Work & Family

What to Do After Getting Married: Your Post-Wedding Checklist 

4 min read
Jul 19, 2023

Now that your ceremony is behind you and you’re embarking on married life, it’s time to tackle the final wedding tasks. Don’t worry, these are probably not as extensive as the ones leading up to your wedding. But when it comes to setting a solid foundation for your future together, they may be even more important.

If you’re unsure about what to do after getting married, a checklist can help finalize the details. Start with these important post-wedding tasks:

Get your marriage certificate

Before your wedding, you got your marriage license, and during your ceremony, you signed it. After that, it’s typically your officiant’s responsibility to file your marriage license so your local city or county clerk can issue a marriage certificate.1 Some clerks’ offices will mail it to you, but others may require you to pick it up. Either way, make sure you get your certified copy and keep it somewhere safe.

Keep in mind that you may need multiple certified copies in order to change your name, and update your insurance, social security, and financial information. You can usually request these for a small fee.

Change your name

If you’re taking your new spouse’s name, hyphenating it, or you’re both taking a new name, you’ll need to legally change your name. Start by filing the paperwork at the Social Security Administration. Once your social security information is updated, you can move on to updating your passport, driver’s license, voter registration, credit cards, financial accounts, employee information, emails, etc.

Make a name change checklist with all of the accounts you need to update and include deadlines so you get them done on time. The Social Security Administration gives you two years to update your name, while driver’s license deadlines2 range from 10 to 60 days depending on the state. Check your state laws to verify your name-change window.

Update your emergency contact information

Whether it’s for your doctor's office, job, or gym, be sure to add your new spouse’s name and number to their emergency contact information on your file. This way, your partner can be the first one at your side if something unexpected happens.

Update your insurance

Compare your insurance benefits with those of your spouse and decide which health insurance plan you’ll sign up for. Since marriage is a qualifying life event, you won’t have to wait for open enrollment to make these changes. If you’re an employee with benefits, work with your company’s human resources department to update your marital status, evaluate your insurance coverage, and choose benefits for both of you. You can also add supplemental insurance to ensure you’re fully covered if the unexpected happens.

It’s also a good idea to review your life insurance policy at this time. Use a life insurance calculator to determine if your current policy is still a good fit and will help financially support your new spouse and family. And of course, you may want to change your policy’s beneficiary to your new spouse.

Figure out your finances

Some couples join finances, while others keep them separate. You may decide to put everything ins joint accounts or add yourself or your spouse as a secondary signer on current ones. Either way, determine your best course of action and follow through with your financial institutions.

If you’re working with multiple financial institutions, deciding how to best save for your goals, or reconfiguring your budget, it may be a good idea to see a financial advisor. They can help you merge finances, reach financial goals, and figure out how to best file your taxes.

Make an estate plan

Estate planning helps determine what happens to your assets if you need long-term care, become incapacitated, or pass away. This can be an emotional topic, but it can make a big difference in preparing for the future with your spouse. Consider working with an estate planning attorney to write a trust, power of attorney, last will and testament, and more.

Consider a “postnup”

It may be another difficult topic to discuss right after marriage, but putting together a postnuptial agreement, or postnup, early on is a way to plan for an easier future in the event of a divorce. This helps ensure you’re both in financially sound standings if things don’t go as planned.

Cross everything off your list

When you’re ready to put your plan into action, prioritize your post-wedding list based on task importance and deadlines. Divide and conquer when you can to help make short work of your list — after all, you’re a team! And when you can’t, enjoy those few extra moments of “togetherness”, along with the great feeling that comes with crossing something off your list.

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“Marriage Certificates and Licenses: Everything to Know,” Brides, 2022

“Is There a Deadline for Name Change After Marriage?,” Marriage Name Change, 2023

This article is intended to provide general information about insurance. It does not describe any Metropolitan Life Insurance company product or feature.