Northwestern Mutual: 4 Things to Do Before Planning a Wedding

NEW YORK, July 28, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- A marriage is not only a lifelong romantic partnership but a financial one as well — and weddings can be expensive. Before hiring any vendors or picking flowers, engaged couples may want to take these four steps to help the wedding planning process go more smoothly:

1. Be on the same page financially

Marriage is a big step toward building a life together and can bring a number of fiscal advantages. Honest communication between partners early on can help a couple understand what their finances will look like once they're married as well as start to set a budget for the wedding. 

In addition to the tax benefits inherent to the institution itself, marriage presents a number of new financial options, like opening joint bank accounts or seeking coverage under a spouse's insurance plan. In an effort to ensure their loved ones are provided for in case the unexpected happens, many couples opt for a life insurance policy with their partner as the beneficiary. A term life policy, which lasts for a set number of years, may suit the needs of newlyweds on a budget. Couples with a little more financial flexibility who are in the market for a permanent life insurance policy may want to consider whole or universal life insurance.

Given the number of options available upon getting married, it can benefit couples to jointly outline their long-term goals along with their financial plan for reaching them.

2. Establish a budget

Setting a budget is many couples' first step when planning a wedding — before doing so, it can be helpful to get an accurate picture of the total funds available. In many cultures, it is traditional for parents to pay for their children's weddings. Before establishing a budget, it is important to have a serious conversation with whomever is funding the wedding to obtain a clear understanding of the resources at hand.

Discussions regarding expected contributions are often the ideal time to set boundaries as well. Having a frank discussion with contributors about how much they want to be involved in planning the wedding can allow couples to more easily manage their families' input and expectations. 

After figuring out the total available budget, the couple can begin efficiently laying out and prioritizing what they want for the wedding.

3. Set priorities

Getting the perfect combination of venue, vendors, and entertainment to line up on the ideal date can be difficult. Few couples have the money to pay for every aspect of their dream wedding, and some sort of compromise is usually necessary. 

It can be helpful to set priorities early: that means establishing what's non-negotiable and what can be modified in the name of practicality. For example, does a couple really want a live band, or would they be just as okay with a DJ? By establishing their priorities beforehand, engaged couples can quickly adapt their plans to whatever new challenges lie ahead.

4. Ask important questions

Once the budget is established and priorities are set, couples may want to ask each other important questions regarding their hopes and concerns with the wedding. This can help them decide on specifics. For example, will they write their own vows? What part of the day will be most important to them? 

By asking each other about their preferences and keeping an open line of communication, couples can establish their expectations for the wedding before they start making any plans. This way, they can avoid any surprises down the road.

A lifelong partnership

Discussing budgets, joint accounts, and expectations may seem less than romantic, but it is nevertheless beneficial to have these talks beforehand. Wedding planning can be stressful, so it's important for couples to remember why they're doing it all in the first place: to create the foundation for a lifelong partnership, and that's what really matters.


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