Ah, the wedding is over, but there’s still one thing left to be done: tie up the final loose ends and ensure a smooth transition into a successful marriage. Although you can let out a sigh of relief that the difficult planning is done, don’t be too quick to throw away that wedding checklist, because all those little details can add up in the long run. Get ready to make sure you both are happily ever after with these essential post-wedding to-do’s.
1. First Steps for Newlyweds – Making a Smooth Transition
Nuptials are a glorious affair and pave the way for the “happily ever after” newlyweds are so looking forward to. Cependant, the transition from newlyweds to settling into their married life requires a bit of organization and savvy life-planning. Here are essential post-wedding to-do’s that should be on every couple’s list:
- Finalize the marriage license: it is important that the couple confirm the marriage license is filed and finalized with their local jurisdiction.
- Renew driver’s licenses: newlywed women will of course need to update their last names on their license.
- Change bank and credit card accounts: take stock of any joint accounts the couple will need as a married couple and add any need changes.
- Notify loved ones of the new name: take the time to officially “let the world know” that the couple’s surname has changed – alert family, amis, employers, etc..
- Organize wedding album and photos: the wedding day albums and photos should be tucked away for safekeeping and kept in a place that honors the history of the day.
These steps may be tedious, yet they are essential to ensure the smooth transition of a couple’s married life. With these to-do’s checked off the list, newlyweds can start their happily ever after with much satisfaction.
2. Keeping Track of Important Documents and Records
You’re officially married! Now that all the confetti is settled, it’s time to get organized. Whether it’s mortgages, bank accounts, investments, the post-wedding bliss should include some paperwork. A great way to keep track of your new combined finances is to have a binder or envelope where all your important financial information is stored. Be sure to include a listing of all bank accounts, investments, any loan information, insurance policies, and wills.
It’s time to update all identification, credit cards, bank accounts, etc. – so if you’ve changed your name, head out to the Social security office or the DMV and bring along your marriage license. Many companies will need to see a copy of your official documents so make sure to have them handy for any paperwork transactions. Once you have the administrative tasks complete, don’t forget to also update your online accounts like social media, mailing lists, and online retailers.
Make sure both of you review each other’s employee benefits like insurance, retirement plans, stocks, and other fringe benefits. Some companies may require a spousal consent form in order for your spouse to be added to some of their benefits. We all hope for happily ever after, so it’s your job to make sure you two are financially secure in case of any worst-case scenarios down the line.
3. Benefitting from Tax Breaks and Other Incentives
When it comes to tying the knot, most of the focus and planning goes into the wedding day itself. But once the honeymoon is over and you are settled but living as Mr. and Mrs., there are other important post-wedding tasks you should take care of to ensure your happily ever after is safe and secure.
- Create a joint budget: Sit down together, go through your income and expenses and how much of each you intend to save. Make sure you have a budget that reflects both of your goals and works for both of you.
- Adjust your taxes: You may be missing out on tax breaks if you’re still filing separately, so put together your own taxes and then compare them to a joint tax return. You may find that there’s a significant difference between filing separately and filing jointly.
- Make benefit and insurance changes: Now that you’re married, you may be able to switch to your partner’s health insurance and access their workplace benefits, such as pension and 401(k) accounts.
- Update your wills and beneficiaries: If you didn’t create new wills before the wedding, now is the time to make adjustments to reflect your marriage.
Though it may not be the most exciting activity, taking the time to review and update your assets, documents, and finances with your new spouse will help to ensure that your happily ever after remains that way.
4. Setting Up Legal and Financial Responsibilities
Now that you and your partner have said ‘I do’ and embraced the commitment of marriage, it’s time to take the next step – ! Making sure everything is in order gives you the best chance of living ‘happily ever after’.
- Update your financial accounts. Add your partner as a joint account holder or beneficiary, combining financial resources as needed. Make sure all investments, retirement plans, and checking/savings accounts are up-to-date with the correct post-marriage information.
- Compile prenuptial agreement information. If relevant, compile any information from your prenuptial agreement. It’s important to document your agreement and save the legal paperwork in a secure place in case of legal disputes in the future.
- Create wills. This is one of the most important steps in the post-wedding to-do list. Gather a qualified legal representative and create personal wills that accurately reflect married wishes.
- Name change. Depending on your name change preference, make sure to fill out the necessary paperwork for your driver’s license, passport, Social Security card, voter registration, and any other accounts that need to be updated for legal compliance.
- Insurance changes. Contact your insurance providers and update your records so you are both included on relevant policies.
These steps are a crucial part of your ‘happily ever after’ because they ensure your legal and financial future as a married couple.
5. Consolidating Personal Properties and Liabilities
It’s important to make sure both parties know exactly what their respective obligations are with regards to their finances before, during and after the wedding. Newlyweds should update beneficiaries of any financial accounts in line with their newly married status, update titles on property, file joint tax returns and consolidate insurance policies. This process can feel daunting – however, the peace of mind it delivers is worth the effort.
- Both parties should update respective beneficiaries of financial accounts, such as life insurance policies and bank accounts, in line with their new marital status.
- Titles for any shared properties, such as a car or house, should be changed to reflect the names of both parties.
- File joint tax returns for the current year, and amend Singles’ or Separated filing status for any prior year returns.
- Consider consolidating any existing insurance policies where applicable, such as health or home & auto insurance.
It may also be a good idea to put power of attorney or wills in order, should one of the parties pass away suddenly after the marriage. Lastly, contact the credit bureaus to alert them of the newly marital status, to make sure it is updated with all companies. Taking the time to correctly update all financial records will help protect both parties, and future generations.
6. Planning for Your Future Together
Now is the time to start . It can feel like quite a daunting task, but it’s essential to make sure that you’re both on the same page when it comes to making plans for the future:
- Discuss Your Financial Expectations: Go over your financial expectations with each other. Talk about the best ways to get the most out of your money, and how to save for a rainy day.
- Create a Budget: You will need to create a budget for yourselves and stick to it. Be sure to include emergency expenses and long-term goals in your budget.
- Protect Your Finances: It’s wise to take steps to protect your finances, such as having a joint bank account and proper insurance coverage.
- Set Career Goals: Discuss and plan for your career goals together. You can both brainstorm and come up with ideas on how to reach your desired goals.
- Create a Retirement Plan: Start planning for your retirement early on and consider the various options that are available to you. Don’t forget to consider healthcare costs, as well.
- Keep Growing Together: Don’t forget to check in with each other regularly. Celebrate your successes and use failure and challenges as opportunities to learn and grow together.
By taking these steps, you can ensure that you are both prepared for a happy, fulfilling life together.
When the wedding is over and the Bachelor and Bachelorette Parties are a fun memory, it’s time to focus on your happily ever after. With these essential to-do’s, you and your partner can focus more on enjoying your new life and less on worrying about the details. Now, it’s time to enjoy your happily ever after!