What to do now you’re married

Sep 21, 2023 | Planning
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Once the dust of your wedding whirlwind has settled, you may be feeling a mix of emotions like joy, relief and sadness that all the planning and anticipation is over. The post wedding blues are real! However, there are still plenty of jobs to do to tie up your wedding experience so read on for our list of what to do now you're married.

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Change your name (if you want to)

Whether you’re taking your partner’s name, going double-barrelled or using a combination of both surnames, you'll need your marriage certificate and several copies of it. Almost everywhere you’ll need to officially change your last name, like the DMV, bank and passport office, will require proof of your marriage in order to accept the name change.

That’s where certified copies of your marriage certificate come in. While the original version of your marriage certificate will likely stay on file with the county you married in, the county can provide you with goverment-issued duplicates that will be accepted by other government entities and financial institutions as official proof of your marriage. These can be purchased through the county clerk’s office where you filed your marriage certificate.

While a marriage certificate will suffice if you are taking your partner's name or hyphenating it with your own, the process is different if you wish to create an entirely new last name, In this case you will need to obtain a court order through your county courthouse first.

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Write thank you notes

Once you're back from honeymoon and into the swing of life again, set aside some time to thank those who spent your special day with you. It is proper etiquette to send out thank you notes to let your family and friends know that you received the gift and appreciate it. If the gift is financial, it is nice to let them know how you plan to use it. Aim to send out letters within three months of the wedding.

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Write (or update) your will

When you marry, any existing will is automatically revoked (cancelled) and becomes no longer valid. If you do not make a new one, then when you die the law of intestacy decides how your assets are divided. Usually, your entire estate would go to your wife, husband or civil partner.

This may not be what you want for a number of reasons, particularly if you have children together or through a previous relationship. So it makes sense to meet with a solicitor to make your will, or update an existing document to reflect your new married status and any specific wishes you have.

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Insure your engagement ring

If you haven't done this already, make it a priority to insure your engagement ring as it is likely to be one of the most expensive items you own, especially relative to its size. And the value of your engagement ring isn’t just about price – it has precious sentimental value too.

You can check to see if your engagement ring is covered by your existing home contents insurance policy. If not, you can pay extra to add your engagement ring to your policy, which will typically cover you for loss, theft and damage according to the terms of your policy. The other option is a standalone engagement ring insurance policy. This could be suitable if your engagement ring is particularly valuable or you want broader protection.

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Review suppliers

If your wedding vendors provided a fantastic service and went above and beyond to ensure you had a fantastic day, repay the love by giving them a great review. Many wedding vendors are self-employed individuals or small teams, and a good testimonial or personal recommendation goes a long way to helping their business grow. Reach out to them to ask where they were would like you to review, such as on Google or Facebook, or write a testimonial they can share across their website and social media.

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Get your wedding dress professionally cleaned

Saying goodbye to your wedding dress once the nuptials are over can be a difficult decision for many brides. Some choose to donate or sell their gowns while others repurpose their dresses into lingerie or cocktail attire. Many women, however, want to simply hang on to that dress that represents so much love, happiness, and celebration. Whatever you choose, it's important to have your dress professionally cleaning, or you can take it a step further and opt for wedding dress preservation.

Wedding dress preservation is a special cleaning and packaging process that is done to ensure the garment will retain its quality for years to come. Once a dress has been properly cleaned and restored (which includes removing stains and repairing broken hems, beading, etc), it will be housed in an acid-free box and folded using special lofting tissues to support all folds and portions of the dress, like the skirt, sleeves, and bust.

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Image: Carmen Santorelli

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