Photo: Lynne Brubaker Photography
In the months since he proposed, you and your fiancé have chatted about how you'll divide your finances, who'll wash the dishes, and whether you want kids. But experts agree there are five questions you probably haven't asked — that you totally should — before you walk down the aisle.
1. How will we spend holidays?
"In-laws can compete for your company at Thanksgiving as if it were the Olympics and your presence is the gold," says April Masini, relationship expert and author of Think and Date Like a Man. Avoid holiday squabbles by discussing the ideas of trading off years, inviting everyone to big, blended-family events, or whatever creative solution you agree to, together. "If you don't ask these questions before the wedding, you're going to run up against time constraints [and] emotional blocks that will cause unwanted fighting, and worse — feuding," Masini says.
2. Are you willing to relocate for a job?
Waiting until you land your dream job to ask if your husband if he's willing to move across the country could turn into a nightmare. Discuss your long-term goals upfront and just how far you're willing to travel to achieve them — or see him achieve his. "It's important to discuss where you want to raise children, too, and whether you're willing to live away from family," psychologist Lauren Napolitano says.
3. Is it ever okay to take off your wedding band?
We can all agree your husband shouldn't hit the bar without his wedding band — but what about the basketball court? Some men aren't comfortable playing sports while wearing jewelry, and you may want to shed yours to garden or get a mani. "The wedding ring issue touches on issues of respect," Napolitano explains. So decide when and if it's okay for either of you to go ring-less before you slip them on for the first time. "If you will feel disrespected by your spouse's removal of his ring, you need to make that clear upfront," Napolitano says.
4. What's the deal with our exes?
Exes, especially when children are involved, can linger long after a relationship is over. So is there a place for your pasts in your present? "You should ask each other how you feel about not inviting exes to the wedding, and then how you expect to include them in your married life afterward," Masini says. "When couples have different expectations of including exes in their lives, fireworks — and not the good kind — can erupt."
5. What's your ideal lifestyle?
Do you dream of living in a 200-year-old farmhouse while your beau longs to settle into city life? "Many couples differ on this issue and it creates significant problems," Napolitano warns. Lay your lifestyle blueprints on the table and if they don't match, search for a middle ground. "If you can compromise — say a small house or townhouse outside of a city — then both parties can be happy," Napolitano says.