As most bridal couples know, the wedding doesn’t end when the reception is over. There are still tons of little odds and ends that need taking care of; some of which the bride and groom can deal with, and some for which that require the help of family and friends.
A Valley bride asks: “I know that things are hectic when the reception is over, especially since my then-husband and I are leaving on our honeymoon right after the wedding. My fiancé keeps saying “Don’t worry about it,” but I’d feel much better if I had a list to follow!”
Dear Valley bride: You’re right! Several things should get your attention after the reception, including items you need to return. Ask someone to put these items in safekeeping or leave them at your house so they’ll be there when you return from your honeymoon: toasting flutes, cake knife, personal items (such as cosmetics, clothing, and accessories), guest book, and pen. Leftovers may be returned, reused, and/or recycled, like decorations, party favors, flowers, centerpieces, unopened liquor bottles (unless the property of the caterer), and food. One of the best man’s responsibilities is actually to return the groom tuxedo if it was rented or borrowed. Also, he (or sometimes the father of the bride) takes home the gifts and deposits the cash gifts. The maid-of-honor or mother of the bride can hold on to the top layer of the wedding cake. Keeping your gown? It’s a good idea to have someone take it to the cleaners in a pre-addressed box. If you’d like to preserve your bouquet, ask someone to get it to the florist as soon as possible after the wedding (read more about preserving bouquets here). Don’t forget to ask someone to put together “samples” and memorabilia (such as party favors, a wedding program, the unity candle if you have one — which you can light every year on your anniversary — the garter, and the like).
When you return from your honeymoon, you might want to submit a black and white portrait of you at the wedding, along with the details of your wedding, to local newspapers. Last but not least, your thank-you notes and change-of-address postcards should be mailed promptly. If you have time before the wedding, you can even write these (pre-addressed, of course) early, so all you’ll need to do afterward is put them in the mailbox!
This may sound overwhelming, but it’s really not if you take the time to assign these tasks in advance of your wedding. Then you can take your fiancé’s advice: “Don’t worry!”
To submit your own question to the Wedding Guru, email Judy at firstname.lastname@example.org.