There are tons of things to do before you get married - and the more time you spend on those wedding-planning websites, the longer your list will get. I speak from experience, and I didn't even have a big, complicated wedding (either time - but the first one was way before wedding websites existed). This week's Ten on Tuesday prompt asks for "10 Things to Do Before You Get Married."
The thing about planning a wedding, though, is that sometimes it takes up so much time and energy that preparing for marriage - you know, the years that come afterwards? - takes a back seat. So, having gone through it all a couple of times now - and this had better be the last one! - I'm going to make two lists of five items each; one's about the wedding, one's about the relationship.
5 Things to Do Before Your Wedding:
- Figure out how much money you want to spend on this thing, and where it's going to come from, since that's really going to have the biggest effect on every other aspect of your planning.
- Pick a place - or places, if you don't think you'll have your ceremony and reception in the same location - and then set the date. You should have a general idea of when you want to get married, but it's likely that venue availability will determine the specific day and time.
- Think about who you'd like to share your day, as your wedding party and as guests. The wedding party should be asked well in advance, and guests should receive their official invitations at least six to eight weeks before the date, and ideally with even more lead time than that, especially if they have to travel.
- Put the majority of your time and attention into the aspects of the wedding that are the most important to you - the food, the flowers, the photographs, the music, whatever it happens to be - and don't stress too much over the rest. (Like you won't stress - but hey, it's worth a try...)
- When reviewing all of those wedding-planning resources, keep your mental editor and a big grain of salt handy. Weddings are big business, and there is no obligation to buy into it all.
- Have some serious conversations about money. It can be a huge source of relationship stress, so it's important to be open and honest with each other about the assets (cash, investments, property) and liabilities (credit card debt, loans) that you're bringing into the relationship. Talk about your spending and saving habits, and observe each others' handling of money - it should be consistent with what you've told each other. Make decisions about whether to combine your finances after marriage.
- Spend time with each others' families. Effectively, you're marrying them too, and they've played a big role in shaping the character and personality of your spouse-to-be, so it's good to know where they're coming from.
- Decide where you're going to live - and, if feasible, find a place that's new to both of you. In my experience, it helps the transition to a sense of couplehood when you're creating a home together, rather than one moving into the other's place.
- Talk about family planning. Hopefully, you've discussed kids in general terms before you've even gotten to this point, and are at least in the same ballpark as far as whether to have them at all, how many you'd like, and how soon you'd like to start; if that's not the case, you may be setting yourself up for rocky times before you even get going. But if you agree on those basic points, now you should start considering specifics, including the question of whether one of you will scale back school or career to be an at-home parent for some period of time.
- Spend as much time together as you can, doing things that have nothing to do with planning your wedding!
randomness...feed your mind and your blog
This week marks the 100th post of 'randomness' Here's this week's questions:
1. What's your favorite ice cream flavor?
I'm actually not a big ice cream fan, which makes my family wonder if I'm actually related to them; but I'm fine with almost any variety of chocolate, except chocolate mint.
2. What shampoo do you use?
I custom-mix a my shampoos. My primary one is Redken Fresh Curls, and I'll combine it with either Bilberry Color Protect or Honey Moisturizing shampoo from The Body Shop.
3. How do you like your eggs?
4. What's the first thing you do when you get online?
Check my e-mail - don't you?
5. What is your favorite tv show?
I have a few of them; Lost, The Amazing Race, The Office, and 30 Rock are all very high on my list.
6. Which do you prefer, the sunrise or the sunset?
Sunrise - it's more peaceful to me, and there's that whole "new day, new possibilities" sense that goes with it.
7. When is the last time you went to the mall?
This past weekend, looking for clothes for my stepdaughter's trip to New York. We didn't find much...
8. What was the last food that you ate?
I'm drafting this late on Sunday morning; breakfast was cinnamon rolls, oatmeal, and strawberries.
9. What is your favorite animal?
10. Do you collect anything?
Christmas ornaments and refrigerator magnets from places I visit on vacation - and books!
Feel free to answer any or all of these yourself, of course...
And while I'm on a "ten" kick here, it occurs to me that I haven't done an iPod Random Ten for awhile, so here goes:
"Party at the End of the World," Jimmy Buffett, Take the Weather With You
"Hotel Majestic," Fountains of Wayne, Traffic and Weather
"Big and Bad," Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, This Beautiful Life
"Another Nail in My Heart," Squeeze, Greatest Hits
"Seven Bridges Road," Dolly Parton, Little Sparrow
"More Than This," Roxy Music, 200 Cigarettes (movie soundtrack)
"Red Barchetta," Rush, Moving Pictures
"We Shall Be Free," Garth Brooks, Double Live
"Further On (Up the Road)," Bruce Springsteen, The Rising
"Barrier Reef," Old 97's, Hit By a Train: The Best of Old 97's