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Steps to Marriage
  In a serious relationship
  Getting engaged
  Planning the wedding
  Planning your future together
Marriage Tools
  10-minute financial compatibility quiz
  A wedding planner from ModernBride
  Wedding category cost calculator
  Wedding budget planner (html)
  Wedding budget planner (Excel)
  Wedding payment tracker (html)
  Wedding payment tracker (Excel)
Getting engaged

What could be more exciting and frightening at the same time than the thought of proposing to your one true love and spending the rest of your life together. It's a difficult decision, and one that should involve a great deal of thought and perhaps discussion. If you have asked the questions that are in the relationship section, and you are sure that you are ready to get married, then it's time to get the ring and ask the question. Yes, the expenses start right now, with the purchase of a ring, and don't believe that the engagement ring doesn't matter. It is a testament of your love and an expression of how much you love your partner, so tread carefully.

The engagement ring
You don't want to go in debt for years buying a ring, but you also want to make sure that your partner will be happy with your choice. Some couples select the ring(s) together, while some people like to surprise their partner with the ring. What's important is that you make a wise financial decision, not just an emotional one. Most experts recommend that you spend 1-2 months of your net income on the engagement ring, especially if you expect to choose plain wedding bands for the ceremony. Of course, this will depend on how much you have saved, what other goals the two of you might already have, and whether or not you have discussed the matter in any detail. The best advice is to gather as much information as you possibly can, carefully evaluate your budget, and use both your heart and your brain when you make the final choice of a ring.

Once your partner has accepted the marriage proposal, adjust to the fact that you'll be making many future decisions as part of a partnership instead of as an individual, and this begins with all of the wedding preparations (and possible expenses).

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