Weddings are a big deal. In fact, they’re one of the most important days in anyone’s life.

If nuptials are in your future, it’s natural that your focus is on the day-of details like the guest list, what wedding songs to play at the ceremony, or choosing the right venue to share your vows.

Of course, those things are certainly high on the priority list. But centerpieces and invitations aside, there’s one thing that should take precedence above all else: your relationship.

After all, ensuring that your bond is strong enough for the long haul is one of the most important steps you can take before saying “I do.” After the confetti is swept up and the wedding guests go home, that’s when marriage really begins.

Argie Allen-Wilson, Ph.D. and founder of F.A.I.T.H. (Family and Individual Therapeutic Healing), stopped by TODAY to share the five things you should never do before walking down the aisle.

Not discussing money
Unsurprisingly, one of the biggest things that couples argue over is money. According to a 2015 survey by the American Psychological Association, nearly a third of adults with partners cite money as a major source of conflict in their relationship.

“If you don’t talk about money on the front end, you’re going to have to deal with the cost on the back end,” she adds, pointing out that money is one of the leading causes of divorce.

“People have a hard time talking about it because we feel like it’s nosy or it’s impolite, but the bottom line is that we have different value systems for money so we have to figure out what those similarities are, those differences,” Allen-Wilson says.

Her suggestion: “Once a couple identifies their differences and similarities regarding money, then they need to create agreements on their use of money.”

Not discussing children
If haven’t talked about kids, then it’s time to hit the brakes.

“Ask the question up front. Then have the conversation about whether or not you want to table that until a little bit later,” Allen-Wilson says.

If you’ve had the conversation and your partner has a firm view on parenthood, don’t assume things will change once you’re married.

“(It’s) so important to be very clear before the marriage, set realistic expectations,” Allen-Wilson says. “Parenting styles also tie into this. Begin the conversation about how you plan to parent, especially in blending families.”

Going to bed angry
Let’s face it, everybody argues and a cooling-off period can be beneficial in calming tempers.

However, Allen-Wilson suggests that you never go to bed angry.

“Tomorrow’s not promised to anyone,” Allen-Wilson says. “That doesn’t mean that you don’t feel that emotion, but try to bracket that so you can focus on the cuddle time or the conversation about the day.”

If you need some space, Allen-Wilson says a healthy timeout of 24 to 48 hours is OK, but recommends going to bed “with the notion that the issue still needs to be revisited” and that “it needs to be put on the table to talk about and not just swept under the rug.”

Letting third parties weigh in
When it comes to weddings, it seems like everyone has an opinion. Mom thinks you should pick carrot cake and your best pal has decided that sage is your color scheme. And, sure, let ’em talk, but really it’s up to you and your partner.

“The biggest voice in your head before you’re married, after you’re marriage, should be your partner’s,” Allen-Wilson says.

That doesn’t mean you can’t involve loved ones or ask them for advice, but Allen-Wilson says that they shouldn’t be making your decisions for you and that setting boundaries early on is important.

“Don’t let others dictate what you want on the big day. Do what you want to do as a couple, not what your family or guests want.”

This sentiment goes beyond your wedding day. “Good, bad or indifferent, other people can’t be weighing in on that. If someone does weigh in on it, it has to be a confidante who wants your relationship to win,” she adds.

Ignoring the ‘love tank’
Courtship is so much fun. Dinner dates, romantic walks, roses and sweet nothings are all part of the package. According to Allen-Wilson, those things shouldn’t end once the thank-you notes go out.

“I’d never ignore the ‘love tank,'” she says, adding that healthy relationships need “deposits” or refueling.

“Many couples feel like once they get married, they no longer have to do the things they did when they were dating,” she says, explaining that intimacy is a necessary ingredient in sustaining a healthy marriage and “continuing to date is essential.”

To maintain intimacy, it’s important to know each other’s love languages, which include acts of service, words of affirmation, gift-giving, physical touch and quality time.

For example, maybe your partner is great about taking out the trash, but doesn’t buy you flowers on your birthday. But if gifts make you feel loved, then you need to let them know that’s what you’re looking for.

“Discussing your partner’s love languages and sharing your own love language helps to fill your love tanks and keeps the sparks flying,” Allen-Wilson says.

“When couples’ love tanks remain empty, it creates more distance in their relationship and increases resentment.”

This article was originally published on

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This