12 Essential Post-Wedding Tasks

by Jennifer Cram - Brisbane Marriage Celebrant © (17/10/2021)
Categories: | Wedding Budget | Wedding Planning |
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Just Married Cutout Sign with white
                            rosesSo, for what seems like forever you've been planning your wedding. The seemingly endless to do list is done and dusted. The day has arrived. You are well and truly married. Fantastic! 

But you're not done yet. There's another to-do list to work through. And this one is just as important. It's your post-wedding list of things that you need to do, some of them urgent, and most of them sooner rather than later.

Stuff you need to do pretty well immediately

  • The obvious first task on the list is to make sure that everything that was brought to the ceremony site or reception venue is gathered up, taken away, and returned to its rightful owner.
    • If your ceremony is in a Council park or other public space, the window to do this might be very tight. In Brisbane, for example, hiring of a ceremony site is for two hours, total, and if chairs etc are not removed within that window, fines will be imposed
    • Most reception venues have strict times for bump out as well as bump in, and charge extra if everything is not cleared away by the deadline
    • Make a list and delegate collection for anything that is DIY, or anything you brought to the ceremony, for example, your ring boxes or ring pillow, handfasting cords, photo(s) of deceased loved ones, or to the reception, for example your wishing well and its contents, your guest book, etc
    • Make sure you know who will have your certificate for safekeeping, and that they know what to do with it. The certificate you are given on the day is a one-off. It can never be replaced
  • Not so obvious, but hugely important, sign your new wills. On marriage, existing wills become null and void, unless they have been made in express anticipation of your marriage to one another, with your intended spouse named.

Stuff you should do promptly (say within a week or two)

  • Apply/pay for your Official Marriage Certificate. That's the one that is proof your marriage is registered. You'll need it if you want to change your name, notify various entities that you are now legally married,  prove to Immigration that you have fulfilled a visa requirement, and for other legal purposes. Talk to your celebrant about the process in your particular state or territory. In Queensland I register your marriage online and, if you wish, tick the box to notify Births, Deaths, and Marriages that you wish to order a certificate.
  • Finalise any outstanding payments. Most wedding services require payment in advance, but check that you have taken care of all invoices and finalise any that are still outstanding.
  • Share photos via Social Media with people who are near and dear to you but were not able to be at your wedding
  • Create a memory box. Even if you're not a person who normally journals or writes a diary, take the time to do so for this one day, print it out, and put it in the box along with a copy of your invitation, etc. The sooner the better, while everything is fresh in your mind. You won't regret it! Document all the facts - the who, where, when, and what. Who was there, what roles they played, what they wore, about the ceremony, the reception, the menu, your various vendors, but also
    • Anything that did not go according to plan and how you dealt with it
    • Anything that surprised you
    • Funny and/or especially poignant memories
  • Vendor Appreciation, Virtually everyone who provided the various services that made your wedding the fantastic experience it was, is running a small business. Appreciation is life-blood to small business, and it only takes a few minutes - small recompense for the endless hours, care and love, each put into your wedding, at lot of which would have been invisible to you and to your guests who only saw the end product, so
    • When posting photos to your Social Media, don't forget to mention/tag your various vendors
    • Post reviews on their Facebook Business Page, on Google, etc
    • If they've asked you to fill in a feedback form, do it. It helps with continuous improvement and to understand what is extra important to couples
    • Nominate them for relevant industry awards
  • Deal with any service lapses or issues. In the unlikely event that someone did not deliver on a contractual arrangement, or provided below-par service, contact them to sort it out
  • Have your dress dry-cleaned and repaired. The longer dirt or stains are untreated, the harder they are to deal with, which ups the cost and lowers the likelihood of success. This really is a case where a stitch in time saves nine.  (The same applies to the groom's suit!)

Stuff you should do within 1-3 months

  • Write and send thank you notes for gifts. Make them personal!
  • Do a Finance Health Check. Weddings can be expensive, and a large proportion of couples end up going over budget. So do a finance health check. Look at what you might owe on your credit cards or wedding-related loans, and make a plan to deal with this in order to clear the debt as soon as possible.
  • Sell or give away wedding-related things you don't want to keep. Do some homework before you list to get an idea of what realistic prices may be in your area. And please make sure that you only give to op shops things that are in saleable condition.

Further information

Thanks for reading!
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