What To Do AFTER Your Big Day!
Congratulations! you've tied the knot and your big day is OVER! Now it's time to sit back, relax and enjoy MARRIED LIFE! I bet you'll have a lot more time on your hands and less STRESS. But before you get too comfortable, here are a few things you should remember before you retreat completely.
Pay Your Vendors
Perhaps you took care of this already on the night of your wedding? But just in case anyone is outstanding, be sure to follow up with any outstanding vendor payments by the Tuesday following your wedding at the latest. If not, I'm sure they will be contacting you :) This is a great time to share your feedback / praise and also consider offering a small gratuity if you felt it was worthy!
Open Your Cards / Gifts / Make Bank Deposits
Perhaps you've already scrambled to do this to make your final payments to vendors per above :) However its best to take an inventory of your cards / gifts ASAP after the wedding so that you don't have that sitting around your house post-wedding or getting lost. I've heard some really bad stories of cards getting lost / thrown away / accidents happening. If anyone wrote a chq as a gift, its best that they are cashed sooner rather than later so that people don't forget about having wrote them. This also gives you an opportunity to thank people right away.
TIP: write down the names of people who gave you a gift / card and what they gave you so that you can remember to thank them. Sometimes your parents might also want to know what others did for you OR you may want to note for future as well :) Writing it down helps!
Send Out Thank You's
Not all couples are doing this any more, however if sending out THANK YOU cards or wedding photos post-wedding is something that was important to you / your family, be sure to add this to your TO DO list post wedding! Sometimes it can take photographers several months post-wedding to get you your final edited prints and photos. I personally am not a fan of getting a thank you card 6 months+ later after a wedding. If your photo is going to delay sending out the thank you's, perhaps reach out to your photographer to see if an appropriate thank you card photo can be processed first OR consider sending an engagement photo / other photo or opting against a photo altogether. Emailed thank you cards and personal phone calls / hand written notes are other alternatives. If there was anyone who especially helped you on your special day or did above and beyond, following up with a personal call or hand written note is most respectable.
Take a Honeymoon / Break (if you can!)
So this is a given! Of course, not all of us choose to take a honeymoon in today's expensive day in age; however if you can get away even for a weekend together post wedding as a couple, I HIGHLY recommend this! I've had clients opt for family vacations, camping weekends and family cottages in lieu of a honeymoon and I think these are all great. One thing I DO NOT recommend is leaving the night of your wedding or the next day for a honeymoon. I've had brides want to go to the airport in their wedding dress and to each is own, however due to the multitude of things that do need to happen after your wedding, I don't personally suggest it! PLUS you are so exhausted after your wedding and there is already sooooo much to do to prepare for your big day, packing and passport applications is the LAST thing you need to add to your To Do List IMO..... But do what you like :)
Tip: I find honeymoons 3+ months post wedding are IDEAL. If you are getting married during a Canadian beautiful summer, IMO it doesn't make sense to take a hot destination honeymoon. Wait till the following fall or winter OR opt for some really great summer destinations like Alaska, Eastern Canada, camping, cottages, etc. P.s. Have I told you how much I personally LOVE to cruise :) I'm also a top 1% Trip Adviser reviewer so if you have any questions or want to follow where I've been, check me out!
Sell Your Stuff
In today's age of DIY and budget brides, getting on top of selling your stuff and FAST is key to making back as much money as possible. Trends and tastes change often. Brides will buy anything these days and the reality is that you likely won't need these things again. Leftover centerpieces, Bridal clothing items, fabric, artificial flowers, cake cutters / servers, champagne glasses and even your bridesmaids dresses / bridal gowns are all top sellers. I haven't really heard many good experiences with selling bridal gowns at consignment bridal shops, however that is also a thing that can be explored. Keep in mind that what you paid for those items you can slice in HALF in terms of the resale value as a general rule of thumb. Brides are looking for DEALS. Consider listing for great rates as a lot / package price and unload your items BEFORE they go out of style.
Tip: Facebook marketplace, local Facebook Bridal buy/sell groups and Kijiji are my go-to's for great deals and to sell off items! Selling things as a lot / package tend to go fast but you can also sell things off as a 1-off.
Follow Up With Your Vendors
Your relationship with your vendors post-wedding may appear be "over", but is it? As an event planner I tend to do repeat clients with their families and friends. Those are the best referrals! You may find your friends asking you in future about the people that you used for your special day. It's important to make note of who you would recommend and who you would not. Sending a few words to your vendors, post event, is always a great idea! Most appreciate reviews on their social media pages and your referrals.
Tip: Have I worked with you?? Do you enjoy my posts? I'd love your review :) HERE
3 Months+ post wedding - Apply For Your Marriage Certificate
Your officiant takes care of the legalities in your marriage and will mail them in for you. However (depending on how busy they are at the processing office!), usually after 3 months or so, you can request a copy of your Marriage Certificate. It is important to note that this does not get issued automatically. You MUST request it. After your wedding, you should have received just the tear off portion of your Marriage License as as record of your marriage. Fill out the necessary paperwork and request a copy of your certificate for possible future needs.
Tip: If you pre send in the completed form, by the time your marriage license is processed by the ministry, you'll get your final certificate in the mail! I got married in May, sent mine in right away and got it in August!
Keep The Fire Burning
The first year of marriage can be absolutely wonderful or a lot of stress! Go into this journey knowing that this is very NORMAL. Keep that spark going and continue to work on your relationship post wedding. When and if times get tough, i'd love to recommend the following book to you (its sort of a little "challenge"). Its also available as a movie. Check out The Love Dare (free copy here).
Best of luck in your love and life and I look forward to the possibility of working with your friends and family in future