5 things to do before you get married
So you've decided to take the plunge. The date's set and now all the little details need to be sorted before the big day -- the venue, the guest list, the menu, the outfit, et al.
But there is more to the wedding than just the day itself. There's a certain amount of planning you will need to do to ensure that your transition from single to married is a smooth one.
So here are five tasks that should hold you in good stead:
1. Make a checklist
Once the date is set, you need to work backwards and set down all tasks that will need to be seen to before the big day. Carry it with you to the office or on errands -- things may occur to you that you might forget later. As soon as you think of something that needs to be done, jot it down.
It will also help to put down a deadline for these tasks and to whom each task can be delegated. For instance, invitations will need to go out about a month before the date (or earlier if you have guests coming in from abroad), so plan for it. You could ask your best friend to handle the beautician while your brother or friend handles the transport of guests and relatives.
Try and get relatives and friends on board. Not only will they feel like an invaluable part of your celebration, but you will have more time on your hands for the things that only you can do.
The list should also include tasks that will need to be undertaken right after the wedding: change of name and address on official documents, opening of a joint bank account, etc. Since you will have some spare time after the wedding, you can use it to at least set the ball rolling on these.
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2. Clean out that closet
You are going to be moving and you have to decide whether you want to cart along every little bit of clothing you have ever bought or be wise and take only the stuff you will use. Plus, you will be buying a lot of new clothes, jewellery etc for the wedding and the occasions after, and you will need all the extra space you can get. So be wise... and ruthless!
For the grooms, be prepared to share! Get rid of (or pack away) all your old jeans and tees. Your new bride will need somewhere to put all the new clothes she has invested in and you're sure to get on her good side when she sees lots of empty shelves just waiting to be filled.
3. Figure out your finances
Whether you are the bride or groom, you should know how much money is coming in and how much is going out.
For the brides, do you want to continue working after you're married? Do you have monthly investments that will continue? Will you be opening a joint account? How much do you spend on yourself?
For the grooms, how much will be the outgoing now that there are two of you spending (from a single or double salary)? Will the household expenses be split and how?
Knowing your finances before you get hitched will put you in a better position to plan for your family's future with your spouse.
4. Grab a ladle and get cooking
This might be a given for most Indian brides, but with the number of working women on the rise, it's a must-do for men and women alike. You don't need to know how to prepare a five-course meal. But you should know how to whip up a quick snack for yourself and your spouse if either one of you is not up to the task.
Set aside some time with mum or catch one of the many cooking shows on television and take notes. Dal-chawal, a couple of quick vegetarian or non-vegetarian dishes and maybe one or two egg recipes should be good enough to start with.
5. Plan your family
Both bride and groom should give some thought to what they would like their family to be how many kids you would like to have and when. These decisions do not have to be set in stone, but once you know what you want and why, it will be easier to discuss them with your partner.
For the brides, visit a gynecologist before your wedding. Find out about the various forms of birth control that are available and which are recommended. If you have any fears or apprehensions about sex, get them cleared.
For the grooms, make sure you are aware of birth control methods as well; it is not the sole responsibility of the woman. If you have doubts about sex, get them addressed but from dependable sources. Visit a doctor or read up about it. Friends are not always the most reliable sources.
Remember, there is a lot more to marriage than just the wedding. So take the time to know yourself and your expectations. The better you know yourself, the easier it will be for your spouse to know you.