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What to Do After Getting Married: the Comprehensive Checklist

Dec 12, 2022
By Wedding Spot

When planning a wedding and all the parties that come along with them, one of the most common things couples forget about is what to do after getting married. It turns out there’s a surprising amount of paperwork involved!

While your timeline may look different, we took a deep dive into this topic to create a handy checklist of everything you’ll need to do in the days, weeks, months, and year after getting married. Not to worry, it’s not all chores. You can expect to see a heavy dose of gratitude, wrapping up loose ends, and enjoying your extended celebrations, too.

If you’re someone who is short on time or doesn’t have the stomach to think about doing even one more thing after your big day, don’t stress. There are plenty of tools, tips, and services available to help you sort it all out.

And finally, don’t expect to get everything done at once. We’ve intentionally spaced out the items below so you can get through them one step at a time without burning out. Feel free to go at your own pace, split the list between you and your partner, and enlist help from loved ones as needed.

So, here’s what to do after getting married

One day after your wedding

It’s perfectly acceptable to be exhausted the day after a wedding. After planning for hundreds of hours, it’s time to take some time to recharge and enjoy the day. Here are some suggestions for couples that aren’t planning on taking a honeymoon immediately after the wedding:

1. Slow down
You’ve just finished one of, if not the, biggest event you’ll plan in your lifetime. Reward yourself by turning your phones off, having a spa day, or relaxing however you want.

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2. Clean and organize
This can mean cleaning the wedding venues if needed or simply cleaning your home before leaving for your honeymoon. Separate wedding items that need to be returned to family and friends, sold, and donated for a later date.

3. Return rentals
Check your vendor’s policies and schedule a pickup for furniture, glassware, silverware, and anything else you’ve rented for the ceremony and reception. Enlist help from family and friends if you have to go to multiple locations or need extra hands for lifting heavier outdoor heaters into your truck.

4. Open and catalog presents
Dive into your beautiful pile of presents and start gasping at how awesome they are! As you take turns unwrapping everything, keep a list of who gave you what so you can remember to properly thank them later. It’s a good idea to keep this list from the first gift you receive, even if it’s before the wedding day.

5. Host a brunch
This is great for weddings that take place at a hotel or resort. It also allows you to spend extra time with those traveling from out of town.

6. Update your social media
Change your name and relationship status on Facebook. Share candid pictures from friends and family on all platforms. And don’t forget to reshare the posts you get tagged in!

7. Freeze your cake
Grab a couple slices to freeze now and enjoy on your one-year anniversary. Remove the sugary decorations and be sure to let the unwrapped cake chill fully in the fridge before you officially Saran Wrap it for long-term storage.

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One week to one month

If you went on your honeymoon right after the wedding, then you’ll want to add the previous list to this one. If you haven’t yet, fit these tasks around it:

8. File your wedding certificate
Research how to fill your wedding certificate in your state before the wedding. Procedures and deadlines will differ from state to state so prioritize this first.

9. Send thank-you notes
Remember that list you made while you were opening gifts? It’s time to ink some cards detailing why you loved that particular present to each individual who attended your wedding.

10. Write thank-you reviews
Don’t forget to show your vendors some love! Hop onto Yelp, Facebook, and Instagram to thank them for one or two specifically wonderful things they did for you.

11. Make your new name official
If one or both of you are changing your last name now that you’re married, prepare yourself for a mountain of paperwork. Here are most of the items you’ll need to update:
● Social Security
● Passport
● Driver’s license
● Banks
● Credit cards
● Utility providers
● Post office
● Apartment lease
● Recurring subscription orders and donations
● Social media
● Work and personal emails
● Your employer or clients
● Voter registration
● Doctors' offices
● Loan companies

Companies such as NewlyNamed and HitchSwitch offer affordable and personalized name change kits that take care of most of the items, saving you many hours in the process.

12. Preserve wedding outfits and decor
If you’re planning to keep it, store your wedding dress in a display bag or case. And hire someone to preserve your wedding flowers in epoxy resin or DIY it.

13. Return registry items as needed
The wedding registry you used will have instructions for how to return items, so read those carefully.

Three to six months

The seasons have changed, but your wedding day is still fresh in your mind! After you’ve taken care of the most time-sensitive tasks it’s time to tackle some other important administrative duties while also enjoying the photos you finally got back from your photographer!

14. Post your wedding photos
Put your favorites everywhere you want to, whether online, in albums, or anywhere else. Tag friends and family, highlight them on your Instagram Stories, and enjoy all the compliments that come flooding in!

15. Come up with a new financial plan
If you haven’t discussed shared finances, now is the time. Sort out any shared bank accounts, budgets, and goals you need to so that you’re on the same page.

16. Print and frame your wedding photos
Take the time and effort to do this step. Trust us, you’ll be grateful to have those beautiful photos on display in your home! You can also put them in an album or scrapbook.

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17. Update your insurance and will
Focus on your homeowner’s, car, and life insurances. Consult your legal team regarding your living will.

Six months to one year

We’ve left this list small just in case any of the previous tasks haven’t been accomplished. If not, don’t worry! There is no rush. But if you’re ready to move on to the next steps, you’ve got some fun ones ahead of you.

18. Wrap up your wedding videography
Videography can sometimes take longer than photography, especially if the vendor has a unique editing style or needs to fulfill any special requests. Share clips and gifs of your wedding video to social media once it’s done!

19. Plan your one-year anniversary party
Invite your family and friends or keep it to yourself. Either way, make sure you plan something special the two of you will enjoy together for your first ever anniversary.

20. Update your emergency contact information
Less fun, but still important. Make sure your employers, medical practitioners, gyms, and other frequent stops have all your updated information.

One year

Congratulations! You’ve made it through all the things you have to do after getting married! Now you can finally put all of your wedding tasks behind you and relish your new life together.

21. Celebrate your anniversary
Have a spa day, a dinner with close-knit friends, or simply get out of town for the weekend. Whatever you choose, make sure it’s something you’ll both love!

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22. Look back on your wedding photos and videos
Take a peek at all the albums you put together. Talk about your expectations versus the reality of being married to one another.

23. Share memories on social media
Sometimes social media apps will show us memories posted from the past. Reshare these with family and friends in celebration!

Bookmark this checklist of what to do after getting married so you can look back at it over and over again!

Now you can breathe easy knowing you’re fully prepared to cross off all of your post-wedding tasks. Up next, plan for even more fun with these tasty after-wedding brunch ideas!

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Wedding Spot

The Wedding Spot blog is designed to help couples navigate every step of the wedding planning journey. From before the engagement to after you say “I do,” our goal is to give you the tips, ideas, and inspiration to prepare for your big day — and all that comes with it.