It’s finally happened. All those months of careful planning, poring over seating charts, and tearing your hair out over RSVP’s were worth it. To stand there and marry your best friend in front of your closest family and friends makes all the stress (and money!) worthwhile.
But you might wake up the next morning thinking – now what? Of course, you have far more exciting things to think about the day after your wedding (did someone say honeymoon?), so we have put together a little checklist to help you out.
1. Say Thank-You!
When to action: Within a month of your wedding day.
This may seem obvious, but it is definitely something you don’t want to forget about. Make sure you thank your friends and family for sharing in such a special occasion. Likewise, it is a nice gesture to thank your suppliers, as even though they were paid for their services, they worked tirelessly to ensure your day went off without a hitch.
Now, you can go about this the traditional way and send out a card – this can be handwritten on matching stationery or printed onto a photo from your special day; or, simply pick up the phone and call them or write them an email. Either way, it’s the thought that counts!
2. Dry-Clean and Preserve
When to action: ASAP! If you leave on your honeymoon straight away, make sure you’ve made bookings earlier and arrange for drop off in your absence.
No matter what you plan to do with your dress, make sure you get it dry-cleaned to ensure it remains in perfect condition. Dry-cleaning a wedding dress is generally costlier than regular items – think about the delicate nature of the fabrics, layers, beading, fastenings, and volume of material. All of this requires extra time and care from your dry-cleaner. Likewise, if the groom purchased his suit, make sure that is also dry-cleaned sooner rather than later.
The next step is to think about preservation. If you are going to keep your dress stored away, many dry-cleaners offer a preservation service, where they will arrange your dress in a box so that it stays in pristine condition for years to come. You can also consider drying and preserving your bouquet as well – there are plenty companies that offer this service, or you can try one of the many DIY methods.
3. Review Vendors
When to action: Ideally within a month of your wedding day.
In the wedding and event industry, word-of-mouth and reviews are critical to a business’ success. If you were satisfied with their services, make sure you jump online and review your suppliers on Google and Facebook – this small gesture could result in additional enquiries from potential customers.
4. Obtaining Your Marriage Certificate
When to action: ASAP – you will need this to change your surname on official documents.
On your wedding day you will sign a commemorative certificate in front of your guests and witnesses during your ceremony. The celebrant will then provide you with this certificate to keep. This is not, however, your official marriage certificate, and will not be accepted anywhere as proof of your marital status or new surname.
To obtain a certified copy of your actual marriage certificate, you will need to contact your state Births, Deaths and Marriages (BDM) department.
We’ve outlined the steps below to make it easy for you:
Visit the website of your state’s Births, Deaths and Marriages department. You will need to apply to the state in which you were married. In WA, go here: https://bdm.justice.wa.gov.au/M/marriage_certificate.aspx
Download and complete a Marriage Certificate Application form.
If applying in person, take the completed form and original copies of relevant Identification Requirements (listed on the form) to the state BDM registry office OR to your local courthouse. If applying by post, you must have your original copies of relevant Identification Requirements certified by a qualified witness. A list of these are usually supplied with the form or on the state BDM’s website. Mail the certified copies and the completed form to your state BDM registry office.
It is good to note that there is normally a fee for obtaining your marriage certificate, which differs from state to state. These fees can be found on the state websites.
Please make sure you check your individual state’s requirements directly, to ensure you have covered everything prior to applying. State BDM locations are listed here: https://bdm.justice.wa.gov.au/L/locations_links.aspx
5. Return Hired Items
When to action: ASAP
Make sure you keep track of everything that you have hired out for the day so that you have it collected or returned on time.
When it comes to large furniture and equipment, usually the supplier who delivered and set it up will also return to the venue to collect it again. In this instance you will need to check that the venue will be open to accommodate the various collections, either immediately once the event has finished, or the following day.
Clothing will usually have a requirement to return them to the outlet or a specified drycleaner on the next business day – so if you will be away on your honeymoon, make sure you have arranged for these to be dropped off in your absence!
6. Changing Your Name
When to action: Whenever it is necessary for you.
Before we get into this one, it is important to note that changing your surname after marriage is not actually an official name changed lodged with BDM. Being married simply allows you the option to use your spouse’s surname on official documents as a matter of custom, not law. All you need to do is take your registered married certificate in to the relevant department and start the process.
We’ve put together a list below for you to work through:
Australian Tax Office
Other government issued licences and identification (Fisheries, Working With Children etc)
7. Sell Leftover Items
When to action: Whenever you're ready.
If your wedding comprised of some DIY items, then you will likely have quite a few things leftover. Now, you can either re-purpose these around your home, donate them to friends or family, or even sell them – there will likely be another DIY bride out there who is looking for something very similar to what you have!
It may seem like a daunting task, but once you get the initial leg work out of the way and post your ads, the extra storage space and cash it’ll free up will be worth it.
Make sure you take good photos of each item in natural light – and even a shot of how the item was used at the wedding for added inspiration.
Take measurements of the item and note the colour and material.
Write a descriptive heading and determine a price for each item.
Post onto various platforms – Facebook Marketplace, Facebook groups, eBay, Gumtree etc.