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After the Wedding

Planning the forever after, from changing your name to receiving your photographs

The wedding day may have passed but when you receive your wedding photographs and/or video you’ll get to relive it all over again, and the treasured memories of your special day will come flooding back.

Changing your name

Changing your name after marriage is a personal decision and comes with many options. You could match your partner, double-barrell your surnames, or keep your maiden name. Depending on which option you choose and/or who takes who’s name will determine if you need a deed poll – this is a legal document to prove a change of name. On some occasions this will not be necessary, instead you’ll be required to send your marriage certificate (or a copy) as proof, for example when notifying the DVLA of the name change. Passports are also required to be updated, and will have to be done in advance if you wish to book honeymoon flights in your new name.

Taking care of your wedding dress and bouquet

Its recommended that after your wedding you take your dress to a specialised wedding dress dry cleaners. The sooner you do so, the lower the chances of any marks staining and becoming permanent.

Once safely returned to you, it is best to (although an emotional thought) to box your dress away for safekeeping. Keeping it safe, but having it close by means you can take a sneak peek when you fancy and a flurry of wedding day memories come rushing back. Other options include:

  • donating your dress to charity
  • give your dress to a friend or family member to wear on their big day
  • have your dress altered into another piece of clothing (such as a cocktail dress) to wear on another occasion
  • frame your dress to have on display in your home

There are also a few things that you can do with your wedding flowers.  A simple and traditional way is to hang your bouquet upside down in a warm space, such as an airing cupboard or over a radiator. Another option is to press your flowers, although this, of course, flattens them which isn’t to everybody’s taste. Paying a preservation specialist, who uses specific techniques to dry your flowers, enables you to display your bouquet in a frame, either 2D or 3D. Some people do pay for their flowers to be made into a resin ornament for their home, such as initials or shaped like a heart – it’s not common but looks great!

Returning hire

If you have hired items from suppliers, such as wedding decor, these items are typically collected just after your guests have left the venue, or first thing the next morning. Some suppliers may request you to return the items yourself, such as hired wedding suits, if this is the case make sure you allocate time to do so or for a trusted friend to on your behalf. Your venue may well have a wedding on the following day so unfortunately, you won’t be able to leave items there past your hire period.

The honeymoon

Whether an exotic destination, an adventurous activity-packed weekend, or a UK hotel staycation, a honeymoon is precious (and much needed) time spent together as newlyweds. You will have been running on full adrenalin getting you through to the end of the wedding so you need to now relax, enjoy being in one another’s company, and reminisce about the wedding day. The honeymoon marks the start of the rest of your lives together so enjoy it!

Wedding gifts and thank you cards

If you are going on a honeymoon straight after your wedding, opening wedding gifts when you return gives you something to look forward to. On the other hand, if you receive gifts in the post prior to the wedding it is worth opening them so as to let the sender know the gift has been received. If the gift was money (possibly towards a honeymoon fund) it is polite to send a card thanking the giver for the gift of money, this also puts their mind at ease knowing that it has been received safely. You could send thank you cards to your entire guest list to thank them for coming to your wedding and celebrating with you, but bear in mind this takes time and could be costly.

It’s also a nice touch to send a card, or even simply an email, to your venue and wedding suppliers to say thank you for their help during the lead up to the wedding, and the day itself. Furthermore, leaving a review/testimonial is an easy way to show your gratitude, is beneficial to the receiver and helps future couples when making their own planning decisions.

Receiving wedding photographs and video

Waiting to receive your wedding day photographs and/or video is an exciting time but requires patience. When you’ll receive your photos/video will vary from supplier to supplier but should be stated in your contract with them.

Once you have received them, it’s a wonderful opportunity to relive the special day by gathering your nearest and dearest for a first look. Or, as newlyweds, the two of you could go through them together first and select the best ones before sharing them with friends and family at a later date. It might be a nice touch to frame a couple to give as thank you gifts.

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