All your hard work planning and organising has now reaped its rewards and the wedding is over and you are now a married. You may have had your honeymoon, so what now? Many couples don't realise just how intense the whole planning of a wedding can be until its all over and you might be feeling a little deflated and at a loss of what to do next.
There are still some things to be done, your photographs will be ready to view and your favourite images need to be chosen, your thank you notes need to be sent out to your guests, your dress needs to be cleaned and stored, it's time to tie up the loose ends as life returns to normal.
Photographs & Video
Whether or not you had a professional photographer and videographer, you will still have hundreds if images to go through and you will have fun doing this, choosing your favourites and creating your wedding album. Watching any videos that may have been taken throughout your day, you will see many things that you missed, this is a fun part of reviewing your day and over the coming weeks you will look back fondly on your day.
There are a number of ways that you can let friends and family have a copy of your favourite images, one of mine was to create a photobook from Kodak Galleries . This allowed me to upload my favourites and create this delightful photo album for our parents and family. Not only is it affordable (starts from £5.99) it is a wonderful keepsake. I also made an extra copy for myself so I could show friends and colleagues. This allows you to show off your images without your wedding album getting worn and possibly damaged. It also allows you to include images that maybe friends and family have taken too.
Thank You Notes/Cards
You have hopefully taken careful note of the gifts you have received and from whom on the run up to and just after the wedding. It's so important to do this, after all, your guests have taken the time to think about and choose a gift for you. It's only right that you thank them properly after the wedding. There a whole range of ways that you can do this, you can buy pre printed notes, but I always think it is nicer to add a personal message to each guest. You might get stuck with what to say, here are a few ideas .
Whatever you choose to do, try and send these out within a month of your wedding, don't leave it too long.
Many dry cleaners will offer to clean your dress, wrap it and box it up for you to store, the cost can be from around £65 upwards, depending where you get it cleaned. The cleaners should be insured and reputable and take advice from friends and family who may have used them in the past. What should you expect? Your dress should be cleaned by an expert team, pressed and folded into acid free tissue paper, to avoid discolouration of the fabric then placed in a specially made box to protect your dress from light but allow the fabric to breathe. I know that this might seem like another expense, but the likelihood is that you have spent a significant sum of money on your dress, it's not a huge sum to pay to have it cleaned.
I will share with you what I did with my dress although I would not recommend it as a normal course of action. My gown cost £1200 and after the wedding it had red wine stains, fake tan stains and under the train was grubby. One evening about a year after the wedding I had the mad idea of putting it in the washing machine! I turned it inside out and rolled it into a ball, put the washing machine on a gentle wash, after they cycle was finished I took it out and it was absolutely fine, I hung it up on a coat hanger to dry over night. The next morning it was like new again (phew!!). It is now stored away in my wardrobe. As I said before I took a risk with my dress and have to say that 45 minutes it was in the machine were the longest of my life! Would I do it again? Not in a million years, which is why I will always recommend having it cleaned professionally. I got lucky, but I do know that if it had gone horribly wrong I would have been devastated.
So what next?
All your loose ends are now tied up you have found a home for all your gifts and life is settling down. If you are still feeling at a loss, take on a new project like decorating a room, taking up a new hobby (or picking up an old one), catch up with friends, invite them round for dinner. Most of all spend quality time with your new spouse, after all that's what the whole event was all about, both of you starting your new life together.
I hope you have enjoyed our series on Planning Your Wedding and that you have picked up some useful hints and tips along the way. Beauty Weddings are here to assist, advise and guide you through one of the happiest and exciting phases in your life. Don't get married without us!