still happen. You'll want to take those not-exactly-your-style gifts back to the store as soon as possible and choose something that's a better fit; if you wait too long, you may not be able to do so.

wedding gift box
Photo Credit: Minted via Lover.ly

Find registry inspiration on Lover.ly >>

6. Purchase any gifts you didn't receive (and still want). This step is especially important if there's anything you didn't get that comes as part of a set. You may have only received five of the eight place settings you wanted or two out of the four towels on your registry. Put those gift cards to good use, and complete these sets while the items are still in stock. And remember, even though most stores offer couples discounts on items that remain on their registry after the big day, the offer is often only good for 30 to 60 days after your wedding.

kitchen products
Photo Credit: Heart.Love.Always. via Lover.ly

The Lover.ly Guide to Navigating the Wedding Registry >>

7. Take down your wedding website and registry. If you're paying to host your wedding website, you'll definitely want to take it down after the big day to cut costs. But also consider that both your registry and your wedding website may show up in Google results when people search for your name; remove both from the Web if you don't want others to see them. You should probably leave the registry up for a few extra months in case some of your guests still want to give you something (common etiquette says they have up to a year to send their gifts), but if that seems unlikely, go ahead and remove it earlier.

woman on computer
Photo Credit: Jennifer Skog on Inspired by This via Lover.ly

How to handle the post-wedding blues >>

8. Return any items you bought for the wedding and didn't use. The supplies for the photo booth backdrop that you never got around to making; the glitter frames you were planning to use for your table numbers until you decided to do wine bottle table numbers instead; the cute striped straws that you forgot to bring to the catering staff. Whatever it is, you're probably going to have some unused and unopened items after your wedding, so make time to return them (and recoup some of your wedding expenses in a tiny, tiny way). Can't return them? Consider donating them or passing them on to your newly engaged friend!

wedding drink straws
Photo Credit: Dixie + Twine on Etsy via Lover.ly

10 signs you're ready to be done with wedding planning >>

9. Do something with all your wedding décor. There are a lot of little things that come together to make your big day look possible, but after you tie the knot, what are you supposed to do with them? If you find that 15 glitter-covered Mason jars and 25 vintage suitcases are making themselves comfortable in your guest bedroom, do yourself a favor and find them a new home. You could sell the items to other couples planning a wedding (try eBay, Craigslist, or just post a note about the items you want to unload on Facebook), put together a garage sale, find a way to work them into your home (or holiday!) décor, donate them or, at the very least, toss them. You'll feel relieved once you've de-cluttered!

mr and mrs signs
Photo Credit: A Girl and a Camera Photography on Wedding Chicks via Lover.ly

How to Shop Flea Markets for Your Wedding >>

10. Legally change your name. If you're planning to, that is! Changing your name on Facebook and Twitter is the easy part, but you also need to make time to do it legally. Take an hour to collect the necessary documents (like your passport, social security card, and driver's license, to name a few) and start to check items off your list. The longer you wait, the more likely it is that you'll create more headaches for yourself (especially when it comes to taxes and travel) or you might even end up misplacing your marriage license. (Not that we've ever done that...) Commit to your name change early to make your transition into married life much easier.

wedding party
Photo Credit: Brett Heidebrecht on Southern Weddings via Lover.ly

4 Tips for Changing Your Name After Marriage >>

Have you been putting any of these tasks off post-wedding? What do you wish you'd taken care of sooner?

—Rachel W. Miller

Loverly is the heart of weddings: a visual inspiration search engine designed to help brides discover ideas, people to hire, and things to buy. Loverly makes finding beautiful wedding inspiration easier than ever! Their images are powered by the best wedding publishers and wedding shopping partners on the web. Find Bridal Guide on Loverly >>

Comments

Thinking about what to do after our wedding is over - well we decided that we wanted all our memories of our big day to last a lifetime. We wanted to keep all our keepsakes in a safe, unique place that we could show off to visitors to our home. So my husband and I decided to buy a beautiful personalised & engraved vintage-style keepsake case from Vintage Mémoires. They engrave their cases with a personalised message and we store all of our wedding keepsakes in there - just gorgeous!! www.vintagememoires.com