Post-wedding tips: 5 Tasks for newlyweds

Jan 21, 2009 at 4:13 p.m. ET

After you've made it through the whirlwind of your wedding, you may think that most of the work is over with. However, there is still plenty to do after the big day has past.

Just Married Sign on Limo

1. Overcome Any Post-Wedding Blues

After the frenzy of planning a wedding, it is easy for a woman to feel wistful about no longer being a bride. To combat any post-nuptial blues, consider organizing a screening party for your wedding video or inviting your bridesmaids out for a post-bash, thank-you cocktail hour. It may take some time to adjust to life as a newlywed, but that doesn't mean that there isn't more excitement and adventures ahead of you in your married life.

2. Stash the Dress

After the wedding, a bride has yet another choice to make: whether to preserve her dress or sell it. (A third option that gained popularity last year is to "trash" the gown; however, destroying your dress, especially if it was expensive, may not make as much sense this year in these economically dismal times.) Regardless, whether you decide to keep it or give it away, it's important to do it no more than a few months after the wedding to prevent the dress from further damage or staining.

3. Say Thanks

Although Emily Post etiquette dictates that thank-you notes may be sent as late as three months after the wedding, this is a task that many brides put off, and before they realize it, a year has gone by. Even for the most time-crunched of newlyweds, sending out thank you notes in a timely fashion can be accomplished by setting a goal to write a small number of cards each day. Don't forget to recruit your new husband to help out and write a few too.

4. Tackle the Paperwork

When you get married, you not only are merging your lives together, but your finances too. Even if you decide to keep your bank accounts separate, you and your spouse will need to notify the IRS. You may also want to discuss your wills and estate-planning as well to make sure you both are named as each other's beneficiaries. In addition, if you've decided to change your name, you will also need to contact Social Security to obtain a new card before updating your bank accounts, driver's license, passport, and credit cards.

5. Return Any Duplicate Gifts

Lastly, despite your wedding guests' best intentions, you may have winded up with three toasters or two quesadilla makers anyway. Many stores have strict guidelines on returns, so it's a good idea to call ahead and find what out each store's policy is before penciling in a time to return any duplicates. For items that can't be returned or are unwanted, there is always eBay or your local donation center. Remember, it is bad feng shui to start your marriage off with any clutter you don't need.

Other tips for newlyweds:

Common problems in the first year of marriage
Forgotten wedding registry must-haves
Just married? Get some tax tips before filing