5 Things to Do Before You Get Married

There are over 2 million weddings every year, and if you’ve been with your partner for a while, you might be ready to walk down the aisle. If you or your partner have recently popped the question or you’re considering engagement, there are a few things you’ll want to accomplish before the big day. Here are five things to do before you get married.

Disclose any medical or financial problems

When you get married, you become a unit. Any problems you have will be shared, so it’s important that you disclose any issues before the wedding day. If you’re suffering from a vaping illness, let your partner know if he or she doesn’t already. A lung injury can be quite serious, and you might want to involve a lawyer. Legal proceedings could take a long time and might affect the wedding, so you have to keep your partner informed. You’ll also want to make him or her aware of any financial issues. If you have student loans or credit card debt, be honest and discuss what you both can do to fix the problem. You’re getting married in order to be a true partnership, so make sure he or she knows every detail.

Take a trip together

If you’ve had a whirlwind romance, you might not have taken a trip together before getting engaged, but it’s the best way to really get to know each other. When you travel together, you learn a lot about who you each really are. Do you get stressed when trying to catch a plane and always arrive at the airport two hours early? This might be how you learn that your partner is always late, even to deadlines you deem important. Right now, you might live separately, but on a trip, you’ll spend every minute together. This is a good preview of what married life will be like, so make sure you can handle it before walking down the aisle.

Discuss the future in detail

Signing that marriage license means you’re planning to spend the rest of your lives together. How do you know you’re both envisioning the same future? Discuss what you want in detail before the big day. You’ll want to cover all the major topics: kids, a house, work, retirement, and anything else you find important. If you’re a religious person but your partner isn’t, talk about how you will raise the children (if you plan to have kids). While that may seem far off now, it’s better that you have an idea of what you will do so that, when the time comes, neither of you will be surprised. Not discussing the future is an easy way to ruin a relationship, so have this conversation as often as necessary.

Say “I love you”

Obviously, most couples say “I love you” to each other long before they get engaged. But how often are you saying it? You and your partner might need to discuss how and when you say “I love you” to each other. Does your partner say it when he does the dishes for you? Does she make it clear when she brushes off your car on a snowy morning? For some couples, the little actions speak loudest, but many people need to hear that they are loved. Many successful couples have different views on how often to say, “I love you,” but they’re still successful because they’ve discussed their preferences. If your future spouse needs to hear it daily, make sure you’re meeting that need. Being married is about doing what’s best for each other.

Take care of the legal pieces

Before you can get married, you need to settle the legalities. You can obtain a marriage license from your local city hall, and you’ll need to do this a little before the wedding day. The license is only valid for a certain number of days so make sure you know how long you’ll have to hold the ceremony after getting the license. If one of you is divorced, you’ll need to find divorce records and bring them with you to get the license. You may also need death records if your former spouse passed away. Check the public records to see what you’ll need to bring to the county clerk. These legal matters are very important, so start these out long before the wedding day.

Getting married is a huge and exciting step. Prepare for the future and you and your spouse will have a long and happy relationship.