Post-wedding activities to avoid the post-wedding blues
During our wedding planning I read several times that brides often come down with a case of the blues after the big day is done. The cake has been cut, the bouquet has been tossed, the knot has been tied, and the excitement has all but disappeared.
Now that I’m on the other side of the big day, I can definitely understand the post-wedding blues. You no longer have table details to gush over, people have stopped asking how your wedding plans are going, and the day you have been dreaming about (possibly since childhood) has now become the past. However, there are many post-nuptial activities you can do to ease the transition, and which continue to give you and your new spouse some exciting projects to work on together. For me, there is sooo much still to do to wrap up the wedding, that now – more than six weeks after the wedding – I am actually feeling quite overwhelmed with all that there is to do. No blues over here… the wedding planning bubble has definitely not burst!
Many wedding websites have articles on broad categories of post-wedding activities, but here’s a real-life bride’s to do list on the nitty-gritty that needs to be tackled!
• Act fast on this one! If you want to have your bouquet freeze-dried in a snap, arrange in advance for such a service to fetch your flowers from the wedding reception at the end of the night, while the flowers are as fresh as possible. Not so forward-thinking? Before the flowers start to wilt after the wedding day, hang them upside down to dry them… or put individual stems between the pages of a heavy book to press them.
• If, like me, you used silk flowers for your bouquet, you can be smug and take your sweet time finding a spot in your home for them. 😛
• Dry-clean your wedding gown. Advice varies on whether this must be done within six weeks or six months for best results, but get to it as soon as possible! Whatever you plan to do next with your dress, dry-cleaning is the first step.
• Decide what to do with your gown. If you want to keep it (perhaps to pass on to a cousin, or the twinkle in your husband’s eye :D), talk to a dry-cleaner about getting it properly preserved. If you want to sell the dress, check it for any needed mending and look at local options for pre-loved wedding gowns.
• While it’s still fresh in your heads, note down which gifts you received from whom. A big help for writing thank-you cards!
• Return any double-ups (or, let’s be honest, unwanted gifts) to their stores.
• Find a spot in your home for all your lovely new china, vases, ski sets and whatever else you wacky kids registered for. 😀
• Any items on your registry that you really wanted, but didn’t get bought? Some guests might not have had time to buy presents ahead of the wedding, so give them a few months (apparently etiquette says it’s fine to purchase gifts up to a year after the wedding) before you buy up the rest.
• Buy or make thank-you cards for your guests, then get a-writing and get a-sending!
• Contact your guests to kindly request their photos from the wedding festivities. (Getting in touch is also a good opportunity to thank them again for celebrating the day with you.) Also check Facebook to see if friends and family have uploaded any snaps there.
• Once you gather all those photos, pretty them up! Run them through Photoshop if you have it, and even basic photo programs (like Microsoft Office Picture Manager) let you crop images, remove red eye, and adjust brightness and color.
• Share some photos on your social network of choice! There are a bunch of people who couldn’t come (or weren’t invited to) your wedding who want to see pictures from it.
• Make a wedding album! If you hired a professional wedding photographer, you may have a wedding album included in your price package. For budget options, use services like MyPublisher and Snapfish to make an album yourself, with a mix of pics from both your guests and your professional photographer.
• Send thank-you emails or cards to your vendors. Include any positive feedback on their services (skip the “constructive” feedback if you’re doing the card option :P).
• If relevant, attach to your card or email a photo of their services in action on the day (for example, the boutonn- iere pinned to the groom, close-ups of your hairstyle), as your vendors might like to use your images for promotional purposes. If you send pictures from your professional photographer, give the vendor the photographer’s contact details to arrange the necessary permissions.
• Ask your vendors if they have any evaluation surveys they would like you to complete (most common for larger reception venues).
• Write reviews of your vendors on wedding websites – recommend your favs, or warn other couples of problem suppliers!
• Store your marriage certificate in a safe, easy-to-remember place. If, like me, your wedding is in a different country to where you reside, submit all the paperwork locally to make sure marriage is legally recognized.
• Changing your name? Get cracking on getting it legally changed, and then tackle your driver’s licence, passport, health insurance, credit cards, and whatever else you in particular need.
• If you haven’t already, update your will and your health insurance details to include your new spouse.
Arts and crafts
• Feeling crafty? Put together a scrapbook to keep (paper-based) wedding souvenirs all in one place. Add your wedding invitation, ceremony program, copies of vows and readings, namecards, menu, cards from your guests… whatever you have! Go as bare-bones (just gluing them in) or as advanced (beads! feathers! scrapbooking meet-ups!) as your little heart desires.
• For 3D wedding souvenirs, buy a shadow box (windowed display box) and load in your cake topper, a wedding favor, garter belt, table decorations, and whatever other goodies you can round up. Some brides add their dried, freeze-dried or pressed flowers.
And a few other tasks…
• Got family and friends who couldn’t join for the wedding (especially if you had a destination wedding)? Gather them together soon after the wedding so that they still feel part of the festivities. Whether you’re planning something small or large, casual or formal, share stories from the day, show photos and help them feel included.
• Tradition has it that the bride and groom should save the top tier of their wedding cake to eat together on their first wedding anniversary. If you’re doing the same, chill the top tier in the fridge (to harden the frosting), and then wrap the top tier in plastic wrap (not foil), and seal it in an airtight bag. Set the whole thing in the back of the freezer, where the temperature is less variable.
• Taking your honeymoon a while after the wedding? (That’s the plan for the Reflective Groom and I!) Get dreaming, and get planning!
• Got any wedding items you no longer need or have sentimental attachment to? Sell your table decorations, hoop underskirt, spare cake stands and other bibs and bobs through online classifieds, second-hand stores or wedding discussion forums.
• And, most of all, enjoy this time of newlywed bliss with your husband or wife! The wedding may be over, but the adventure of marriage is just beginning. 🙂
What tasks have you been tackling after the wedding? Have you found yourself feeling busier than you expected after the big day?