10 things Dads can do before a baby arrives
It’s the most exciting of times, isn’t it? A baby on the way, and lots of things to think about...
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Planning a wedding can sometimes be a stressful journey, even if it is to celebrate one of the greatest days of your life. It’s easy to become overwhelmed with ensuring the venue is booked, the invitations are perfect and the weather gods are on your side. But while you might have a wedding planner to help you through all the ins and out of the ceremony and reception itself, there are a few things your planner’s wedding checklist might be missing. Take a read of some of the other details that you should prioritise when organising your wedding to make sure married life goes as smoothly as possible.
Important discussions that go further than place settings
There’s no doubt you’ll be making a boatload of big decisions while planning your dream day. Colour schemes, dresses, locations and food choices will all be negotiated and agonised over, but these are not the only discussions you should make time for in the lead up to the big day.
While it might seem like you and your partner have thought of it all, it’s important to have a serious discussion to make sure you’re both on the same page. Aside from the financial commitment of the wedding itself, you want to make sure that the type of life you envision is the same as what your partner wants. Do you both want to travel, or would you prefer to get a foot on the property ladder? Is one of you willing to compromise in order to accomplish one partner’s goal before turning attention to theirs?
One big discussion you’ll want to make sure you’re aligned on is the question of having children. On the whole, New Zealand’s birth rate has been declining in recent years, with people opting to have fewer babies than ever before. As well as that, couples are often waiting to have children until later in life — or in some cases not at all. While it was something that wasn’t necessarily a choice a few decades ago, these days you should make sure you and your partner are on the same page with either having or not having children before you tie the knot.
If one partner is bringing significant savings or a property portfolio to the relationship, then a relationship property agreement (also known as a prenuptial agreement) could be worth considering. Prenups have become more and more popular in recent years, and New Zealanders are increasingly looking into them. There are different types of prenups couples can consider, with some being stricter than others, and some even having clauses that agree to merge assets after a certain timeframe.
Weddings are expensive, and if you’ve ever thought about your post-wedding finances, it could be worth speaking with a financial planner to make sure you’re managing your money as well as possible. A financial planner will help you form a plan of attack for reaching financial goals, and help you make the most out of your pay packet. If you have dreams of owning a home, raising a family, or you simply want to be prepared for retirement, a financial planner can help you on the path.
Even a casual wedding can be expensive, so making sure you have a good savings tactic is key. Prices for anything skyrocket as soon as the word “wedding” is attached to them, so plan ahead of time by putting aside a little cash in the weeks, months and even years leading to the big day.
While this wedding planning checklist covers many things to consider before your nuptials take place, it’s also important to consider the future and implement safeguards that will protect your new family.
A wedding is the time to think about the future you and your partner will share together. Building a life and perhaps a family is all part of the new rollercoaster you’re stepping onto, and you should think about what you can do to protect that future you’ll be so carefully creating. It might sound morbid to put plans in place for a future where your partner might get sick or pass away, but being aware of these realities and planning for them may be the best thing you can do to protect your family. Having a Life Insurance policy means that your partner and any children you share will receive a payout that will enable them to be financially supported in the event of your illness or death. The money received will mean that their standard of living can be maintained and that funeral costs, bills or a mortgage won’t place undue stress during an already difficult time.
If you’re a younger couple getting married, taking out policies now will set up responsible habits that you can take through the rest of your life. And should your circumstances change – such as having a baby, or significant change in income — your Life Insurance can be readjusted to ensure adequate cover for your family. Having planned for your future from the very beginning, you’ll both have the peace of mind that you’ll be equipped to take on anything that happens later down the track.
If you’re planning a wedding and thinking about taking out Life Insurance to protect your future, give Cigna a call and we can discuss it more in depth. You can also take a look at our Life Insurance calculator to start investigating your options.
Have Big Discussions
It might be a bit awkward, but having a serious discussion could really set up the rest of your life together. Talk about your future priorities and goals, especially things such as whether or not you both want children, if you plan to travel or want to buy a home.
Decide Your Budget
Whether you want a huge wedding with all the trimmings or a modest affair with an intimate group, you’ll need to set a budget in order to make it clear what your boundaries are. Setting a budget is a great idea if you need a savings goal to work towards, and also if family members plan to help pay for your special day.
Confirm the Guest List
Your guest list could either inform how big your venue needs to be, or set you a fixed limit for how many people you can invite. Either way you’ll need to confirm numbers at some stage, and you shouldn’t underestimate how hard it might be, particularly if you have a large family.
Pick Your Venue and Set the Date
If you’ve been dreaming of having your wedding in a particular location, better to reserve it sooner rather than later. If the venue is a popular spot your wedding date may be determined by when it’s available, so if you have a certain date in mind be aware that having multiple venues as options could be key.
Find a Celebrant
Be sure to find a wedding celebrant or officiant that fits best with how you plan to celebrate your wedding.
Buy the Dress (and the Rest!)
Buying their wedding dress is a day many future brides dream of, so be sure to set aside adequate time to find the perfect gown for you. If your wedding has a particular colour scheme you may also need to have the wedding party’s dresses and ties made, so plan ahead for fittings.
Sort your Caterer, Florist and Photographer
You’ll want to make sure your venue looks stunning, your guests are fed and you have photos to look back on, so be sure to book your caterer, florist and photographer ahead of time. If you’re unsure about who to approach, recently married friends and family will be bursting to give you recommendations and tips.
Update Your Wills and Life Insurance
Prepare for your new life together by making sure all the serious business is taken care of, as well as the fun celebrations. Be sure to amend your wills to keep them as up-to-date as possible, and take time to either apply for a Life Insurance policy to protect your new spouse, or update your existing policy to reflect your new position.
Enjoy Your Special Day
With all the planning and decision making of the last few days, weeks and months make sure your wedding just doesn’t fly by. Take the time to soak in your special day, and celebrate with all the family and friends who are there especially to celebrate you and your new spouse.