You have found your life mate and are ready to move forward on the road to marital bliss. Before making that lifetime commitment, there are a few things you can do with your partner to avoid some of the bumps in the road that can delay or even sabotage your trip down the aisle.
Decide where you will live your new life together.
Before getting married, one of you may have to move, whether it is across town or to a new state or even a new country. An honest conversation about both of your career and life choices – how you see the future together – should make this complex decision a much easier one to make. Most importantly, you’ll avoid any surprises, and partners will be comfortable with their choice when discussed beforehand.
Discuss and plan your new home options – renting vs. buying
When starting a new life together, sometimes, one partner is already vested in a home. If this is the case and you have both decided to stay put for the immediate future or even long-term, then the focus should shift to how the new partner fairs in the home that is to be considered the marital residence.
Should one partner not be comfortable with the old digs, then a sale of that home and a purchase of a new one together is a better option.
Before tying the knot, if neither partner owns a home, then a discussion of finances, see below, is recommended before diving into a purchase. Renting gives you the freedom to figure out where you both would like to settle your new life together ultimately.
Discuss how you will handle your finances
Finances can be the number one stressor in a new relationship. There is no taboo in discussing how you will handle your monies with your future life partner. It’s good to establish how and who will pay the bills for your new household and an expected budget for expenses other than daily needs. If you already have an individual bank account, you need to consider if you will keep those accounts and open a separate joint account for your new life together. Discussing financial contributions at the outset will help alleviate misunderstandings and any resentments towards each other as to your financial future.
Discuss your new surname and the rule of the hyphen
In today’s modern world, where women have long-established careers before marrying, the decision to take a spouse’s last name can be a big deal. However, there are many considerations if you want to keep your maiden name. Consider legally changing your middle name, if you have one, or adding one, if you don’t – to your maiden name. Then you can take your new spouse’s sir name without a hyphen, and in your private life, you will have the same last name as your spouse.
You can also choose to hyphenate your maiden name with your spouse’s last name. In this case, your last name remains your maiden name. Regardless of which name you choose, be sure to change all your IDs to match, including but not limited to your driver’s license, passport, voting registration, etc.
Plan together a stress-free day for tying the knot.
Your wedding day should reflect you and your partner and who you both are. There is no one way to tie the knot. Spending money you don’t have on a big and or expensive wedding will only create unnecessary stress on your new journey together. There are no rules – only the ones you set for your special day. Whether you choose a gown and tux, cocktail dress & suit, cargo shorts, and beach attire, be certain that your special day is about both of you as it is a lifetime of memories that you are building with your partner and no one else.