Marriage is an undeniably monumental step. When you ask someone to marry you, and put that wedding band upon their ring finger, you’re asking them to trust you with their heart and their future. But as cynical as it may sound, when it comes to building a strong marriage, love alone isn’t enough to make it work.

Before you pop the big question, it is a good idea to make sure that you have all of your affairs in order. Continue reading to learn what preparations you need to make before asking your partner to marry you.

Fix your credit.

When you get married in the U.S., you and your partner take on each other’s debt. If you have a good credit score, then you have nothing to worry about. But should you have a poor credit score, then it would be selfish of you to knowingly put your partner into a bad credit position, or saddle them with your mountain of debt.

So, if you want your marriage to get off to a smooth start, then you should start working on building your credit immediately. Financial problems are one of the most common issues that lead to divorce. It doesn’t have to be an excellent credit score, but fixing your credit before you propose could go a long way toward improving your financial health once you’re married.

Get a house.

When you marry someone, then your life and your partner’s life become one in every way, and even in ways you’d never imagined. If you don’t already live with your partner, then moving in together is going to be a learning experience, and it’s not one you want to have under your parents’ roof.

Before you pop the question, work on getting your own house and become a certified homeowner. In all likelihood you will need a mortgage loan, and for that you will need a mortgage lender, such as a private mortgage company or through a U.S. bank. If you’re unsure how to go about this, then visit to get the best home loan rates possible with your credit score, whatever that may be. What you don’t want to do is wait until you’re already engaged or getting ready to say “I do” before you start looking for a new home. The sooner you lock down a mortgage lender who works for you, then the sooner you can start looking for your own place and the sooner you and your spouse-to-be can call yourselves proud homeowners.

Plan your proposal.

Have you seen some of the proposal videos on Youtube? People have done some wild things to get their partners to marry them! Now, you don’t have to jump out of an airplane to propose, but you should still put some thought into your approach.

Try something outside of the box when you propose to your partner. Even if you decide to go with a traditional method like a romantic dinner or a surprise party, make it memorable! You only propose once (hopefully)!

You may not be able to afford the most luxurious engagement ring, but don’t let that discourage you. Even if you have to give her a ring that’s not quite what you have in mind right now, you can give her the ring you really want in the future when your credit score and finances are more stable.

Nelson Coleman Jewelers has some of the nicest engagement rings Baltimore has to offer, and at a price that almost anyone can afford. Even with their affordable fine jewelry, when you’re ready to upgrade to something more pristine, Nelson Coleman can help you with that too. Engagement rings are more than a piece of jewelry or a form of accessories, so make sure you shop around for a ring that you think will touch your partner’s heart.

Plan for the best, prepare for the worst.

The scariest thing about popping the question is that the person can say no. There’s no law stating that you have to say yes when someone proposes to you. As much as you and your partner may love each other, you need to prepare yourself for the possibility that they’re not ready to get married. Unless it’s something you’ve already discussed, then you won’t know where they stand until you pop the question.

If you’re not sure whether or not your partner is ready for marriage, then you shouldn’t propose in a public space. You don’t want them saying yes simply because they feel the pressure from hopeful onlookers. Also, you should discuss the possibility of marriage with your partner before proposing. The more you know about their feelings on marriage, then the less likely you are to get denied when you do ask.