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5 Tips For After-Wedding Obligations
Follow these simple tips to address your after-wedding duties.


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Even though the papers are signed and you're finally married, you've got a few loose-ends to tie up.


You’re home from the honeymoon and busily settling into your new life. There is much to do, including the loose ends to tie up concerning your recent marriage. Most important among those tasks is properly thanking those who generously celebrated with you.

Thank-You Notes
Never mind that old etiquette books say newlyweds have twelve months to mail thank you notes. There is no reason that it should take longer than two months to thank everyone who generously took the time to purchase a gift for you. To show your gratitude in a timely manner, start by sending out thank-you notes as soon as you receive gifts, including gifts received before the wedding. Open the gift and immediately sit down and write those cards!

Thank-you notes absolutely must be handwritten, not preprinted. It is not just the bride’s job to write notes either, as gifts are intended for the couple. Split the writing duties with your new spouse. Men can respond for gifts received from the groom’s side. Women can handle the cards for gifts from the bride’s side. Break down the list and write five cards a day on your lunch hour. This will make writing thank you notes manageable. Stuck for words? There are books on the subject of thank-you notes to help personalize your message. If your list of thank-you notes seems like an overwhelming task, then consider how blessed you are that people have been so generous.

Gown Preservation
Your gown should be preserved within one month of the wedding. Take it in for cleaning and preservation as soon as possible because stains will set and turn yellow and become difficult, if not impossible, to remove. Often there will be stains that have occurred during the wedding that you don’t even see right away. Many cleaners, as well as the place where you purchased your wedding dress, offer this service. Though it may run a couple hundred dollars or more, this service will assure your gown is available for future use by a loved one, if done promptly.

Name Changes
It is recommended that any name changes take place within three months after the wedding. The most important place to register your name change is Social Security. You need to ensure that you are credited with money you have deposited, whether in an IRA, SEP or in your Social Security payments. Passports should also be changed, as should credit cards, drivers’ licenses, bank accounts, car registrations and any deeds or property titles. You will probably need to submit a copy of your marriage license along with a letter to most of these businesses and government organizations.

Newspaper Announcements
Call your local newspaper and request an application form to place a wedding announcement. Most newspapers charge a small fee and there is usually an extra charge to publish a photo. Besides placing an announcement in the town paper where you are currently living, you will also want to send an announcement to your hometown and to your fiancé’s hometown.

Flower Preservation—Your Bouquet
Pre-select a firm before the wedding to preserve your bouquet. Flower preservation needs to be done immediately! You’ll probably be on your honeymoon and won’t be available to take care of this detail. So, designate someone responsible to take the bouquet for preservation after the wedding. Talk to both your preservationist and your florist about good flower choices that will preserve nicely.

The wedding details aren’t over when the rice is thrown. Taking care of these items will neatly tie up all the loose ends so you can start the next chapter in your relationship.

"Stress Free, Leave the Details to Me," is the tried and true philosophy of Robbin Montero, California Wine Country wedding planning expert and owner of A Dream Wedding. Robbin is the premier wedding planner in the Northern California Wine Country, transforming any vision into the perfectly designed wedding creation. Robbin and her weddings have been featured in The Knot, Brides, Elite Magazine, Your Wedding Day and Vine Napa/Sonoma magazines, and ImportantOccasions.com. Travel & Leisure magazine calls Robbin, "The expert wedding planner in the California Wine Country." For more information visit www.a-dreamwedding.com.

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