One of you has just popped the big question, and now everything feels slightly different. Of course, a financial conversation with your new fiancé might be the furthest thing from your mind as you bask in pre-wedded bliss. However, making sure you’re both on the same page and aware of one another’s expectations can be instrumental in setting the foundation for a successful wedding—and married life—thereafter.
The wedding conversation
The wedding conversation is likely at the top of your minds. Maybe you have a firm sense of what they want but haven’t yet verbalized your ideas. Perhaps you’ve been planning your wedding for years but haven’t let your fiancé in on what your dream day looks like. Whatever the case, it will benefit you both to discuss your wedding plans sooner rather than later. Where do you envision it taking place? How many guests will you invite? Will you have a big wedding party or keep it small? Are your visions aligned, or will you have to meet somewhere in the middle? The sooner you figure out wedding-related logistics, the sooner you can begin talking about your big-picture financial goals as a couple.
Is your future spouse saving for retirement? Are you putting away cash for a big vacation or a home? Does one or both of you plan on purchasing a permanent life insurance policy like whole life insurance or universal life insurance? What are your financial goals, how do they align with your partner’s, and what do they look like when combined? Mapping out your goals as a couple is a major step towards building a life together.
Your and your fiancé’s priorities don’t have to align perfectly, but they should overlap in certain places, and, more importantly, they should be communicated! Perhaps your priority is finishing school before setting aside the time and resources for a wedding. Maybe your fiancé’s priority is to travel the world with you within your first year of marriage. Having an honest discussion about what you want will help to guarantee that both of your needs are being met now and in the future.
Perhaps you’ve already combined finances with your fiancé, or perhaps they’re entirely separate. It’s possible that you have different comfort levels or expectations around combining finances. Whatever your preferences, encourage your fiancé to be open and honest with you about their outlook, and give them the same level of openness and honesty in return.
Planning for the future
Discussing your financial goals, talking about your priorities, and deciding whether you want to combine your finances are all ways you and your future spouse can envision your future together. Square away the details now so you can get back to what’s most important—living in the moment.