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Photo Credit: Jihan Cerda Photography
The post-wedding to-do list can seem almost as long as your wedding planning list! Today we’re highlighting the top duties a newlywed must check off her list. And don’t worry; we’ve included a longer list below.
Photo Credit: Foot Candles Photography
1. Organize Your Photos
You will likely have more photos from this one day than any other day in your life. Take the time now to organize, compile, store, and share these photographs – you’ll be thankful later.
The first step is to gather together these images. Find out from your photographer when and how you will receive your photos. Most often it will be digitally, which is the best way to save your special shots. A photo Share Site is a fantastic way to gather any candid shots friends and family may have snapped during your wedding. Post a call out to friends on your social profiles to see what they can share. Often, you’ll laugh at the silly moments your guests were able to capture that the professional photographer may have missed.
Next, decide how you will share and display these photos. From hanging prints in your home to creating personalized stationery, the possibilities are endless. Our favorite way to gather together wedding day memories is with a gorgeous wedding photo book. Pull together images, add in quotes or memories, and you have a keepsake you’ll treasure forever. A photo book is a fantastic anniversary gift, if you can’t find the time to make one just after your wedding.
2. Send Thank You Cards
Thank you cards are a must for any bride, and should be one of the first items tackled after the big day. If you have a wedding registry, you can often get a head start on this by writing thank you notes as gifts are delivered in advance of the wedding.
Etiquette asks that brides wait no more than 6-8 weeks after the wedding ceremony to send thank you cards. If you are planning to send a photo thank you card with a special shot from your reception, ask your photographer to give you one or two options the day after your wedding. That way, you can order your thank you stationery as soon as possible.
Every person who attends your wedding should receive a thank you note – even if they did not bring a gift. Their presence at your wedding took time and cost, and should be recognized. It’s also a great idea to send thank you notes to your vendors.
Photo Credit: Renee Brock
3. Change Your Name and/or Update Marital Status
If you are changing your name after your wedding, be sure to think through all of the possible accounts you’ll need to update. Start first with your Social Security card, your driver’s license, and your major bank accounts. Then move on to your employer, insurance companies, and other major accounts. You’ll also need to update your marital status in many of the same places, as well as beneficiary for life insurance.
4. Preserve Your Wedding Day Memories
Beyond photos and videos, there are other mementos from your big day that you will want to save. Start with your bridal bouquet the day after your wedding, whether you plan to preserve the entire bouquet or just dry out a handful of petals (a great keepsake to tuck into your wedding album). Hint: many brides have a special “toss” bouquet to throw to guests, and keep their bridal bouquet for themselves.
Photo Credit: Foot Candles Photography
Take proper care to clean your wedding dress and veil. Find a trusted dry cleaners (with experience in cleaning wedding dresses) to take on this task for you. Then, carefully store your dress. You likely won’t be taking it out of storage too often, so limit exposure to sunlight, heat, and other damaging factors.
Need a few more ideas of what might be left to check off? See below.
The Days After
- Return all rented clothing
- Return all borrowed accessories
- Return all rented equipment
- Contact your gift registry to have gifts delivered
- Send your picture to the newspaper
For the Honeymoon
- Put your mail on hold, or resume your mail service if you have already returned from your honeymoon
- Turn on/ off your out of office / away message on your email
Upon Your Return
- Contact your videographer for a viewing
- Put any wedding photos taken personally on the internet for friends and family to see
- Get an official registered copy of your marriage certificate
- Change your address (if applicable)
- Create a wedding memento box
- Update your Will
- Get (or change) a life insurance policy
- Update your beneficiary for life insurance / superannuation
I always planned to change my name whenever I married – I wanted to have the same last name as my children, be a unified couple, and follow tradition. But after all of the work I put into my wedding day, I’m ready to relax! I don’t want to spend a lot of time and stress going through the legal process of taking on my spouse’s name. And to add to that, it will be tough to let everyone at work know. Is changing my last name really necessary in this day and age?
Photo Credit: Jim McGinley
Changing your name is a choice every bride faces, and it’s not an easy choice to make. I can’t offer a definitive yes or no for this question, because it truly is a personal decision. I recommend you have a frank discussion with your spouse about this choice, and think about how you identify yourself in regards to your last name.
From what you wrote in, it seems as though you want to change your name – you just don’t want to do the work! Well, it’s a fairly easy process if you handle it correctly. Most of the work comes after you’ve filed the appropriate paperwork, and start the process of updating your accounts and records.
Photo Credit: Carla Shierman
If you have decided to go forward with changing your name, take the stress out of the legal process by reminding yourself of the fun that comes along.
- Update your stationery! Treat yourself to notecards, address labels, and a notepad with your new moniker. It’s a fun way to get used to referring to yourself as the new Mrs., and it will help others adjust to your name as well.
- Set up a new email address (and be sure to forward emails sent to your old address).
- Share the news. Letting coworkers and friends know you’ve changed your last name should be a happy moment, allowing you a brief chance to share a detail or two about your wedding day.
And, just so you don’t forget the important changes that go along with a name change, here’s a quick list:
- Change your Social Security card
- Change your driver’s license at the DMV
- Update your bank accounts, credit cards, and checks
- Change other accounts (this includes your employer’s records, doctors’ records, insurance companies, and your passport, to name just a few!)
Have an etiquette question for Etta? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and she’ll post an answer for you.
Continuing with this week’s Pantone Deep Lichen Green inspiration board, we’re falling in love with earthy greens in wedding decor. Complement your deep green wedding invitations with natural, botanical touches to complete a rustic wedding reception. We especially love the pops of green that come in the vintage wedding getaway vehicles!
Starting with a Save the Date that incorporates photography in a fun and unique style, we’re loving these wedding day details. From table settings incorporating photos of each guest to a ceremony aisle runner that acts as a physical walk down memory lane, these five photo ideas will spark decor inspiration for your own wedding day.
We’re thrilled to introduce our 2013 Spring & Summer Wedding Guide!
To download a digital copy please click here. If you’d like to receive a physical copy in your mailbox please sign up for the Wedding Paper Diva’s newsletter here. Not only will you be on our mailing list for catalogs and emails, but you will also receive exclusive deals you won’t find anywhere else on our site.
You’ve set your venue, sent your Save the Date cards, and already have your wedding invitations picked out and ordered. Now that the big decisions are finalized, it’s time for you to choose all the special details that will make your wedding day reflect you.
A great place to start is with the stationery you will need for your wedding weekend.
Rehearsal dinner invitations should be sent as early as possible, to allow out of town guests to plan accordingly. Flights, hotel rooms, and rental cars will all need to be sorted, so make sure you give your guests plenty of time.
Rehearsal dinner guest list etiquette calls for the bride and the groom, their immediate families, the wedding party (along with their spouses or partners), and the officiant and their spouse. Aside from those guests, it is up to the bride and groom – or the host – to decide how large of an event the rehearsal dinner will be. Some brides choose to have an intimate affair, while others use this night as an informal get-together or cocktail party for out-of-town guests.
No matter the size of your rehearsal dinner, this is an opportunity for the bride to relax before her big day. Invitations for the rehearsal dinner don’t need to follow your wedding theme – though, of course, they can.
Wedding programs are an important way to share each special moment of your ceremony with your guests, particularly if you are having a ceremony that may be unique to your guests. If you are having a religious ceremony, or one that incorporates cultural rites, a wedding program will give your guests a step-by-step timeline to better understand the events.
This is the perfect place to list your music selections, an explanation of any ceremonial elements, or attribute a reading.
Aside from the logistics of your ceremony, the wedding program can provide a space to give more information to your guests. Including a list of your bridal party and groomsmen will help relatives sort out who’s who. And the wedding program is a lovely place to mention your thanks for friends and family who have traveled far distances to celebrate.
You took the time to taste each morsel of food served at your reception – now let your guests know what they are eating with custom wedding menu cards. To start, ask your caterer for a description of each dish. They will be able to help you craft the most mouth-watering way to tempt your guests.
Identifying unique qualities of each dish will make the menu even more special. For instance, listing the farm your vegetables come from, or the type of sauce that accompanies a chicken dish will personalize the plates, and have your guests licking their lips in anticipation.
For a fun twist, include a personal note on your menus. Serving macaroni and cheese as a side dish? Let your guests know that this dish is the groom’s favorite – and the only “meal” he can cook up at home. Including a traditional dish from your family? Share the history with your guests, and they’ll love the dish even more.
After Wedding Brunch
A popular trend allowing brides to extend their wedding weekends is to send out after wedding brunch invitations. Hosting a brunch the following morning gives the newlyweds one more chance to thank their guests in person, as well as spend a bit more quality time with each guest.
Make sure to send out invitations in advance, to give friends and family time to plan accordingly. Out-of-town guests will want to book flights later in the day, and make appropriate arrangements.
While we dish about the hottest trends and latest designs, we also know how stressful prepping for the big day can be. Meet Etta, our expert in all things etiquette. She’s ready to delve into your every dilemma.
Should my boyfriend pick out my engagement ring on his own or is it acceptable for me to join in on the shopping?
Traditionally the man picks out and purchases the ring but more recently women have been a part of the shopping experience. If your partner chooses the ring on his own it definitely adds to the element of surprise and is a bit more sentimental when he picks out what he thinks you will love. They often also have to find a secretive way to find your ring size so it fits perfectly once he gives it to you. Engagement season has started (Thanksgiving commenced it) and we want to help you feel comfortable and at ease with all of your engagement ring questions.
It is not uncommon for couples these days to go pick out a ring together and some couples even share the cost of the ring. In other cases there can be a family heirloom ring passed down to the bride and it is usually discussed beforehand with the man.
Although a bright sparkler on your left hand signifies you will be getting married sometime in the future, it is not required for an engagement. Some couples choose to put the money aside for the wedding or a possible down payment and purchase a ring later on and maybe even as a one year engagement gift to celebrate.
If you are selecting a diamond or other precious gem make sure to do your research and shop around to do some comparisons if possible. You also want to make sure you are working with a reputable and knowledgeable jeweler and obtain an appraisal if you have any concerns on the quality.
It is also important to mention that most American women wear their engagement ring on the third finger (next to the pinky) on their left hand. According to the ancient Greeks this finger had the only vein that ran directly to the heart and represented a symbol of love. Since all cultures and religious practices are different there is not one single way to wear an engagement ring.
Typically the bride’s parents are the first to find out about the engagement (if they have not already been notified by the groom beforehand when asking for her hand in marriage). After the bride’s parents are notified, it is then time to tell the groom’s family and then friends and the general public.
Lastly – the cost. The “two month rule” is a myth. This myth was started in 1947 when De Beers launched the campaign for “A Diamond is Forever” and stated a man should spend two months’ worth of their salary on an engagement ring and it later increased to three months. This campaign did exceptionally well but in this day and age is not required and is by no means a “rule.” Today there are different averages for the cost of the ring but typically it can be anywhere from $3,500 to $5,000.
Have an etiquette question for Etta? Email us at email@example.com and she’ll post an answer for you.
Wedding planning takes a lot of work (as we’re sure you know by now) and we often hear from brides-to-be who are looking for ways to get their guy more involved. So we turned to our Facebook community… and here’s what a few of our fans and followers had to say about how their beaus pitched in:
“He did the wedding website, we are doing the food tasting today, he is supportive on all my ideas, and he is keeping me grounded!” -Alexandra S
“I do 90% of the work. He gives input every now and then. He mainly says whatever you want to do which sometimes get on my nerves. But, since this is what I want to do for a living I get over it quickly and just enjoy myself. He will be going with me for the cake tasting and the food tasting. And, he does want to see the venue I chose.” -Patrice M
“He designed our invitations!! He is an artist so he is very involved. I love it.” -Kimberly D
“My groom has been awesome! He loves being involved in every decision. He’s been able to help me stay sane and helpful in deciding what to do.” -Angela R
“My fiance has been awesome! He is in charge of all music for ceremony/reception, he has provided his thoughts and input in all our decisions, even though what I really want is what we get.” -Natasha P
“My fiance has been so supportive and very involved—from making chalkboards, house cleaning and looking at flowers — love him more every day. But he does know I have the final say too ha ha…its 60/40″ -Jill A
Want to join the conversation and see what other fans are saying? Check us out on Facebook.
Even if guests send wedding gifts ahead of time, it’s likely that you’ll have some card-carriers showing up to the reception. Give them a cute place to stash well wishes with this DIY card box. Play with papers and patterns to match your theme, and wow guests when you tell them that you made it yourself.
- Cardboard shipping box (one without a lid works best)
- Paper of your choosing. We went with a gorgeous ombre striped option.
- Ribbon in a complementing color
- Exacto knife and scissors
- Spray adhesive
Step 1: Prep the Box
Tape the box shut using a strong, sturdy tape that will hold well. Then, use your exacto knife to cut a slit big enough to fit the cards through, and measure how far the end of your slit is from each side of the box so you know exactly where to cut after you wrap the box with paper.
Step 2: Wrap It Up Pretty
Use spray adhesive and wrap box—like you would a gift—with your paper. Measure in the same distance and use your exacto knife to cut a slit from the paper.
Step 3: Add the Embellishments
Lastly, use your ribbon (or raffia, or whatever you find and love) to embellish the box—we did a double wrap and added a double bow. Be sure to tuck and glue your ribbon into the card opening for a clean, luxe look. Pretty… and pretty simple to make!
If you try this idea yourself, or if you have any DIY ideas to share, send your photos to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll post them for all of our fans and followers.