You've bought your wedding dress, written your true love vows, and chosen the best vendors to match your vision of the perfect wedding. What now?
There are still many other things to consider before you can safely say you're done with your wedding planning.
Between deciding on the ideal honeymoon or minimoon destination with your future spouse and the legal matters like changing your legal name and obtaining your marriage license, there's still a lot more you need to do!
As your wedding day draws closer, you will likely find yourself looking forward to the honeymoon, when you finally get to spend time alone with your new spouse.
This will be your first time together as a married couple, and while some couples skip the honeymoon to save money, there are some tangible benefits to having one.
There is also the option of having a ‘minimoon,’ which is a growing trend amongst newlyweds.
If you’re wondering why you should have a honeymoon, there are some compelling reasons why it’s a good idea.
First, it’s your first time together as a married couple, and even if you’ve been living together before the wedding, things are different now. It’s nice to get away from the rest of the family and your friends and spend time together.
Second, is to finally be able to exhale and relax after all the months of planning. Even if your wedding planning went smoothly, it was still hectic, and there were ups and downs along the way.
A honeymoon is a perfect transition from all of that activity to your new married life.
If you are like many new brides, you will have picked out your honeymoon destination long before the wedding, possibly even before you were even engaged.
If you haven’t already made a choice, then this is the ideal time to pick that dream destination you’ve always wanted. It may be a tropical island or a historic city, make sure it’s what you want and is going to make you happy.
The minimoon is a concept that has been growing in popularity for several reasons.
A minimoon is similar to a honeymoon – only it is for a shorter time and closer to home.
Typically, you’ll take a long weekend and spend it close to home, but not so close that you don’t know you’re “away.” A quaint bed and breakfast is an excellent example of where you may spend a minimoon after your wedding.
If you are all about tradition and want that full honeymoon, then, by all means, don’t let anything stand in your way. You’ve earned your one or two weeks away, and you should enjoy yourself.
However, if you are intrigued by the minimoon idea, here are some benefits of making your getaway shorter and closer to home:
Even when the wedding is over, it’s not over because you still need to send the thank you cards.
With your wedding journey complete and ready to start your lives together, there is still one important task to complete. It’s no secret that a lot of different people helped make your special day as unique as it was, and they deserve a big thank you.
Here are some tips to help make the process go as smoothly as possible:
When sending thank you cards after your wedding, it’s proper etiquette to be as timely as possible. It would help if you didn’t make everyone wait forever, plus the longer you wait, the less likely you are actually to follow through and send them.
Receiving a thank you card a year or more after a wedding doesn’t quite have the same loving feeling. Aim for 3 to 6 months at the most, or even sooner if you are inclined.
One faux pas you don’t want to make when it comes to thank you cards is accidentally leaving people out that should have received a thank you.
It can be tricky to remember everyone, but here is a list of some of the people you should include:
If you follow the list above, you could end up with a long list of names that need thank you cards. Before you can send them to anyone, you’ll need all of the mailing addresses that go with the names.
You can start by getting all the addresses you sent wedding invitations to, but you will have to ask for the others. You can store the addresses in any number of ways, including spreadsheets, paper notebooks, or online services like Postable.
If you want to stay on top of your thank you cards, you may want to consider getting them ready and sending them right away. You’ll know who is on the guest list, your vendors, bridal party, etc. far ahead of time. Then once the wedding is over, you can mail as many as possible and take them off your to-do list.
It also adds a special touch to write out each message by hand, so they know you took the time, and it seems more personal. There’s just something about handwriting that makes it even more special.
Sharing your wedding day with friends and family as it happens is always special, but so s sharing special moments of your journey after the fact. In today’s digital world, you aren’t just limited to that one wedding album that is only brought out when people come to visit.
You can create your very own wedding website, so anyone that wants to can browse through your photos and see how your day unfolded.
The thought of creating a website may be intimidating for some people, but if you follow some necessary steps and find a quality website creator, you’ll have a wedding website that makes you proud.
Having a wedding website is a great way to share your wedding pictures with a wide range of people. It’s also incredibly convenient, as anyone can see them in the comfort of their own home whenever they like.
If your family lives far away, being able to see your pictures anytime, they want will be comforting if they miss you and want to feel that connection.
There are a handful of websites creators you can use that will do the trick. Your goal is to share wedding pictures online. This is a decision that doesn’t require a ton of thought or research.
Some options are free, and some have both free and paid versions, but if you choose one that seems like it will work for you and has features that will appeal to you, then get started.
Here are some of the most common ones:
Whether you are going to do all the work yourself or have someone else create your wedding website, here are some tips that will help you get the best results:
Although it’s customary for the bride to take her new husband’s last name after they are married, it isn’t a custom you need to follow if you don’t want to.
Now more than ever, newlywed brides are keeping their maiden name or hyphenating, and it’s entirely up to you how you want to proceed.
Here are some tips on the process and a couple of reasons why you should or shouldn’t.
You should consider changing your last name after getting married:
Some of the reasons you do not want to change your last name after getting married include:
If you are part of the “yes” group when it comes to changing your name, there are quite a few different places that you will need to change it.
You will need a copy of your marriage license, which will be required to change your social security card.
The number remains the same, but the name will change. You can mail in an application or visit your local office and fill out the paperwork.
You will also have to visit the DMV and get an updated version of your driver’s license. For this, you’ll likely need your current license, marriage license, and new social security card. Some of the other changes that will need to be made include:
The list is a long one, but once they have all been completed, you will be established with your new name, and you can begin your married lives as a family.
There are also a variety of online services that can assist you with your name change activities for a fee.
Getting your marriage license is a crucial step in the process to make your marriage official. It’s required to change your name with various government agencies, and like many other parts of your wedding, there is a bit of a process to get it.
If you live in the New York State area, here are some guidelines that will help:
The current fee for a marriage license in New York is $35. You can pay by money order payable to the City Clerk or by credit card.
A marriage license in New York State remains valid for 60 days unless one of you is an active member of the military, in which case it’s 180 days.
Your license can be used anywhere within the state, but not outside of New York.
Here are some of the basics of the application process and what you can expect:
The marriage license application is an affidavit, where you are making a sworn statement that there aren’t any legal impediments to the impending marriage.
You have to list any prior marriages, including the date of your divorce (s) and your previous spouse’s full name.
Any annulments or divorces need to be finalized before you can obtain a marriage license.
Since 2011, Lotus Wedding Photography has been creating lifelong memories for married couples and their families in New York State and the surrounding area. If you want a stress-free wedding experience and wedding photos and videos that capture the essence of your love for one another, get in touch with us today for a consultation.