20 Things Every Woman Should Do Before She Gets Married

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premarital bucket list pinGrowing up, we all imagined what our life would look like once we hit the big 3-0, once we had kids, or once we got married. There's a lot to love about reaching all of those milestones. But as I reach them, I'm realizing more and more that I wish I had been more conscious of how much there is to love about the lead-up, too! Even some of the darkest moments -- breakups, fights, you name it! -- actually turn out to be beneficial in the long-haul.

Given all the hype and hoopla around finding The One and getting hitched, we often forget to focus on all the awesome things we can and should be doing for ourselves and our relationship before we say "I do."  For that reason, I feel like every woman should have a pre-marital bucket list!

Here, 20 things every woman should try to do before tying the knot ...

  1. Travel with your sister(s) and/or closest female friends. Not saying you can't do this after you get married, but lots of ladies agree there's something especially liberating, eye-opening, and bond-bolstering about doing it beforehand.
  2. Travel with your future spouse. "Everyone can get along for a weekend, but see if you can stand each other for a whole week, dealing with travel dilemmas, etc.!" my wise fellow newlywed friend noted, and I couldn't agree more.
  3. Suffer major heartbreak. As one woman put it, "It not only made me a stronger individual coming out of it, but it also showed me never to take love for granted."
  4. Dump someone. Pleasant experience or not, it's empowering to be the one who called the final shot in a relationship at one time or another.
  5. Get your finances in order. One of my close friends made it a point to clean up her credit and make some serious sacrifices so that her future husband wouldn't have to carry around the burden of budgeting mistakes she had made while single. It's also not a shabby idea to do it for your own peace of mind.
  6. Talk about your finances with your future spouse. Make sure you know where you stand on long and short-term goals and spending vs. saving. Depending on how much either one of you is willing to bend on certain things, money matters can be serious buzzkills for marital bliss -- or, at their worst, dealbreakers.
  7. Live alone. Slash with roommates. But not with Mom and Dad. Autonomy's awesome! Plus, as one recent bride put it, having lived alone "makes you grateful for the things your spouse contributes" once they're in the picture.
  8. Live with your partner. Sure, if you're old-school, you may not be a fan of this one, but it can definitely serve as a "test drive" before buying the car!
  9. Have a summer fling. Even if it doesn't last past Labor Day, it's a fun memory to look back on -- and makes for a fun story to reminisce about.
  10. Learn how to cook. Not because you're getting ready to be someone's June Cleaver, but because it's reassuring to know that you can fend for yourself in the kitchen. 
  11. Splurge on yourself. Because you can -- and you should!
  12. Have at least one big blowout fight with your future spouse. Then make up. It's good to know you can get through it!
  13. Date around. Serial monogamists often feel like they missed out on the experiences of going on both good and really bad/hilarious/cringe-worthy dates.
  14. Face one of your biggest fears. Be it skydiving, public speaking, or dining in public alone.
  15. Try having a friend with benefits. To make sure that friend you always had a crush on doesn't somehow become "the one who got away."
  16. Focus on your education. Not that you can't do this once you're married, but you may want to spend pre-martial time on getting one -- or several! -- degrees.
  17. Get started on making your career dreams come true. Same as #16.
  18. Decide how you feel about kids. Kinda like money, a majorly important thing to reflect on/discuss before getting hitched.
  19. Clean up your act. AKA drinking less, eating healthier, working out more.
  20. Get to know yourself. Should kinda go without saying!

What else do you think should be on a pre-marital bucket list?



marriage, living together, love, sex

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Pamzies Pamzies

Explain how #17 is like #15?

MRL84 MRL84

She probably meant 17 is like 16.

miche... micheledo

Didn't do 2, 8, 9, 11, 12, 13, and 15


Just celebrated our 11th anniversary!  Have to admit, I am more content and enjoying life with him more today then when we first got married.  I can't imagine doing it any other way.,

B1Bomber B1Bomber

I skipped 3, 8, 9, 12, 13, and 15 and we turned out okay. Don't feel like I missed out on anything at all.


Also wouldn't have minded skipping breaking up with someone. "Empowering" is definitely not the word I'd use to describe that :(

squish squish

So, you're advising young women to act like fools, and then clean up their lives right before they get married? Why not skip the immature foolish sex and money advise, and instead learn from other's mistakes? It's way easier.

Coles... Coles_mom

No, I understand what the author is saying. I got married very young (18) and did NONE of these (except cooking- I'm a good cook). I regret not having a life. That marriage ended in divorce and I immediately stepped into another marriage. I'm almost 40 years old and I have zero female friends, never traveled, never even "dated". I would give almost anything to do everything over again. I'd live in Italy. I'd have a fancy career. I'd fall in love.

Freela Freela

I got engaged at 18 and married at 20.  I'm now 35 and married for 15 years, and don't regret AT ALL not dating more, etc.  I still love my hubby, have three great kids, have wonderful friends (who the whole family recently travelled with over the summer.)  I definitely don't regret things like not having gone on tons of bad dates or not having 'friends with benefits' or summer flings... not for a minute!  I guess to each their own, but I'm really happy with my life without having had a lot of these experiences!

nonmember avatar Dee

I recently turned 30 and I'm not married and no children and I've done everything on the list! I'm currently cleaning up my credit now! I've traveled the world had a MBA by 27. Wouldn't change my experiences and I will be ready when God sends me my Mr. Right. My married friends envy me because its extremely difficult to do some of the things that they like to do because of marriage and children and wished they would have done some of those things before hand.

nonmember avatar Dee

I recently turned 30 and I'm not married and no children and I've done everything on the list! I'm currently cleaning up my credit now! I've traveled the world had a MBA by 27. Wouldn't change my experiences and I will be ready when God sends me my Mr. Right. My married friends envy me because its extremely difficult to do some of the things that they like to do because of marriage and children and wished they would have done some of those things before hand.

Pink.... Pink.Frosting

So basically sleep around a lot and stop drinking before you get hitched - which implies you were heavily drinking before hand.  No thanks.  I never needed any of that and am grateful that I don't have those things in my past.  We've been married 19 years and going strong.

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