A lot of energy, time, and money go into planning your wedding, especially when families are trying to outdo each other with fireworks, helicopters, and exotic locations.
Expenses rack up quickly when you factor in the venue, food, rentals, photography, videography, suits, dresses, hair, makeup, decor, DJ, dance floor, food, alcohol, flowers, decor, and so much more. It’s no wonder, some tack on the expense of a wedding planner to manage all these moving parts.
But how much energy, time, and money will go into planning your future as a married couple?
Too often, we get cases where couples butt heads (and sometimes separate or divorce) because they didn’t see eye to eye on life’s most important issues—even though they had the “perfect” wedding.
We’re not saying you shouldn’t have your dream wedding, but we believe it’s just as, if not more, important to devote resources to preparing for your marriage as you embark on a lifelong journey with your partner.
Here are 3 reasons why.
Your wedding is a moment, but your marriage is a lifetime.
You may have dreamt of your wedding since you were a kid. And that’s a beautiful thing. It’s even more exciting to be close to that moment now. And that’s the thing about weddings—they’re only a day or a weekend in the long timeline of your marriage.
Most of the people who’ll be at your wedding probably won’t be there with you in the trenches of your marriage (in fact, you might not ever see most of them ever again). It’s up to you and your partner to start preparing now to set yourselves up for long-term success because you are the two people that will be working through your marriage together.
Here’s a great place to start: Begin discussing each other’s goals as individuals and as a couple. Use this guide to help you with questions to ask of each other. If disagreements and challenges come up, work through them! Establish a precedent of having constructive and collaborative conversations now to limit the chance of surprises after you tie the knot.
As you go through the motions of wedding planning, it’s vital to remember that there’s a bigger picture here. Carve out that energy, time, and money to plan for your marriage so that you enter it on your wedding day with hope, clarity, alignment, and excitement—not naiveté, worry, vagueness, and fear.
BEFORE getting married, what conversations about MONEY should you have with your partner?
Use this guide to discuss budgets, assets, debts, goals, joints bank accounts and more.Get the guide
Shift your mindset from spending to investing.
The brutal truth is that your wedding requires spending a lot of time and money that creates memories, but nothing much more in return. For some, the financial stress both before and after the wedding becomes a major issue.
However, it pays dividends to invest the time up front to have open, honest and, sometimes, uncomfortable discussions about finances and your future.
Bottom line: you’ll get much more long-term value from working on your marriage than a lavish wedding. And it’s all about communication. Here are a few topics you should discuss with your partner:
- Money, finances, assets, debts
- Family, culture, traditions, religion
- Children, children schooling, saving money for children’s expenses
- 1-year, 2-year, 5-year plans
- Work, education, hobbies, interests
- Shared activities, independent activities
Use this helpful Guide to Talking Money with your partner to kickstart some of these powerful conversations. It’s imperative to transcribe these talks into a mutually beneficial prenuptial agreement so that you avoid agreeing to a “default prenup” when you officially get married.
Establishing a foundation of transparency and thoughtful communication creates a blueprint for successfully navigating unforeseen financial and life decisions as a married couple. The end result is a potential plan that can sustain happiness—beyond your wedding day.
Your wedding is a show, but your marriage is the real story.
Some couples become myopic and focus so much on the public display of weddings, that they overlook potential issues that can affect the sustainability of their married relationship. A wedding should be a shared celebration of love, not just a flex of how much money you have and what you can do to have it be the “talk of the town” – good or bad.
The bigger point here is that you should be aware if your wedding starts to become more about other people and less about you and your partner. This is a dangerous precedent for your marriage. When you think more about appearances and the judgment of others over what you and your partner want and need, your marriage will suffer. We’ve seen it happen time and time again.
The point is, you can have an extravagant wedding if you can afford it, but, along the way, don’t sacrifice the most essential part—making decisions on what’s best for you and your partner and the long-term health of your marriage.
If you’re nodding your head to the heeded advice above, then share this article with your partner and gauge how they feel. See where that conversation takes you and continue to dive deeper with this guide. Sure it can be tough, but that’s the point. Having these talks now can avoid even tougher situations after you’ve wedded. You’ll be legally and financially committed once you’re married, so don’t let the wedding get in the way of the real work it takes to thrive. If you need guidance through these important talks, especially with regards to money and crafting a custom prenup, reach out to us—we’d be happy to help.