Photo: Getty Images
Flower and menu options aren't the only types of things you need to discuss with your fiancé before walking down the aisle. Far more important matters are those real life issues that will impact both of your futures. Take time to discuss:
1. Changing your name
It may be the 21st century but don't be surprised if your groom and/or his family get touchy if you decide not to adopt their family name. If so, be sensitive when broaching the subject. If you're opting for a moniker makeover, you've got choices: taking just his last name, putting a hyphen between your last name and his, or using your maiden name as a middle name and his last name as your last name.
2. Handling finances
Will you each keep separate bank accounts? Have an additional joint account for bill paying and savings? Is one of you better suited to paying bills or will you divvy them up? If you've got a secret overseas bank account, now's the time to confess all.
3. Buying a house
This is really all about having shared financial goals, whether it's saving for a home, car, or retirement. If one of you is a saver and the other a spender, you'll need to come up with realistic goals you're both comfortable with.
4. Having kids
Don't be surprised if you get asked about future babies at your wedding! No need to divulge your timetable with Aunt Minnie but you and your groom should have an idea when to start trying and how many little ones you want, if that's in your game plan.
5. Spending the holidays
This is another potentially touchy subject, especially if your families don't live close to one another. Do what's fair and kind — maybe switching off holidays, i.e., spend Thanksgiving with your folks and Christmas with his, and do the reverse the next year. Or have both families at your place, if you've got the space and the budget.
6. Seeing friends
Once you've got the ring, you may find you want to spend less time with your friends and more with your new spouse. That's natural but don't go cold turkey on them. If Friday night cocktails with your pals is a tradition, keep doing it — and see if he'll arrange poker games the same night with his crew. A happy marriage includes spending time with other important people in your life.