Marriage is hard. And the first year of marriage is crucial for your future of happiness. It’s a time when two people who love each other very much try to figure out exactly how to live as partners without getting stuck or without developing bad habits that might trap them at a later date. The first year is a time to establish good patterns and ways of being together that will continue the rest of your marriage.
During a magical yet chaotic time of your wedding and honeymoon, it’s easy (and understandable) to relax a bit. However, there are a few critical details left to cross off your list after these two big life events. From sending thank you cards to printing photo albums, be sure to check these Newlywed tasks  off your list:
#1 Thank your guests
As the most evident and important post-wedding task, don’t forget to write thank you cards for guests. Handwritten and personalized, these little notes will shower your guests with an appreciation for the gifts they’ve given to you and your new spouse. Sometimes daunting for big weddings, make it easier on yourself by working together for 10-15 minutes at a time until it’s complete.
#2 Make Sure You’re Paid Up (& Tipped Out)
Double-check this one! Actually, triple-check it! Your vendors, like photographers and DJs, work extremely hard to make sure your wedding is absolutely everything you’ve envisioned. It’s a good idea to review contracts to make sure you don’t forget to pay and tip one of your vendors. If you did, make sure to send payment as soon as possible.
And when it comes to showing some extra appreciation, the amount is totally up to you. Keeping etiquette considerations in mind, but ultimately, the choice is yours when tipping your vendors and the amount.
#3 Write a Heart-Felt Review
If your vendors left you happy with their service, let the world know! Head over to their Google My Business, Facebook, and Instagram pages to leave a genuine review.
#4 Gift Printed Wedding Photo Albums
After receiving your professional wedding photos, consider creating a custom photo album for parents, grandparents, and in-laws. It’s super easy to design an album on sites like Shutterfly. These albums double as souvenirs and talking pieces tucked cozily on a coffee table.
Don’t forget to print yourself one! You both will cherish this keepsake for years to come.
#5 Reuse, Recycle or Repurpose Wedding Favors
Do you have any leftover wedding favors? If so, put them to good use! Consider re-gifting them or placing them online for resale. The key to reusing blessings is to leave the date off.
Pro-Tip: Do not date any of your wedding gifts or favors from the beginning. Your wedding date is unique to you, but it might not be as special or important to those that you’re gifting the favor too.
#6 Get your name legally changed
If one of you is changing your last name, there are a few steps to make it official. After getting your marriage license, you will need to update your social security card online, your driver’s license at the DMV, and your voter registration card.
#7 Freeze the cake
If you want to save your cake to have again on your first anniversary, ask your caterer to prepare it for transportation. Once it is home, wrap it in plastic wrap, place it in the freezer, and you are good to go until next year!
#8 Make your house a home
You two will spend the most time together at your house. Create a space where you two will desire to spend more time together.
Don’t make your area feel like an office or a hotel, making you feel like you’re just passing through. Think about what makes you two uniquely special and add a touch of this amongst your walls. For example, if you travel the world together, hang up family photos from these vacations.
#9 Sit down and really talk
Communication is vital to a good relationship. Whether it’s eating supper together or on your nightly walk, be sure to make time to talk to each other. Make this a hard and fast rule (and don’t break it!)
#10 Preserve your dress and bouquet
If you want to preserve your dress and bouquet, look for a professional to ensure it is done right. Ask them about the various procedures to see which suits you best. They will work with you to deliver an outcome you are pleased with and ensure you will have precious memorabilia to cherish for decades.
#11 Laugh until Your Belly Hurts
Most importantly, don’t forget to laugh every single day. Forgetting to share, even a few giggles can take away precious joy from your relationship, and a good marriage needs the joy to thrive. Do something that will make your partner smile by telling a joke or reminding them of something silly.
Travel the world together. Make precious memories. Laugh until your belly hurts. I leave you with my wishes of happiness and joy and yet understand there will be bumps along the road as you journey through life. As times of hardships arise, be sure to hold on to one another a bit tighter and lift each other up. Know that good times will outweigh bad ones when all is said and done.