Professional wedding planning tips + trends + what to do + especially what not to do

Professional wedding planning tips + trends + what to do + especially what not to do

Saturday, June 4, 2016

How to organize your wedding - from a wedding planner

I'm an OCD, type A wedding planner, but I'm here to tell you that organization is the key to enjoying your wedding day.  Without it, people will drive you NUTS with asking questions, needing help, wondering where to go and what to do.  After you've booked all your vendors, and have a good idea of how you'd like things to be setup, you'll need to organize your information.  If you thought that booking your vendors was enough to make a smooth wedding day, you're in for a rough day.  You have to set a plan for the wedding day, and communicate the same plan to all the vendors involved!  I  GUARANTEE what you told one vendor 4 months ago is not the same thing that you communicated to another.  It's ok.  That happens to everyone.  So here are 10 tips to organizing this information and getting vendors on the same page:

Your timeline is more than just "ceremony at 4pm, dinner at 5:30pm."  Your timeline should list the times that each vendor arrives on site for setup, when their contract for the night is over.  It should also list the times that each space needs to be ready for photos, and when YOU need to be dressed and ready for photos.  It should encompass all the food service "ready" times and also all the activities that you have planned:  speeches, cake cutting, garter toss, etc.  Once you have all of these items listed on a timeline, you can visualize how these times either work or don't.  You can see "oh crap, my cake person is coming at 4:00pm, but the florist leaves at 3:00pm. . .so I'd better make arrangements to have someone else put the floral arrangements on top of the cake!"  Once that timeline is down on paper, think about whether it makes sense or not, and then make the necessary adjustments to make it flow.   I will let you in on a little secret - the only time on the timeline that REALLY matters is the dinner time.  Who cares if you start your ceremony 15 minutes late?  As long as hot food is hot and cold food is cold, your guests will never know that you're running behind.  A timeline is helpful for organizing, but on the day of, your vendors will treat your timeline as a flow for the day - using it to formulate the order of events.

I create what's called a "Banquet Event Order" for every event I put on.  After working as a Director of Catering in the hospitality industry, it's just something that's ingrained in me.  A "BEO" is like the bible for that day.  It lists setup notes, power needs, timelines, food & beverage orders, contact information, and more.    And it details all that information for each part of the wedding:  Ceremony, Cocktail Hour, Reception, Late Night, etc.  It's all on one document, and is typically about 5 pages long.  I sit down and I think of each part of each event as if I'm in the room, walking around.  Close your eyes and think:  what tables do I need?  What decor is going in there?  Are there any signs I need to put out?  If I'm serving food, which utensils will I need?  And so on, and so forth.  This document contains the written instructions for setting up your wedding day.  I send this out to vendors about 2 weeks before the wedding day, so they can make edits, and typically the edits they make are things can potentially could have caused a stressor on a wedding day.  Therefore, this document is KEY to a wedding's success.  Yeah, taking a few hours to write this all down is a major pain in the butt, but I promise it's worth it!

I create maps for ALL aspects of a wedding day.  I frequently take Google Maps and screenshot the area, and mark where the cocktail hour, ceremony & reception will take place.  This helps make sure vendors drop rental items in the right spot, so you don't have to lug 200 chairs to a completely different location :)  I also make layout maps of the ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception spaces.  It's important to make these to scale, so you know that all your tables & chairs will fit in the space!  It also helps you visualize the flow through buffet lines, and avoid bottlenecks in service.

I'm a visual person, so I draw out a lot of a wedding's elements.  I sketch how the tables will look with their chairs & linens, what centerpieces will look like, and any silverware or glassware on the tables.  I also sketch out each place setting (how I want the forks, knives, spoons, plates, napkins, glassware set out at each place setting.  That visual image makes sure that what I wrote on the BEO is actually what I want!  Just a "double check" of sorts.

So there's this time between ceremony & cocktail hour and between cocktail hour & reception where a lot of behind the scenes things take place.  During the first transition period, I'm often carting chairs from the ceremony to the reception tent (if my client didn't want to order a second set of chairs).  And sometimes large floral arrangements get repurposed from ceremony to reception.  And during the reception, it's smart to lock up the gifts.  Sometimes an entire bar needs to be moved from cocktail hour to the reception.  What I'm saying is, think about what happens during these transition periods, and assign people to each task.  That ensures it gets handled quickly, and no one feels like you were ill prepared.  People don't mind helping out at weddings, but it's a lot better if you plan for their help and they're anticipating it.

After my BEO is done, I can literally run through it and make a checklist of every single item that needs to be brought to the wedding - from flowers, to signs, to silverware, to clothing.  I make this document just because I'm responsible for every last element of the wedding day, and I don't want to forget anything when I'm on top of a mountain with no cell service!  The inventory should list the item(s) name, a quantity, a purpose (like cake table, or ceremony), and most importantly, WHO is bringing the item!  Once you've made this list, run back through all your rental orders and contracts with vendors, and make sure what you need is what you've put on hold.  Even as a professional event planner, it's this document that has saved my butt time and time again.  It not only tells me what to pack up after a wedding is over, but it helps me to rent the proper quantities of everything I need to pull off that dream event.

If you've asked friends or family to help out on the wedding day, make it clear what their jobs are, and when they need to be ready.  For your bridesmaids, have a clear agenda for the wedding day, like "you're free in the morning until 10am, and that's when we start hair & makeup!  Please bring X items with you, as we'll be leaving directly from here to the ceremony.  And you'll need to be in your dress and ready by 2pm, for photos."  This clear communication keeps bridesmaids (and groomsmen) from wandering off or being late to any festivities.  

If you don't make a rain plan, it will rain on your wedding day.  If you DO make a rain plan, make it a strong enough plan that you know what time you'll need to make a decision by, and what that alternate plan is.  No one WANTS to have to use their rain plan, but if you have one, it's far less stressful than if you didn't make one!

Make sure you detail out your ceremony - which songs you want to play, what order people are walking in, how they're standing up at the front, etc.  What activities will you have during the ceremony?  A sand ceremony?  A special prayer or speech?  Don't just wing it - things run much smoother if you can practice a set plan.  Same goes for the reception - if you're having toasts, make sure to list the order in which they'll take place.  And list the songs you want for first dances, etc.   Think of your wedding day as a screenplay.  You need to know whose part is whose, and what they'll be doing.  If you approach things this way, it will run a lot smoother and your guests will appreciate it!

At the end of the event, communication is key too.  I also see it time and time again that Uncle Joe decides that it's late (it's 9:30PM), and he's ready to leave.  So he starts cleaning up centerpieces, removing linens, and stacking chairs while all the guests are on the dance floor.  I don't know about you, but when I'm a guest at a wedding, and I come back and my table is cleaned up, without a linen, I feel like the party is over.  I hate that.   As a planner, I stop those folks and explain that clean up is my job!  If you have assigned someone to this task, make sure you don't ask someone who will want to start cleaning up well before the festivities have wound down.   And also make sure that those who clean up know what their jobs are.  If your cousin cleans up the cake table, and just folds cake crumbs and icing in the bag with the linen, YOU are the one who will be penalized for the mold that will surely grow in the next 2 days before the vendor washes them.  And it would be a shame if your  friends threw out all the flowers from the centerpieces, if you'd made alternate arrangements for them.  So always assign responsible people to your cleanup duties.

Happy planning!

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Using Pinterest for planning your wedding

We LOVE Pinterest. It's great for visually communicating with our clients what we're suggesting. But there comes a time when Pinterest isn't helpful to brides. Here's our thoughts on when Pinterest is helpful and when it's not:


  • USING IT AS A COMMUNICATION TOOL: When you pin something on Pinterest, label what you like about the image! When you let vendors see your pinterest board, if things aren't labeled in the photo, they may mis-interpret what you like. Use the comment box at the bottom of the image to talk to your vendors about what you like & what you don't like.
  • NOTIFICATIONS OF UPDATES: If vendors have joined your boards, they get notifications every time you add a pin or make a comment.
  • DEFINING YOUR STYLE: When you look at your Pinterest board, you should begin to see your wedding come to life. Every pin reflects your style. Many wedding vendors are visual people, so Pinterest can really help them visualize what you're looking for!
  • FINDING CREATIVE IDEAS: Are you trying to pull off a specific theme for your wedding? Pinterest has some fun ideas for all types of themes! Search for creative wedding favors, save the dates, etc.

  • TOO MANY IDEAS: There are a bajillion ideas on Pinterest when it comes to weddings. It can be overwhelming. There's no need to pin every one of them. Find the idea that best fits your style, and move on to the next.
  • NOT BEING ORGANIZED: When you look at our private Pinterest boards, you'll find we start off with reception tablescapes, then we move on to ceiling decor & lighting, then we move onto bouquets/flower arrangements, then onto cakes, etc.. . . we try to pin all of our ideas for one element at a time. If you're skipping from one idea to the next, it can be hard to go back and easily see the style come to life. Some brides like to make separate boards for every single element of the wedding. We find it's most helpful to keep everything all on one board - just make sure you're labeling everything!
  • CONTINUING TO PIN: Once you've defined your style and found some creative ideas, stop getting on to Pinterest. Take those ideas you've already pinned and start running with them! If you just keep pinning, you just set yourself up for disappointment that there's not enough time to implement every cool idea you've found.
  • NOT MAKING A DECISION: Once you've found the basic ideas for what you want your wedding to be, be happy with it, and commit to carrying it through. If you don't stop pinning, you end up with so many ideas and no way to tie them all together. Have the restraint to make a decision, and stick to it. You will be a much happier bride in the long run.

Happy Pinning everyone!

Thursday, December 31, 2015

So you're engaged. . .5 things you need to do right now

Congratulations!  You're engaged!  First of all, enjoy it!  Once you're ready to get started planning, here are the first steps:

1.  BUDGET.  If you have an unlimited budget, congratulations.  But most folks don't have that luxury.  You'll want to sit down and pencil out how much you comfortably want to spend, and how much family is giving you (if they are giving you something).  You don't have to know a headcount, and you don't have to know what things cost.  The most important thing is to come up with a budget that is comfortable to you.  No wedding should put you in debt.  EVER.  The average wedding in Montana, for an average number of guests is usually about $250 per person (to help you with your budgeting if you have no idea where to start!)

2.  PINTEREST.  We love Pinterest.  Like A-LOT.  We suggest you get on there and start pinning designs and ideas that exemplify your wedding style and what you think you want.  Type into the notes what you like about each image.  That helps your vendors understand your style.  But beware - we suggest pinning only in the first few months.  If you stay on there, and continue to pin, you'll snowball into adding more and more ideas to your wedding, costing you money.  Use the pinning as a communication tool with your vendors.  That's when it's most effective.

3.  GUEST LIST.  Come up with a rough list. . . but don't tell anyone who is on the list!  Sit down with your fiance, and each family, and get separate lists of guests they would like to invite.  Go through all your lists, and THEN decide who you want to invite.  Once you decide how many people you can accommodate, per your budget, you are ok to verbally tell people they'll be receiving an invitation.  But until then, tell your family to keep it under wraps!  A large guest count is the #1 reason for blowing through a budget, and it's easier to just not invite people than it is to go back and tell them they're un-invited!  

4.  HIRE A PLANNER.  Contrary to popular planner policy, I don't change my price based on what people have to spend.  I'm a flat rate, based on the size & scope of your wedding.  That means, I'm able to work with a variety of budgets.  So don't be afraid if your budget is teeny, or if it's huge! You CAN afford a planner no matter what!  And the rumors are true - I end up saving my clients money, which typically more than makes up my fee.  I just love to work with folks who know how many people they'll have, and what they want to spend.  It makes my job easy!  I step in and help finish up the designs, based on your pinterest board, and what your budget is.  And after that, we can start figuring out which vendors are best to accomplish the job for the right price.

5.  BOOK YOUR VENUE.  This is the biggest mistake I still see clients making.  Only AFTER you've done numbers 1-4 are you ready to book your venue.  We've had lots of clients who do this step first, because they're afraid to lose the space.  It never fails.  They always end up booking a venue that eats up a huge chunk of their budget.  If you don't do this for a living, you don't understand just how much money is needed for all other aspects of the wedding too.  Although your reception is typically 40% - 50% of your budget, the venue is only about 20% of that.  So we recommend taking a few days to figure out 1-4, and then take care of this step.

Money is often a senstivite subject in any relationship, whether you have very little or even if you have a lot.  My method of planning makes you talk about the not-so-fun activities right away (such as budget and guest list) to help relieve the stress that money can cause.  Entering into a marriage without debt is always my goal, and I've been very successful using this method.  I hope you find it helpful as well!

Every wedding has a budget.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Products we love! The Confetti send off

I’ve been thinking a lot lately of things a bride can do in lieu of sparklers (since we’re heavy into fire season already).  Grand exits are SO MUCH FUN, and I realized there’s a product out there that I LOVE that I’ve never promoted before!  Check out  These are color-customizable confetti sticks!  They’re are easily stored and distributed to your guests, and are pretty idiot-proof.  I’ve used them for many years at New Year’s Eve Celebrations and they’re always a hit!  They’re only a few bucks per stick, and they would leave a lasting impression on any event!  I highly recommend them (they’re also the same company that supplies the confetti for Times Square on NYE, so you can trust they know what they’re doing!)

Flutter fetti confetti sticks in use!

HOW TO: Plan your wedding ceremony program

If you’re getting married in a church, the priest or minister or “church lady” are going to help you form the elements of your wedding ceremony.  This blog is meant for those brides who are having a non-denominational ceremony and really have to build it all themselves.  The easiest way is to think of this whole ceremony as a 20-30 minute script you’re writing.  It’s a choreographed theatrical event.  If you have a Justice of the Peace or hired Officiant run your ceremony, ask them which parts they typically cover.  You can usually incorporate more elements into the ceremony upon request, so don’t be afraid to ask!  Or if you’re having a friend marry you, this is a good list to begin building your ceremony with:

PRE-CEREMONY:  You’ll want music playing as guests arrive to the venue.  Silence is no Bueno!

SEATING GUESTS:  Typically, guests aren’t seated until shortly before the ceremony begins.  Ushers are VERY helpful in reserving seats, and ensuring the front rows of your ceremony are filled.

PROCESSIONAL (WEDDING MARCH):  This takes practice (do this at the rehearsal), but you need to decide how everyone will get to the front of the aisle.  This part is typically slower, controlled, peaceful.  Beautiful, emotional music is great, or even something with personally important lyrics.  This is the order:
  • Officiant at the front of the ceremony, escorting the groom and best man, walk in from the side
  • Mother & Father of the groom
  • Mother of the Bride
  • Bridesmaids (and Groomsmen, if escorting the bridesmaids, otherwise the groomsmen can walk in with the groom)
  • Ring Bearer & Flower Girl
  • Bride & Father of the Bride

BLESSING (GIVE AWAY):  Practice this at the rehearsal too.  The Father of the Bride (or whomever is “giving the bride away” should greet the groom, then literally hand her off to the groom.  This signifies you’re leaving her in good hands and you’re giving you approval!  The officiant will ask who gives the bride away, and the appropriate answer is “her mother and I.”

CONVOCATION (WELCOME):   This is explaining why we’re here today!  Just a quick welcome.

INVOCATION (OPENING BLESSING):  A short blessing of the wedding day.

SERMON (ADDRESS):  Often a story, or some words about the couple.  If you’re not going to do this element, this is a great place to substitute some custom elements, like:  Readings, Poems, Stories, Music performances, or custom elements (wine ceremony, sand ceremony, candle lighting)

CONSECRATION (DEDICATION BLESSING):  This is another small blessing following the sermon, to reiterate the words that were just spoken, and to bless the union.

DECLARATION OF INTENT:  Legally required!  The “I do” part of the ceremony.

VOWS:  You can find the standard vows online, or you can write your own!  Have your maid of honor or best man hold these for you – you have enough to remember on your wedding day, and getting put on the spot without your vows could be really stressful!

RING BLESSING:  Explains the purpose of exchanging rings

EXCHANGING OF THE RINGS:  The physical exchanging of the rings and the “repeat after me” part of the ceremony.

PRONOUNCEMENT OF MARRIAGE:  Legally required also!  This is the “I now pronounce you man and wife” section of the ceremony.

THE KISS:  Doesn’t need a definition, but it should be discussed on how you’re going to do this part!  Practice so you’re not awkward and caught off guard, because this moment WILL be photographed!

BENEDICTION (CLOSING PRAYER):  This prayer sends off the new couple into their future with one another.

PRESENTATION:  The part where they say, "I'd like to introduce Mr. and Mrs. _______”

RECESSIONAL:  This is the order in which everyone leaves the ceremony.  This is the beginning of the celebration!  Upbeat, fun, exciting!  Frequently, bridesmaids are paired with groomsmen, and follow the bride & groom down the aisle.  Ushers would then help escort guests row by row, starting with the front  row and moving down the aisle, alternating sides.

COCKTAIL HOUR:  We always suggest some sort of a break between the ceremony and the reception, so you can get family pictures together!  If you’re doing a cocktail hour, make sure to inform your officiant, so he can announce where all the guests are to go!  The officiant typically does this after the wedding party has exited the ceremony. 

Thursday, June 11, 2015

So, I'm the maid of honor. . .what am I supposed to do now?

The Maid or Matron of honor has a LOT of duties leading up to the wedding day.  Below are the main priorities (note if Events by Autumn is hired for full service coordination, we will manage the items in pink!)
  • Lead the bridesmaids. It's the maid/matron of honor's (MOH) job to direct the other maids through their duties. Make sure everyone gets their bridesmaid dresses, go to dress fittings, and find the right jewelry.
  • Ensure the bridal party is informed about all pre-wedding parties
  • Help shop for dresses (the bride's and the bridesmaids'). And the MOH pays for her own entire wedding outfit (including shoes)
  • Offer to help the bride with pre-wedding tasks:  addressing invites, assembling wedding favors & programs, etc.
  • Offer to help the bride in selecting a venue, dress, menu, etc.  Give an unbiased, honest opinion – you don’t have to love any of it, but the bride should appreciate you pointing out that an ice cream cake isn’t great for an outdoor wedding, or the heavy, 100lb. beaded dress might get really hot on a July night.  If she still decides to go for it, SUPPORT HER
  • Be knowledgeable about the wedding day plans, so you can be the planners “emergency” contact, instead of the bride
  • Spread the news about where the bride and groom are registered, and even help the bride shop for registry items, if she invites you
  • Help the bride change for her honeymoon and take charge of her gown after the ceremony, by arranging for storage in a safe place until she returns
  • Lend an ear. Whether it's about the planning, the marriage, or the registry china patterns, the MOH should assure the bride that she has someone with whom she can share her thoughts. Even if she seems to dwell on the same subjects repeatedly, the MOH keeps listening
  • Host or cohost AND attend a bridal shower for the bride
  • Attend all pre-wedding parties
  • Keep a record of all the gifts received at various parties and showers (or delegate a bridesmaid to handle this)
  • Plan and attend the bachelorette party with the bridesmaids.
  • See to it that all bridesmaids get to the rehearsal; coordinate transportation and lodging, if necessary
  • Be prepared to help out at the rehearsal dinner where needed.  Volunteer to take duties off the families’ plates
  • If you couldn’t drop off décor in advance, or if the bride forgot something, it’s the MOH’s job to get those décor items to the ceremony or reception venue the morning of (whether you do it yourself, or delegate)
  • Make sure that all bridesmaids get their hair and makeup done
  • Keep an eye on the bridal party while getting ready - a little champagne is good, but make sure everyone is also getting plenty of water too
  • Make sure there is breakfast AND snacks available all morning for the bridal party.  Something healthy which is also easy on the stomach, to jump-start a big day
  • Help the bride get dressed.  Make sure you take an inventory of everything you’ll need BEFORE you get on site:  dress, undergarments, jewelry, veil, shoes, etc. (see the checklist below)
  • Be at the bride’s beck and call!  Be there to answer her phone, grab her lipstick, or just calm her nerves
  • Ensure bridal party gets to the ceremony on time
  • Make sure everyone has the correct bouquets
  • If the bride wants some privacy before the ceremony, make sure she gets it
  • Hold the groom's ring during the ceremony. Safest place to put it?  On your thumb
  • Arrange the bride's train and veil before the ceremony begins and just after she arrives at the altar
  • Hold the bride's bouquet while the couple exchanges vows
  • Sign the marriage license as a witness, along with the best man
  • Bustle the bride’s train for easy dancing at the reception
  • Stand next to the groom in the receiving line (this is optional; the bride may decide to have attendants circulate among the guests instead)
  • Be a gatekeeper.  Was someone invited whom the bride doesn’t get along with very much, but still had to invite?  Help out by politely “rescuing” her from that conversation if she gets trapped
  • Play hostess along with the other bridesmaids at frequent points during the reception: show guests where to sit, direct them to restrooms, tell them to where to put presents, invite them to sign the guest book, etc.
  • Clean the bridal suite.  ESPECIALLY if the bridesmaids used it to get ready in.  Don’t let the bride & groom return to a disaster.  It’s the MOH’s job to clean this room up after the bridesmaids are done in there
  • Collect any gift envelopes brought to the reception and keep them in a safe place
  • Make sure the bride takes a moment to eat something -- refresh her drink, get her a plate of food from the buffet table, or instruct the wait staff to keep her entree warm
  • Dance with the best man during the formal first-dance sequence and possibly be announced with him at the beginning of the party.  Lead the dancing all night (get people on the dance floor!)
  • Toast the couple after the best man.  And makes sure you jot down notes and don’t wing it. . .
  • If the dollar dance is performed, you’re in charge of locking up the money
  • Decorate the getaway vehicle (IF the bride wants you to!)
  • Purchase a bottle of champagne and some late night snacks and have them delivered to the bridal suite for when the wedding is over and the bride & groom finally get to retreat for the night!
  • Troubleshoot emotional crises. In most cases, this will require lots of tissues, hugging, and hair-smoothing. The MOH continues to be a trusted friend, a good listener, and a smart advisor
  • Keep the bride laughing. For the stressed-out bride, laughter can be as effective as venting 

The Maid of Honor Checklist

These are all items that typically a Maid of Honor would be responsible for on the day of the wedding.  That doesn’t mean she needs to buy all these items, but she DOES need to make sure the bride brings them with her, and they’re readily available!

Please note, Events by Autumn brings a “bridal emergency kit” to all weddings, which is stocked with over 300 miscellaneous items, including many of the things listed below.  The bride will want to bring her own items for getting ready, but just know if something is missing when she arrives on site, most likely, Autumn has it in her kit! 
  • Your Bridesmaid Dress
  • Bride’s Wedding Dress
  • Bobby Pins
  • Make-up
  • Make Up for Touch-Ups
  • Clear Nail Polish
  • Nail Glue
  • Hairspray
  • Tissue
  • Perfume
  • Jewelry for the Bride and yourself
  • Wedding Dress shoes and a casual pair for after
  • Undergarments for the wedding dress
  • Needle, thread (white and color of bridesmaid dresses), and scissors
  • Contact solution/rewetting drops or glasses
  • Breath Mints
  • Pantyhose/Nylons (at least 2 pair)
  • Change of clothing for after
  • Phone numbers of all the important vendors
  • Watch
  • Any prescription medication the bride or groom is on
  • Plane tickets and luggage if the newlyweds are going on their honeymoon straight from the wedding
  • Flowers (unless brought by the vendor)
  • Extra money (just in case of emergency)
  • A friend to stand by for back up in case the car has flat tire or engine problems
  • Your speech
  • Card to give the bride (always a cute friend idea)
  • 2 garters (1 to keep and 1 to toss)
  • Grooms Ring
  • Tylenol and Tums
  • Deodorant / Antiperspirant
  • Phone Numbers of all Important Family Members in the Wedding, Bridesmaids, Grooms
  • Toothbrush
  • Antacid
  • Cash (In small bills for tips)
  • Umbrellas - in case it rains or if it is too hot
  • Q-Tips for touch-ups
  • Toothpicks/Dental Floss
  • Small Face Mirror
The maid of honor and the bridesmaids she's responsible for.  Photo courtesy of CakeKnife Photography,

Thursday, June 4, 2015

HOW TO: Change your last name after you're married

Step 1: Make a Copy of Your Marriage License
You’re going to need this to show proof that you’ve gotten married in order to change your last name.

Step 2: Social Security Card
The first step is to change your name on your social security card, which will help you in changing your name on everything else. Visit the Social Security Administration’s website and fill out an application for a name change. (Read more HERE).  You will use your marriage license in combination with the application to prove that you have gotten married.  

Step 3: Drivers Licenses & IDs
Once you receive your new social security card, you can take it (along with your marriage license) to the Department of Motor Vehicles and get your name formally changed on your driver’s license or your ID.

Step 4: Finances
You’re going to want to visit your bank pretty quickly after you receive that new identification with your new name. Your name must match on your ID and your bank accounts in order to access your money, so take your new ID or driver’s license, your new social security card and your marriage license to your bank. Ask them about the process of changing your name on your accounts and get that taken care of.

Step 5: Changing Your Name Everywhere Else
After following the first few steps, you will have all the new identification proof you need to change your name everywhere else.  Here's another list of everywhere else you may want to update your name:
  • Place of Employment
  • Local Post Office
  • Credit Card Companies
  • Utility Companies:  Cable, Phone, Internet, Gas, Water, Electric
  • Doctors Offices:  Primary Care, Dentist, Optometrist, Veterinarian, etc.
  • Insurance Providers:  Health, Vehicle, Home, Life, etc.
  • Schools:  Your alma mater & any kids' schools as well
  • Publication subscriptions:  magazines, newsletters, etc.
  • Anyone who would bill you for services (professional services)

It’s that easy – although the process usually takes a few weeks, you can get started on it early by filling out an application through the Social Security Administration before you leave for your honeymoon.