• Diana

Miss to Mrs: What to Know Before 'I Do'

So, you're engaged to the love of your life! Before your new diamond is plastered on social media, you share the good news with cousins and your mom's best friend, AKA Aunt Michelle. You buy a $50 wedding planner and about 10 mugs that all say wifey. Your excitement brings back butterflies that you felt on your first date with your new fiancé. Suddenly, those butterflies become a pit in your stomach when you realize you were just granted the task of planning a 100+ person event without any event planning experience. Before you swipe left to this responsibility, I can assure you that the most important part of planning a wedding is actually the easiest.

Step one is often overlooked and if your hubby-to-be thinks he can get off the hook with wedding planning, think again. The purpose of a wedding is to spend the rest of your life with someone, isn't it? So before you start picking out your Instagram worthy white gown, let's focus on making that relationship last. Josh and I put together a list of crucial conversations that you wish you knew before saying 'I do'.

We're getting married. We should be compatible, right?

1. If you can't confidently answer this question, you should probably talk about it before making a $2,000 deposit on your dream wedding venue. Imagine finding out that your significant other doesn't want any kids after you dreamt of a life like the Brady Bunch. I bet you wish you had a conversation about how many kids you wanted before your five year wedding anniversary rolled around. Determining if you're compatible consists of a number of conversations just like this. Others include lifestyle choices, morals, parenting styles, religion, career goals, expectations, family values and even living situations. If you learn that you both want different things or have different expectations, it's important to determine if you can sacrifice your desires for your partner. If not, that warrants an even more crucial conversation. A mediator can even help facilitate this.

Just like the Backstreet Boys said, "I want it thaaaat way"

2. When you're single, it's easy to make decisions for yourself. So how do you even make big life decisions, like planning a wedding, with someone who may have different wants/desires than you? At first, Josh and I struggled to make big decisions like where we wanted to live once we were married. Although Josh wanted to live in his bachelor pad, It was important to me that we began our marriage in a new home. We avoided this conversation until we received advice from our wedding officient who facilitated our marriage counseling. He simply said, "use a rating system (1-10) to determine what is most important. For example, if Diana ranks buying a new house as a 10 and Josh ranks living in his bachelor pad as an 8, Diana 'wins.'" That simple piece of advice works wonders and it is something that we will carry with us for the rest of our lives. So when your partners says "I want it thaaaat way" and you don't, just rank it!

Lions and Tigers and Finances, Oh My!

3. Talking about finances is like peeling an onion, no one likes it but you have to do it to get to the good stuff. By no means are we financial experts and this was never at the forefront of any conversation. To put it simply, money doesn't cause problems, failing to communicate about money causes problems. I highly suggest working with a financial advisor who can help you set up a will, establish retirement accounts and create a budget. I also suggest reading Financially Ever After: The Couples' Guide to Managing Money. I can't promise you will be a millionaire by age 50, but this must-read will help you and your partner financially live and thrive together.

Make a list and check it twice

4. Learning how to spend the rest of your life with someone and planning a wedding is a lot of work. It can be even more daunting if you're Miss Organized and your husband-to-be is Mr. Procrastinator. You guessed it, that was the case for Josh and I. Yet again, our wedding officient provided advice that helped us accomplish tasks that Josh or I might not be excited about. Instead of carrying the weight of every responsibility, work together to develop a plan of action. Start by creating a list of everything that you and your partner need to do together. Next to each responsibility, notate a resonable date that each task should be completed by. Use this list as a guide to keep each other accountable and to ensure expectations are met.

Venue: The Highline Rochester; Photographer: Embraceable Joy Photo; Florist: BECK&forth Co.; Specialty rentals & styling: Pretty Little Vintage Co.; Bridal Shop: Lovely Bride Rochester; Hair & Make Up: Special Occasion Hair Design; Rentals: McCarthy Tents & Events

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