5 Ways To Plan For Your Marriage—Not Just Your Wedding
What's the number-one thing you need to account for when planning your wedding? It's not the dress, the flowers or the honeymoon—it's your actual marriage! Here's what to consider before you tie the...
Planning a wedding is an exciting time for a bride. It's easy to get caught up in planning the centerpieces, the layout of the reception, the details of the ceremony, and more. Once it's all done at the end of the day, you've married your best friend. But don't forget to spend time preparing for the actual marriage. After all, the most important moments will happen after you say "I do."

Here are five things you and your fiancé should be doing to prepare for marriage.

Vocalize Your Expectations
As the wedding approaches, you and your fiancé should be having intentional conversations about what your expectations are for your marriage. If you never thought you'd take your fiancé's last name but you forget to tell him, it could lead to an awkward situation later. Have conversations about your finances, where you'll live, if and when you have kids, your short and long term goals, and everything in between. The more you communicate, the better.


Register For The Items You Need
While it's SO fun (and easy) to get caught up registering for the décor that is pretty and makes your heart soar, you may end up with a lot of things you don't need. So sure, you may love the polka dot throw pillows, but you also need that second set of flatware. Be honest about what you each have and first register for the things you truly need. Of course register for a few fun things, but make sure you don't overlook the things you need as you merge homes (if you haven't already).

Have A Flexible Mindset
When you get married, you have to be willing to give up some things. Marriage frequently requires compromise and the willingness to let go. You may have become accustomed to a weekly manicure but perhaps that becomes an expense to remove from your newlywed budget. As long as you're willing to be flexible and make adjustments to your lifestyle (after all, you're getting married—hello, huge adjustment), you'll be on the right path.


Ask For Advice
Like all new things, it's very helpful to ask married folks if they have any wise words about marriage. When you're engaged, you're most likely receiving a lot of advice about marriage and your wedding (warranted and non-warranted). That may turn you off to the idea of receiving advice in general, but honestly, if someone you trust is giving you solid advice on marriage, don't take it for granted. Take things with a grain of salt, but look to those who have said "I do" before you. It can make all the difference.

Plan Date Nights
When you get married and are together almost every hour of every day, you forget about dates. Dates are a great way to spend intentional time together. Sure it's nice at night to sit next to each other and read, or watch a movie, but setting aside quality time is important. It's fun to plan cute ideas for dates you can go on, and restaurants you want to try out. Write a summer bucket list, and include things like going on weekend road trips, making watermelon sorbet (this in on my list) and going on bike rides! This is also a great way to explore your city if you've just moved somewhere new together. Overall, planning fun date ideas will help make it a priority in your relationship even after you've tied the knot.

When you're wedding planning, it's easy to pour your time and energy into planning the actual wedding day itself, but don't forget about everything that comes after "I do!"

Style Me Pretty Contributor - Kylie Thompson is a freelance writer, blogger and marketing professional from Grand Rapids Michigan, where she resides with her husband. When she isn't working, you will find her exploring Grand Rapids' newest culinary establishments with her husband, or traveling up and down Lake Michigan's coast.