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24 Things You Absolutely, Positively Must Do Before Saying I Do

  |   By Alison McGill

You are about to enter an amazing new life phase which requires a bit of prep before transitioning from ME to WE. There are things that need to be done, experiences to be had, life to be lived! We have thoughts, and we also crowd-sourced some thoughts on our social media platforms to come up with this hit list of 24 things (in no particular order!) we think are essential to tick off the life list before saying "I Do."

No.
01

Learn to cook.

Shot of a happy young couple using a digital tablet while preparing a healthy meal together at home iStock.com / PeopleImages

Sure, romantic dinners are great for a fledgling romance, but as you start your new journey as newlyweds, you're going to need to plan for the long-term. Cooking delicious meals at home is more than a money saver; it's also a great way to bond as a couple.

No.
02

Master a signature dinner party dish.

Shot of friends having a dinner party at a restaurant iStock.com / PeopleImages

Chances are you're going to be entertaining guests — either for a casual meet and greet or during the holidays. Having a signature dish will help ensure you've got something delicious to serve when your in-laws stop over with a jello salad.

No.
03

Go away for a weekend. Alone.

Close up of a young couple enjoying time on the beach iStock.com / vorDa

Weekends away will help build lasting memories for years to come. It's also an excellent opportunity to get to know your partner in a new setting, away from the distractions of your day-to-day lives.

No.
04

Talk budget.

Close-up view of man and woman making account of family income. Writing down and calculating expenses. Attentive review of finance. Calculator on desk. Economy concept iStock.com / megaflopp

As in yours, his and your collective home one. Also, now is the time to get all the money matters on the table, don't hide any debt!

No.
05

Do a home purge.

Cropped shot of a young woman packing away clean laundry at home iStock.com / mapodile

A new life phase equals new stuff. You're building a life as a couple, and while it's important to hold on to mementos from your past, you don't need to keep every trinket that's been in a box for years.

No.
06

Take a dance lesson.

Happy Latin American couple taking dancing lessons at a dance studio and smiling iStock.com / Hispanolistic

Even if you're a master of the dance floor, it's a fun thing to do as a couple. Taking dance lessons is another unique way to grow together as a couple and can help lead to spontaneous romantic moments.

No.
07

Have the kid chat.

Happy young couple with digital tablet and coffee cup at park iStock.com / triloks

It's surprising how many couples aren't on the same page about this one before saying "I do.' Respect your partner's feelings and know people's attitudes toward children evolve over time but don't set a hard and fast rule.

No.
08

Have the pet chat.

LGBTQI couple and their dachshund dog walking on the beach in Tynemouth in the North East of England. They are taking a selfie on one of their mobile phones. iStock.com / SolStock

Dogs? Cats? Ferrets? Birds? Are you aligned in your pet choices? Pets are like kids and can be a great precursor to babies, but they're also a lot of responsibility.

No.
09

Adopt a regular self-care routine.

Young couple at home practicing yoga. They are watching online fitness live streaming classes. iStock.com / svetikd

Nightly bath? Workout? Meditation sesh? It's important to keep your body and mind active. Find your groove and stick to it.

No.
10

Travel together for at least a week or more.

Young Asian couple taking a selfie self portrait at the Eiffel Tower in Paris iStock.com / davidf

Hopefully, you still like the person on return! You don't truly know someone until you travel (or live) with someone!

No.
11

Talk about home expectations.

Happy young couple doing the ironing together at home iStock.com / StefaNikolic

What will each of you be responsible for on the day-to-day running of the household? (i.e., laundry, cooking, cleaning, bill paying, outdoor maintenance). Running a house isn't a job for one; it's a team task!

No.
12

Consider marriage classes.

Young mixed race pregnant couple having a marriage counseling session to fix the problems in their relationship. iStock.com / urbazon

It sounds terribly old-fashioned, but classes can actually be interesting and informative and make you think about what this new life phase means and entails. It's not easy.

No.
13

Shop for lingerie.

Husband and wife choosing a set of underwear. iStock.com / Zinkevych

For under your gown, your wedding night, your new married life. Little things mean a lot.

No.
14

Have a physical.

Nurse explaining good news to female patient iStock.com / Courtney Hale

While it can be a little unnerving to start planning for the future, a healthy life is a happy life.

No.
15

Live apart.

Confident young Asian man looking at smartphone while working on laptop computer in home office. iStock.com / AsiaVision

Independence is a cornerstone of a healthy relationship, and long distance is not easy but, in most cases, makes the heart grow founder. It's important for each of you to bring your unique life experiences to the relationship; that's what makes you you!

No.
16

Have lunch with your in-laws-to-be.

Shot of a family eating lunch together outdoors iStock.com / gradyreese

Just you and them. You're going to be spending years with your in-laws, and if all goes well, hopefully, you'll feel like part of the family soon enough.

No.
17

Have your engagement ring cleaned, plated and the setting checked.

Jeweler is polishing a diamond ring. iStock.com / solidcolours

A lot of time and effort was spent finding the perfect engagement ring, and you'll want it looking fresh and fabulous for your wedding day.

No.
18

Buy yourself wedding gifts.

Young man in shopping looking for presents iStock.com / Bobex-73

Yes, you'll be receiving gifts from friends, family, and strangers. Celebrating each other with a unique keepsake before the main event is essential.

No.
19

Have a hair and makeup trial AND book a date for that night.

Beautiful bride on makeup before wedding iStock.com / bedya

Great glam should never be wasted! Book a reservation, and have a fancy dinner. You'll feel like a million bucks.

No.
20

Keep bank accounts in both your own names.

Couple planning their finances on the kitchen iStock.com / kate_sept2004

But also open a joint one to access for everyday costs. Also, wedding guests will make cheques out in both your names, so you need to be able to cash and stash those!

No.
21

Have girlfriend time.

Three happy hipster young women taking selfie sitting in a vintage van during a summer road trip iStock.com / wundervisuals

Take time to travel with your girls and enjoy all the fun they bring to your life. BTW, this shouldn't stop when you are married—girls' trips are essential for keeping you grounded.

No.
22

Adopt a solid skin regime and routine.

Shot of a beautiful young woman holding up a face cream product iStock.com / LaylaBird

You don't want to end up looking like Robert Redford by the time you're 35. Skin care's important not just for your wedding day, but for life! Also, SPF daily… just do it!

No.
23

Decide how you will spend the holidays as marrieds.

Happy surprise for friend with present at Christmas and and New Year. iStock.com / LuckyBusiness

It's the most stressful time of the year, and your families will want every second you can give them. Think about how you will juggle commitments and make a plan to stick to it.

No.
24

Enjoy your engagement.

Shot of a young couple dancing together in their kitchen iStock.com / Hiraman

Being engaged is great! You'll get to learn what makes each other tick during challenging times, celebrate each other's wins, and lean on your partner in times of need. It's just the first step on the road of your life journey together!

This article was originally published on Dec 04, 2021
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