Getting married is a huge milestone, but it’s easy to get caught up in the wedding planning and forget what it actually means. Tying the knot with someone you love is a major commitment that usually leads to other life changes, such as buying a home or having children, so it’s not something you should do before you’re ready. Whether you’re getting hitched in a matter of months or years, don’t fret – there is still time to fulfill some of those life goals.
With all the hype leading up to finding the one and getting married, many people spend too much time focusing on the destination and not enough time on the journey. Aside from finding the perfect bridal gown and scouring the web for beautiful wedding venues in London and other scenic locations, there are plenty of other items to add to your pre-marital bucket list, and not all of them involve wedding planning.
If you’re fed up with looking at wedding china and choosing bridal bouquets, here are eight non-wedding-related things you can do before getting married.
Plan a Girls’ Vacation
No one’s saying you can’t do this once you’re married, but going on vacation with your best girlfriends (whether it’s a hen party or just a holiday) is the perfect bonding experience. Trips with friends are also fun, but they become increasingly difficult to organize once people start settling down.
According to a recent study, the biggest regret of those who’ve married and had kids was not going traveling before they settled down. So if you’re in a position to get on a plane before your wedding and see another corner of the world then go now – before life gets in the way.
Learn to Manage Your Money
If you’ve started planning your wedding, then you’ll realize just how expensive adult life can be. Get your finances straight now, however, and the expenses to come (such as saving for a house, having children or buying a car) will be easier on your wallet. If you haven’t done so already, open a savings account and start depositing a small amount each month. You never know when you might need that emergency cash.
Go On a Retreat
If you’re someone who’s been in a string of serious relationships, then chances are you’ve never spent much time alone. You don’t need to have lived or even traveled alone before you get married, but spending some time alone will help you reflect on what’s to come. Book a weekend retreat or go on a short trip on your own to give yourself time to check in with number one.
Have an Argument
It may seem strange to encourage conflict, but arguments are important in relationships because they teach couples how to resolve disagreements. Your feelings should never be bottled up, and it’s better to have a few major fights before you get married so you can see how your partner responds to trouble. Does he stick around and look for a resolution, or does he run for the hills when times get tough?
Talk About the Future
As contradictory as it sounds, it’s surprisingly easy to run headfirst into marriage without giving much consideration to the future. Do you both want to travel the world, or settle down in the suburbs? Can you both envision children, or are your views about having kids completely different? It’s not uncommon for couples to disagree about these things, but the key is to work on a compromise rather than keeping quiet.
Learn to Say No
If you’re someone who says “yes” when you actually mean “no,” then you’re going to want to address this issue before entering into a lifelong partnership. Relationships are two-sided, and continually putting someone else’s needs above your own is only going to spark trouble in the long run.
Get to Know His Family and Friends
Seeing as you’re going to be spending your life with your partner, it makes sense to meet his family and get to know his friends before you tie the knot. The company someone keeps can tell you a lot about them and how adept they are at maintaining long-term relationships with loved ones. Whether you go the whole hog and introduce both families before the wedding is up to you, but this is hardly a game-changer. You’re the ones who are going to be spending your lives together, not them, so it doesn’t matter if they don’t see eye-to-eye or things feel awkward.