With just 31 days left to wrap up this year, we are in full holiday mode now, which goes hand-in-hand with a spike in engagement announcements as almost one-third of all engagements happen during the holiday season.  Those couples looking to tie the knot in 2023 will quickly need to work on their budget, which will largely be driven by their guest list and venue selection, along with the fees for other key vendors including a florist, photographer, the entertainment and caterer.

Negotiating the various contracts with all the service providers while also navigating family dynamics over the next few months will undoubtedly be difficult and emotional for those recently engaged.  Consider investing in some pre-marital counseling sessions as you prepare for this monumental life event, especially if you have concerns about your ability to manage conflict and communicate respectfully and effectively.  This would also be a good time to discuss the benefits of a prenuptial agreement with an experienced matrimonial attorney and perhaps set up a meeting with a financial advisor to ensure you are on the same page about the financial implications of your merger.

Over the past two decades, prenuptial agreements have become quite common especially as we’ve come to accept the reality that about half of all marriages will not last.  To me, a prenup is like a safety belt– no one gets into the car thinking it will crash, yet we all put on our seat belts just in case.  Furthermore, contrary to popular belief, they don’t have to be complicated and simply are meant to ensure that everyone is on the same page with respect to what will be joint vs. separate, along with some limitations on alimony (both in terms of duration and amount).  Why wouldn’t you invest in some peace of mind with a durable contract that is fairly inexpensive to formalize, particularly in comparison to the other wedding costs that on a national average exceed $28,000?

The reality is love and money don’t always mix, but the two are inextricably linked when you get married, merging not just your homes but your financial lives together.   A prenuptial agreement (or post-nuptial for those that procrastinate until after the honeymoon to get this done) is a simple legal solution that allows everyone to move forward with a clear understanding of the financial expectations and limitations created by that union.  Hopefully, this will then allow the couple to truly pursue a beautiful happily ever after on their own terms.

Congratulations to all those recently engaged! And for those interested in learning more about a prenuptial agreement, here’s a short video explaining the process: Prenuptial Agreements Talk by Regina DeMeo – YouTube

By Regina A. DeMeo