5 Things to Do Before You Get Married
The months leading up to a wedding can be one of the most exciting times in a person's life. They can also be one of the most stressful. From finding the perfect venue to planning the reception, the long list of wedding to-dos can seem never ending.
The wedding itself though is not the only thing couples need to consider before their big day. There are other vital tasks that should be completed in order to ensure not only the perfect wedding, but also the perfect start to a marriage.
Take a look below to see our list of the top 5 tasks all newlyweds should add to their pre-wedding checklists to ensure that you start your new life in perfect wedded bliss!
Here are Some of the Important Things to Do Before You Get Married:
1. Get Life Insurance
Securing life insurance should be one of the first matters of business when getting married. If you unexpectedly pass away after the wedding, your spouse could become responsible for your student loans, car payments, credit card debt, and the mortgage. This type of investment life insurance is the best way to protect your partner against a financial crisis if something were to happen to you.
While many couples choose to wait to purchase life insurance until after the birth of their first child, this could cost them in the long run. Keep in mind that the younger you are when you get life insurance, the lower your monthly payments can be. By locking in an affordable rate, you could save thousands of dollars over the course of your lifetime. Before purchasing a policy, be sure to discuss your options with a life insurance expert who can offer authoritative advice and help you get the best rate.
2. Check Marriage Requirements
Before walking down the aisle, make sure you understand all the legal requirements for marriage in your state. While some states only require a marriage license, others may require blood tests (Montana), waiting periods of up to 6 days (Wisconsin), or the presence of two witnesses at the marriage ceremony.
Checking these requirements early means that you'll be able to plan accordingly and not find out last minute that you need to do a time consuming blood test days prior to walking down the aisle.
3. Change Your Name
- Change your Social Security card
- Change your license at the DMV
- Change your bank accounts
In many states, you must sign your marriage certificate with your new name. This is why it's important to discuss whether you or your partner plan to change your name. After the wedding, be sure to take the proper steps1 to file your new name with the government and obtain the proper forms of identification such as an updated driver's license and passport.
Changing your name has consistently been cited as one of the most tedious pre- and post-wedding activities, so getting everything in order well ahead of time will make the process go much smoother.
4. Go to Premarital Counseling
By going to premarital counseling, you and your partner will have a friendly and supportive environment to discuss ways you'll handle challenges as a couple. You'll walk through topics like having children, spending money, and making decisions in order to address potential issues. This will not only help you better understand your future spouse, it will present areas for growth in your partnership. Many couples attend premarital counseling sessions with their wedding officiant, but most couples counselors offer this service as well.
Many psychologists see premarital counseling as a still rare but necessary pre-wedding step2 that has the potential to lower divorce rates and marital unhappiness significantly.
5. Update Power of Attorney
Before you get married, one of your parents is usually the person who can make any medical or legal decisions on your behalf should you become incapacitated. Once you marry though that person will, in all likelihood, become your new spouse. Be sure to update your power of attorney paperwork to ensure that your spouse can make relevant decisions on your behalf that you've both discussed and agreed to.
According to LegalZoom, "Although your spouse has some rights over property you own together, like joint bank accounts, they are restricted from doing certain things with that property. For example, generally both spouses must consent in writing in order to sell jointly-owned property. If you're not able to sign such a document because you're incapacitated or can't be present, this sort of sale could be delayed or not allowed at all. To fix this problem, you may need a power of attorney to give your spouse more legal authority."3
Best Way to Start a Marriage
While adding these tasks to your list of things to do before a wedding may feel overwhelming, you can be sure that each item you complete will set you up for a happier life together. By putting in some extra time before you get married, you and your partner may be knowledgeable about your future and feel more stable moving forward.