Leading up to your wedding, you’ll likely be enamored with the romance and excitement of your wedding day—as well you should. But after that’s over, you’ll need to take care of some important logistical steps. Your marriage is a legal partnership as much as it is an idealistic one, and your marriage will start much more smoothly if you take care of these 5 things to do after getting married as soon as possible.
What to Do After Getting Married
Once you’re married, you’ll want to take care of the following:
- Get a marriage certificate. If you haven’t already, make sure you get a marriage certificate. In most cases, you’ll be able to take care of this during the wedding planning process (and on your official wedding day). However, in some states, you may be required to take additional steps to get your marriage certificate and make it official.
- Change names (if applicable). The tradition in many Western cultures and in hetero-normative relationships is for the wife to adopt the last name of her husband. This tradition is beginning to change, with many alternative arrangements available—including the husband changing his last name, one or both partners adopting a hyphenated last name, or neither partner changing their last name. If you do decide to change your last name, however, you’ll need to take care of this as soon as possible, since it doesn’t happen automatically. In most cases, you’ll need to petition your state to change your name. From there, you’ll need to update your accounts.
- Update documents. Next, you’ll want to go through and update any documents that need to be changed in some way. Most identification documents, for example, will need to change to reflect your new last name. Start by changing your social security card with the Social Security Administration; you’ll keep your existing social security number, but the name on the card will need to be updated. Then, you can change your driver’s license with the local DMV. You’ll also want to change your passport, and/or obtain a new ESTA if you’ve recently changed names.
- Update account information. With your most important documents updated, you’ll then want to update your account information wherever you can. Oftentimes, you’ll be able to take care of this with a simple phone call. Other times, you may have to take further actions. Consider your current loans, your employer, your lease agreements, your utility accounts, your medical records, and information held at your children’s schools. You’ll also need to update your professional licenses, voter registration, and registration with various programs and associations. Less importantly, you’ll also want to update social media.
- Merge your accounts. Finally, you’ll want to take the time to merge your accounts, and/or open up joint accounts where necessary. For example, many married couples merge their bank accounts into a joint account, or open a joint account specifically for expenses applicable to both partners. There are pros and cons to this decision, and not every couple will merge their finances. You’ll also want to consider whether to merge other aspects of your life; for example, can you both get on the same health insurance program? Can you purchase car insurance as a married couple? Can you update the deed of your existing house so both of you are on it?
Once you’ve taken care of these 5 things to do after getting married, you can start thinking about the other important responsibilities you’re going to undertake together. For example, are you interested in looking for and buying a house together? Are you ready to start planning for a child? These things require important logistical steps as well.
One Step at a Time
After such an exciting time getting married, the last thing you want is to feel overwhelmed with stress and pressure. Instead of trying to tackle all 5 things to do after getting married at once, just focus on taking one step at a time. Most of these responsibilities don’t have to be done immediately, and some of them aren’t vital in the first place. Save yourself the stress, and focus on whatever you can, whenever you can.
Post by: Alex Sanders