It’s Not Over Yet! Wrapping Up the Post-Wedding Details
by: Michael Kabel

Do you know what you're doing when you return from your honeymoon? Probably unpacking the souvenirs, sending out thank you notes, and then dragging yourself back to work.

Not that those tasks aren't worthwhile, but there are a few other loose ends to tie up before you can safely lay the wedding planning to rest forever. They're little things, but they're important in their own way. If nothing else, you'll get a sense of closure to the months of preparation and fingers-crossed hoping that led up to your big day.

Return all unwanted or unneeded wedding gifts

Despite the guests' best intentions, most wedding couples wind up with a few gifts that are redundant or otherwise seem a bit… odd. You know the ones we mean. You'll have to take them back or exchange them sooner or later, so free up your closet space by doing so now.

Many department stores and other retailers will be quicker to accept a return or exchange if it the package was recently purchased – in other words, if they still have like items in stock. If you have a gift receipt, there may be a time limit imposed (90 days) on refunds.

By the way, you should still send out thank you notes for the gifts you wind up not keeping.

Review your budget one more time, and arrange for payment of incidentals.

It's not uncommon for the occasional stray expense to creep up the day of the wedding. Maybe the liquor tab ran over, or someone had to go out for "reinforcements." Perhaps the fuel bill for the guest shuttle ran over budget.

You might find yourself facing such bills as soon as you return from the honeymoon. Don't begrudge them (it's just business) and don't put them off. The sooner you get them paid, the quicker you'll be able to relax. No one likes an outstanding bill hanging over their head anyway.

Pack away your wedding gown and other mementoes

You might have your mother or your maid of honor take care of the dress for you, but if not… don't worry. It's become fairly easy to store clothes over the long term, using airtight plastic garment bags that seal almost indefinitely. The bags are sold in a variety of retail stores and online, and only need a vacuum cleaner to draw out the air around the garment.

Go through your wedding photographs

As soon as you get the photographs, you'll be able to begin assembling a scrapbook or commemorative album detailing all the highlights of the wedding and reception. You may also choose to return some photos or ask for additional prints.

Avoid the post-wedding blues.

You've been planning and gearing yourself up for the wedding for so long that you're mind may go into "elastic shock" once the big event has come and passed. Post-wedding depression is fairly common among newlywed brides.

If you're having trouble adjusting to married life, or just find it hard to believe your wedding day has come and gone, don't consult a close family member or friend. They'll likely be feeling a similar sense of loss over your married status. Instead, experts recommend talking to a spiritual adviser or a marriage counselor, who can help you adjust to life after the honeymoon.