Weddings are Back! Five Things Every Couple Should Do Before They Tie the Knot

July 19, 2021

After a year and a half of cancellations and postponements, weddings are back. As you’re planning your big day, there’s more to the wedding checklist than the obvious, like picking a venue, finding a florist, deciding on the linens, or hiring a photographer. Some tasks are just as — or even more — important. So remember these important things to do before you say “I do.”

Sort out the legal documents

Make sure you do all the paperwork before the wedding.  In California, you have to go together to the County Clerk’s office to apply for a marriage license. The marriage license is valid for 90 days. If you don’t get married within that timeframe, you have to apply for another license.  After your wedding, the person who officiates has 10 days to return the completed license to the County Clerk or Recorder’s office.

If either of you are planning to change your name, don’t assume that your marriage license makes the new name official. Additional paperwork with the Social Security Administration, Department of Motor Vehicles and your financial institutions needs to be done. Fortunately, there are online name change kits that make the paperwork much easier.

Delegate, delegate, delegate

There are so many details and responsibilities on the wedding day, and you do not want to be the one doing them. Assign jobs to members of the wedding party, as well as any friends and relatives you can rely on. Think through all that has to be done — who’s driving whom to various venues, who’s in charge of taking the cash gift envelopes, who’s going to pack the gifts in the car after the reception, who’s checking people in, who’s going to keep the bride’s phone during the day so she isn’t disturbed, etc.

Time your haircuts, tanning and facials

If you want your hair to be a certain length in time for the wedding, plan for it months ahead. You don’t want drastic hairstyles immediately before the big day. The same goes for tanning sessions and skin treatments. You might think a spa day with the wedding party would be a fun way to pamper yourselves, but the risk of ending up with blotchy — or orange — skin is too great.

Plan your social media strategy

Now here’s a wedding checklist item that didn’t exist just a few years ago. There’s a good chance your wedding will be photographed, filmed and shared on social media by your friends and family. If you are an extremely private couple and do not want your wedding shared with the public, you will want to let guests know your request ahead of time, perhaps on the invitation or in the wedding program. However, if you want to go full steam ahead on the social media, consider assigning one or two guests the role of social media coordinator, giving them carte blanche to tweet, post photos on Instagram, and even film Facebook Live videos so anyone not at the wedding can catch the merriment as it’s unfolding. Most importantly, create a custom hashtag for your wedding and have all guests include that hashtag with all their posts. That way, you can see everyone’s photos and posts just by searching the hashtag.

Get carrier screening

For any couple planning on having children, there’s one additional checklist item that is a must — genetic screening, also known as carrier screening. Anyone can be a carrier for one or more genetic diseases, and it is important for both partners in a relationship to be aware of their carrier status. While most of the time being a carrier is not a problem and does not impact that person’s health, it can have an impact on their future children’s health if their partner is a carrier for the same condition. The risk of having an affected child arises only when both partners are carriers of the same disease. If both partners are carriers of the same genetic disease, there is a 1 in 4 or 25% chance with each pregnancy of having a child with the disease. That’s why it’s crucial for both partners to be tested. Because of the latest medical advances, couples in which both partners are carriers for the same disease have more reproductive options than ever and it is entirely possible to have healthy children. There’s peace of mind in knowing. Speak to your doctor, visit the website GeneTestNow.com, or call toll-free at 1-844-GENE-TEST and get the knowledge you need to put the odds on your side.

Exclusively for Jewish Journal readers: Save $36 on a genetic screening kit from JScreen. Click here and use code JJLA36.

GeneTestNow.com is a nonprofit initiative of the Doris Factor Endowment Fund of the Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles.

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