Photo Credit: Ashfall Mixed Media, Inc.
Taking Too Long to Send Your Thank-You Notes
You may have heard that you have a year to write these. But the truth is, you have three months before people start wondering if you’re ever going to send them. Immediately after returning from your honeymoon, put yourselves on a manageable schedule. Plan on writing five a day each: You can handle your family and friends, and your spouse can handle his or hers. Divide your mutual friends in half, and you'll bang out all of your thank-yous in no time.
Putting Off Creating Your Wedding Album
As soon as you receive the proofs from your photographer, start selecting your favorite pictures for your album. Have Post-its ready the first time you flip through your photos — mark anything that garners a reaction from either of you. That way, you’ll gauge your emotional connections to your photos better than if you spend hours laboring over which of the 20 shots of you with your MOH is best. Plus: If an album was included in your photography package and you need a little extra motivation to get started, check your contract — there’s likely a deadline for when you'll need to submit your photo selections.
Waiting to Clean Your Gown
A lot of brides put off this step because they’re not sure what they want to do with the gown. But whether you plan on preserving it, selling it, or donating it, the first step is always to get it professionally cleaned. Ideally, you should drop it off the day after your wedding (or ask your MOH to do it for you if you’re heading off to your honeymoon right away). The longer you wait, the harder it’ll be to remove any stains.
Alienating Your Friends and Family
After the wedding, it’s natural to want to spend plenty of time with your new spouse — especially if you’ve just moved in together for the first time. But be sure to make time for the other important people in your lives as well. Schedule regular nights out with friends, take time to visit your family members, and don’t stop going out for happy hour with your coworkers. What you don’t want to happen: Your first anniversary rolls around, and you suddenly realize you haven’t seen some of your friends since the wedding day.
Skipping Vendor Reviews
As a bride-to-be, you likely depended on online reviews to help you find the best vendors for your wedding. Pay it forward by writing reviews for all of the vendors you used — the good, the bad, and the ugly. Write them while the details are still fresh in your mind.
Passing on Insurance
No, we're not talking about your marriage; we’re talking about your rings. Specialty items like engagement and wedding rings usually aren't covered by your basic home owners' or renters' insurance policy; you'll need to take out a rider to be protected. Your insurance company will typically request an appraisal of the jewelry, and the annual cost is about 1 to 2% of the replacement cost (ex. a ring valued at $5,000 would cost $50-100 to insure).
Neglecting Your Workouts
With visions of a white gown and everyone's eyes on you before the wedding, you were likely pretty committed to hitting the gym and making smart food choices. Without that end goal, though, it’s far too easy to convince yourself that it’s okay to skip a day or two... and before you know it, it’s been six months since you’ve set foot in a gym and you’ve gained “the newlywed nine.” If you're having trouble mustering up the motivation, try turning exercise into a fun activity with your spouse; join an exercise class, take up a new sport, or simply try jogging together.
Not Requesting Copies of Your Marriage Certificate
Your officiant is likely responsible for filing your marriage license after you've said "I do," but you'll still need to contact the Registrar's office to request (and pay for) a copy of your marriage certificate. Not only do you need this as legal proof of your marriage, but it's a good way to verify that your license has, in fact, been filed! Also, consider ordering more than one copy — if you're planning on changing your last name, you're going to need one to bring to social security, the DMV, and many other places, and you may feel more comfortable if you have another copy in safe keeping. Plus, you'll often save money ordering more than one at a time rather than waiting until you need that second copy. For example, in New Jersey, the first copy is $25 (plus $5 processing); but any additional copies ordered at the same time cost only $2.
You definitely want to keep a few mementos from your big day. But do you really need to keep all 15 of your adorable table number holders and the 27 extra programs your guests left behind? I have at least two boxes full of “wedding stuff” that I’ve carried through two post-wedding moves, and my parents have at least six cases of mason jars sitting in their basement from my sister’s wedding. Save one or two of each item, and donate, sell, or toss the rest. Think about which items you'll actually reuse after the wedding, and be sure to hang onto anything with real sentimental value.
Rushing to “The Next Step”
The post-wedding blues hit so many newlyweds — after spending countless months planning the biggest event of your lives so far, it’s hard not having something major to look forward to once it’s over. So it’s not surprising that many couples get anxious to move on to the next big milestone, like buying a house or having a baby. But try to give yourselves some breathing room before throwing yourselves into another major project. Buying a house a few months after the wedding turned out to be a big mistake for my husband and me — and selling it a year and a half later definitely created a major headache we didn’t need.