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The Wedding May Be Over, But Your Work Isn't (SORRY!).

Here's What You Need To Do:

Clean Your Dress - Even if you're undecided about whether to preserve your dress, have it cleaned ASAP. The sooner you get it cleaned, the more likely it is that the stains will come out. If you do decide to have it preserved, be prepared to spend anywhere from $100-$500 (or more). Many local dry cleaners can take care of this for you—If you don't feel comfortable using your local cleaners, the store where you purchased the dress may be able to help... for a price.

Schedule Your Thank You's - As soon as you get back from your honeymoon, you should get started on the thank you notes. To avoid getting overwhelmed, first figure out exactly how many you need to write. Then divide that over a week so that you're just writing a few per day. And don't let your husband off the hook here—enlist his help for his side, even if his handwriting is worse than a kindergartener's. His family will appreciate the effort anyway!

Announce Your Marriage - Send in a wedding announcement to your local newspaper. This will make a nice keepsake for you and your families. Ask your photographer for permission to use one of the pro pics if you did not purchase full rights (check your photography contract!).

Review Your Vendors - Loved your venue, loved your DJ? Help out other brides in your area by posting reviews on [1]. A lot of vendors, especially independent ones, rely on word of mouth to book more jobs. But be careful: Even if you hated your photographer, wait until after you've received your album to post your scathing review.

Change Your Name - If you're taking your husband's last name, get the ball rolling as soon as you get home from your honeymoon. The longer you wait, the harder it gets—Hey, there are a lot of forms to fill out! A marriage license with your new last name does not automatically mean you've changed it. You shouldn't change your name before the honeymoon, because your new name has to match all travel documents, most importantly, your passport -- processing name changes on passports generally takes anywhere from four to six weeks.

  1. Get your marriage license
    Before you can change your name, you'll need the original (or certified) marriage license with the raised seal and your new last name on it. Call the clerk's office where your license was filed to get copies if one wasn't automatically sent to you.
  2. Change your Social Security card
    Visit the Social Security Administration's website and fill out the application for a new Social Security card. You'll keep the same number -- just your name will be different. Mail in your application to the local Social Security Administration office. You should get your new card within 10 business days.
  3. Change your license at the DMV
    Take a trip to the local Department of Motor Vehicles office to get a new license with your new last name. Bring every form of identification you can lay your hands on -- your old license, your certified marriage license and -- most important -- your new Social Security card.
  4. Change your bank accounts
    This one's a biggie, especially if you're setting up a joint bank account, or if you have one already set up. The fastest way to change your name at your bank is to go into a branch location -- bring your new driver's license and your marriage license. You should request new checks and debit and credit cards on top of changing the name attached to your accounts. Something to note: You might get hit with fees for requesting a new debit card.
  5. Fill in the blanks
    Once you have a social security card and driver's license in your married name, other changes should be fairly easy. Some places only require a phone call; others may ask for a copy of your marriage certificate or social security card. Be sure to notify:
    • Employers/payroll
    • Post office
    • Electric and other utility companies
    • Credit card companies
    • Schools and alumni associations
    • Landlord or mortgage company
    • Insurance companies (auto, home, life)
    • Doctors' offices
    • Voter registration office
    • Investment account providers
    • Your attorney (to update legal documents, including your will)
    • Passport office