Sunday, July 19, 2009

Soapbox Sunday -- Bridezillas?

Recently, I watched a couple of episodes of Bridezillas. If you haven't seen it, I think of it like a Jerry Springer version of weddings. It started to make me wonder about the average bride and how many women were out there who were that crazy about having a wedding that they forgot to think about the marriage that would be formed in the process.

I'm thrilled to be able to offer inspiration and ideas to other couples planning their weddings. I also know that when the details get overwhelming, it can be easy to lose sight. I'm not here to school anyone, because no one knows your relationship better than the two of you. I just hope that brides (and grooms) take a moment to consider.

If you are currently engaged, please have a few important discussions with your fiancé before you get too carried away. Here are a few necessary conversations to have with your fiancé before you get married:

Discuss family. Do you want children? Does your fiancé want children? If so, how many would you both like, and what kind of timeline are you imagining? If not, how are you going to prevent it from happening? If one says yes and one says no, how does that change your relationship? Is that a deal breaker? What about your families (parents, siblings, etc) -- where will they fit in? Where will you be spending the holidays? Will you alternate families or holidays every year? Will you try to visit both families for each holiday? Speaking of holidays and children, what about religion?

Discuss finances. Do either of you have debt? If so, who is going to pay for it, how, and when? What about your credit scores? I know it doesn’t sound romantic, but if you’re dreaming about buying a home together and one of you has bad credit, that bad credit score is applied to both of you and is what your loan will be based on. Who is going to pay the bills? Will you each handle your own personal bills, or will one of you write all of the checks? Does one of you make significantly more than the other? Will you split expenses evenly, or will one of you be taking on more financial responsibility? Will you share bank accounts, or maintain separate accounts? When it comes to large purchases, do you expect to always make the decision together? If so, what qualifies as a large purchase? Do the two of you agree on the answers to these questions, and if not, what are you going to do about it? What are your spending styles? Does one of you immediately blow their paycheck, while the other one counts every penny? Do you have a plan that you can both live with, or are you going to drive each other crazy? Is this a deal breaker?

Discuss living habits. For example, I tend to be a big mess and Dylan tends to be tidy. I’m not a total pig, but I tend to let things stack up. And then Dylan goes, “Ooo, stuff to organize!” and sorts it for me. Sometimes I drive him crazy, but mostly we do pretty well. Plus, we both agree that if we’re having company over that we’ll clean like crazy people and make sure everything is presentable. Who is going to do household chores? Who will do most of the cooking? Who will do the dishes, the laundry, and the household cleaning? Using us as an example again, I do most of the cooking and Dylan does the dishes. He vacuums and I do most of the laundry (unless he gets his work clothes really filthy, then he does it himself so that my head doesn’t explode.) If you already live together and have a pretty good idea of your fiancé’s personal habits, are you ready to deal with them forever? From all accounts, it’s not going to get any better.

So the bottom line is really get to know the person you're marrying. Don't rush into marriage because you're excited about having a wedding.

Don't be a Bridezilla...

...or I'll send squirrels to eat your cake.

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