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A To-Do List, Before You Say I Do

By: Maire:

If you thought planning the wedding was an involved process, you might not be happy to hear that there are other important logistics you'll have to undertake before your big day. Aside from figuring out finances, legally changing your last name and conducting all the boring tasks everyone has to complete during the engagement period, there are also several less technical aspects to prepare for. For a glimpse at both the logistical and personal life changes to come, consider the following list of what to expect and what to prepare for when you're engaged.

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His and Hers
Unfortunately, most institutions don't equate engagements with marriages, when it comes to insurance benefits. This means that, until the knot is officially tied, you won't get to enjoy all of the perks that come with being married, such as tax breaks, the ability to receive coverage on your spouse's insurance, visitation rights and so on. If you do not currently have insurance but don't want to commit to an extensive coverage plan, while you’re engaged; a great solution to have access to is a short term medical insurance policy, until you're officially married during this period. For a more specific look at financial considerations and to take full advantage of tax breaks once you are married, make sure to talk to your accountant during your engagement as well.

A Family Affair
Getting married means you both will merge your families together. Although this can broaden your circle of loved ones, it can also cause a few conflicts. The nagging you're used to from your own parents will be doubled, the pressure to pop out some grand kids will officially be on, and don't even get me started on the arguments that erupt over where you'll spend the holidays. As the marriage grows, you'll be able to work through these problems more effectively, but don't be alarmed when they start rearing their ugly heads during the engagement period.

Moving Day
Whether you choose to move in together before or after the wedding, sharing a space with your true love allows you to learn a lot about that person—and maybe a few things you didn't really want to know. If you're a neat freak but he's a disorganized mess, this could be turn into a source of conflict during the marriage. Practice compromising with one another and communicate about your concerns and habits before they become unpleasant surprises during your first few weeks living together.

A Look at the Long Term
Although I would recommend discussing the long term with your partner before the engagement, this period is a great time to make sure you and your partner are on the same page when it comes to your outlook for the future. For example, does your partner want children; if so, how many? What religion (if any) does your partner subscribe to and is this important for the marriage and your life together? Where do you both see yourselves in 10 years? 20 years? 50 years? Marriage is supposed to be "till death do us part," so it's important that you and your partner share similar goals and expectations for the road ahead.

After you're finished showing off your ring and daydreaming about life with your new hubby, it's essential that you plan extensively to make sure the marriage goes just as smooth as the wedding. This doesn't mean that you shouldn't enjoy the romantic mood of this time, but that you should balance realistic goals with your wedding day fantasies. As always, communication is key, so be sure to talk one-on-one with your spouse about your concerns so you can walk down the aisle with confidence.

Mairehas attended several weddings this summer, all them she was related to the bride. If she doesn't know about bridal flowers, cake or bridesmaid dress, she can tell you all about the paperwork! She also has a baking addiction and loves yoga.

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