Getting married is a life-changing event, for better or for worse. For richer or for poorer. In sickness and in health…Yep, with statements this seismic, it’s in your best interest to think through the details and logistics of marriage very carefully before diving in and saying yes.

We’re sorry if this falls on the practical rather than romantic side of outlooks, but these things matter. Indeed, there are some key aspects you’ll want to mull over and think about before you get married, and there’s certainly nothing wrong with being a bit cautious and ensuring it’s the right path for you before you say “I do.” The last thing you want is to be thinking ”I don’t want to’’ later down the line.

So, with our realist hat on before we wear our wedding one, let’s be honest; marriage and civil partnerships aren’t just about love and wedding bells, you’re also entering into a major contract for life. With that in mind, here are 6 considerations to think about before you get married.

YOUR EXPECTATIONS & VALUES

Your wedding is one day, but your marriage is forever. Therefore, you’re going to want to think about your future before you tie the knot. For example, consider your finances, where you’ll live, and how you’ll divide up household responsibilities; all the not-terribly-exciting-stuff, but the stuff which will have a huge bearing on how smoothly your life runs. 

Another significant matter you’ll want to discuss ahead of time is if you want to have kids and how many. There may also be other vital conversations you need to have, such as shared or divergent religious beliefs and career goals, and really, nothing should be off the table here. These are all areas and topics that can impact a marriage and if it lasts – and while you don’t necessarily have to be on the same page about everything, what is important is that you respect each other’s values and beliefs. 

IF YOU’RE HAPPY

Before you get married, think about if you’re truly happy now, rather than excepting things to change immediately just because you’ve a new ring on your finger. Sit down and review your relationship, and if your potential life partner will bring you joy. Marriage isn’t going to solve your underlying problems, both in your relationship and your own, or make them disappear.

Marriage can be challenging, and some days will be more difficult than others. You need to make sure that your partner is a team player and that you two are on the same page and will both be willing and able to give equally to the relationship. If you love the person but aren’t happy, then it may be a warning sign that there are issues you two need to work out before you commit. 

CAN YOU AFFORD IT?  

Weddings are notoriously expensive – the average cost is over £30,000, which is more than the UK’s average salary. It’s therefore wise to ask yourselves, as a couple, if you can truly afford a wedding and if the money might be better off directed elsewhere. 

Do consider a low-key ceremony as an affordable alternative. Bear in mind that rules surrounding weddings are in a state of flux currently, and are constantly changing, with only small ceremonies currently allowed. At the time of writing, a maximum of 30 people were permitted. Check the government’s website for COVID-secure wedding guidance and an updated list of rule changes. 

THE JEWELLERY

Speaking of costs, the engagement and wedding ring also contribute hugely to these. For many, if you’re serious about getting married, then an engagement ring will symbolise this promise to each other. As such, many Brits decide to spend a huge amount on one, with one study revealing an average spend of £1042

However, couples today also care about quality and provenance over cost prioritising sustainability and ethics over cost. Many conscious bride and groom couples opt for a recycled diamond which are many jeweller’s standard conflict free-diamond option. That, or lab grown diamonds, which are increasing in popularity. 

To ensure you’re buying from a trustworthy store, be sure to ask for the diamond’s certification – this is an important document that contains information about the diamonds quality (cut, colour, clarity and carat weight). Buying documented engagement rings with GIA certified diamonds will give you peace of mind. Moreover, The GIA Diamond Origin Report can help you determine a diamond’s geographic origin, to help you make an ethically sound buying decision.

In a more aware, awake world, the ethics of your diamond ring looks likely to be a key consideration in years to come.

THE FINANCIAL BENEFITS

While it may be outdated, and potentially raises questions about the institution of marriage, there are several financial benefits to getting married which should be considered in the lead up. As such, marriage can leave couples better off over time.

In short, marriage means you can transfer money and assets between each other, tax-free, reducing your tax bill. Morbidly, many of the financial rights involve death, including that you can potentially get a bigger state pension if your spouse dies, as your spouse won’t pay inheritance tax. ”As long as you both shall live’’, indeed. 

IS MARRIAGE RIGHT FOR YOU? 

Most importantly you need to consider if marriage is right for you. Marriage is a commitment you’re making to each other to spend the rest of your lives together. Therefore, think through the fact that you’re going to be with your partner each day going forward. Consider how you currently handle and resolve conflict, and if you feel there’s honest and open communication between the two of you. Picture yourselves blending your lives and families and what interests you share that you think will help you build a solid foundation for marriage. Be realistic and honest with yourself if you can see you spending your future days with this person.