Photo: B. Miller Photography
Go ahead and start writing a checklist of things that you have to do as soon as you get back from your honeymoon. The wedding may have been the big ta-do, but it's really just the kick off for the rest of your married lives together.
There are a whole bunch of things you MUST take care of when you get home after the wedding festivities are over, and depending on your wedding date and how long you were travelling afterwards, you have to jump on them right away.
The top four items on your list should be the following:
1. Add your spouse to your health insurance at work, or vice versa.
Even if you both have good insurance at your jobs, it's a good idea to consider adding each other onto your own policies too. This gives you more backup if something major happens. When one insurance stops coverage, the other will likely kick in. And if one of you doesn't have health insurance, adding that spouse onto the policy of the one who does have insurance is mission-critical. The trick? It has to be done within 30 days of your wedding date. If you miss that critical deadline, you have to wait until the next open enrollment period at your job. And those are usually held every six months.
2. Change the beneficiary information on all of your bank accounts, investment accounts, life insurance policies, etc.
Especially if either one of you has been married before and was just too lazy to take your former spouse's name off the paperwork until now. Reality check — if you get hit by a bus and die, your ex will get the money if you didn't take his or her name off your paperwork. Your new spouse will be left high and dry, or having to engage in a vicious legal battle. Don't risk it. Also, this is a good time to add each other to your other financial accounts as well.
See More: How to Ward Off the Newlywed Blues
3. Reevaluate your homeowners and car insurance policies to make sure you're both covered and getting the best possible rates.
Many couples switch their insurance after they get married — and most get better rates as married couples. Married men are considered to be less risky drivers!
4. If you're going to change your name, do it immediately.
It's not that hard — and there are kits available online to walk you through it if you can't figure it out on your own. First, take your marriage license to your local social security office and change it there. They'll give you a confirmation form that you take to your local DMV with your new marriage license. You'll leave with a new driver's license with your new name. Make color copies of your marriage license and new driver's license and follow the instructions online from credit card companies to change the info there. You may have to physically go into your bank to change that information — but it's easy, just take all the paperwork with you!
Sandy Malone is the owner of Sandy Malone Weddings & Events, a full-service traditional and destination wedding planning company and Do-It-Yourself wedding planning consulting service for DIY brides and grooms based in the Washington, DC area. Sandy is the star of TLC's reality show "Wedding Island," about her destination wedding planning company, Weddings in Vieques. Sandy's book "How to Plan Your Own Destination Wedding: Do-It-Yourself Tips from an Experienced Professional," will be released on March 1st, but is available online for pre-orders now where books are sold.