50 things everyone should know about getting married
What you should know about marriage while you’re dating
If you and your partner don't communicate well, get to work.
Communication doesn't get easier over time, and as life gets more serious -- think work, money, kids -- getting hitched to a partner you can't talk to is a marriage DON'T. Before you get engaged, make sure you and your guy can talk about anything -- and make sure you do.
Your proposal -- and wedding -- may not be magical.
Your proposal and wedding day will undoubtedly be special and memorable. But there's a caveat: You've spent so much time building up each moment in your head that when those moments come, they may be as awkward and un-perfect as any first-time experience, says Meredith Bodgas, weddings blogger at Merital Bliss. Relax -- the "flaws" in your stories will end up being your favorite parts to recount.
You might not like your engagement ring.
Some couples decide to pick out the bride's ring together, but others are intent on a surprise. If you want the jaw-drop shock moment, you run the risk of not being crazy about your ring. If you don't want to chance getting a ring you don't love, consider discussing a proposal with a family ring or solid band instead -- or try dropping hints or discussing the details.
If you don't like your engagement ring, it's OK to change it!
Your new fiancé won't feel like less of a man if you don't love your engagement ring and want to switch it -- just be kind in how you let him know. Saying something like "After wearing it for a bit, I think white gold fits in more with the rest of my jewelry" instead of "I hate yellow gold!" will get the same job done, says Kim Fusaro, weddings blogger for Glamour's Save the Date blog.
Some things will change when you get engaged.
The minute you flip your Facebook status to "engaged," you'll find that people will respect your relationship more (it's a great feeling!). Bodgas says you'll start to look at money differently and adjust your spending habits knowing a wedding is impending, you'll feel closer to your fiancé, and you won't consider it silly looking at wedding magazines.
Other things won't change at all once you're engaged.
Your disagreements won't magically poof away (though you'll never again argue about getting engaged!), and your day-to-day life won't change much either, Bodgas says.
Everyone will want to see you the second you get engaged.
You can tweet pictures of your ring or send out as many emails as you want, but people are going to want real, live face-time. To avoid calendar (and stress) overload, try scheduling a mass get-together so all your local friends and family can celebrate at once.
You may have to go out of your way to maintain a life separate from your guy.
Dependence is tempting -- and often easy. When you get married, you're likely looking for a comfortable life with your groom, but your independent life and friendships may suffer as a result. Keeping up with them is going to take extra work, so strengthen your most important personal relationships now.
Your friends' and siblings' marriages will be different from your own.
Your married friends have been your model for matrimony -- for better or worse. Regardless of how much you and your best friend act like twins (or even if you have a twin), your relationship will be entirely different from theirs. Watch others' interactions and note their advice, but remember you're your own couple.
You may forget how to be spontaneous.
"Having a routine for everything leaves no room for spontaneity," says Melissa Melms, relationship blogger for Glamour's Smitten. "But just because you have some necessary routines doesn't mean you can't be spontaneous." Once you're engaged, falling into a rut may become even more likely, especially if you're not yet living together. While you're still dating, get into the practice of being spontaneous to make sure the romance stays alive.