Gown: Rico-A-Mona. Photo: Her World Brides September 2015.

Indeed, life might never be the same again once you’re married. Although that isn’t necessarily a bad thing — it’s about entering a different chapter! — there are just some things a girl’s got to do before she ties the knot.

1. CALL THE ONE EX WHO’S HURT YOU BADLY ENOUGH
Which girl hasn’t got one in her closet somewhere? Thank him for dumping you. Otherwise, you wouldn’t have met your future husband who’s much worthier of you. And that, would really be closure.

2. ERASE ALL YOUR EXES’ NUMBERS FROM YOUR PHONE BOOK
After you’re done with item number one on this list. Unless of course, you’re really still friends with them, and your fiance knows about it.

3. CATCH UP WITH YOUR CLOSEST GIRLFRIENDS AND SPEND A GIRLS-ONLY DAY AT THE SPA
Talk about what you used to dream about, how far you’ve come and where you’re heading. Make a pact: promise to have or make time for each other after you’re married.  Every girl needs at least one gal pal to share things she can’t with her hubby – and we promise you, there will be stuff you can’t share with him.

4. TRAVEL SOLO FOR A WEEKEND GETAWAY, IF NOT A LONG TRIP
All that “me” time is something to be savoured before you become a twosome.

5. LEARN TO DO SOMETHING YOU’VE NEVER DONE BEFORE
Get your driver’s licence, learn to change a bulb, bake a cake or cook curry – whatever! The point is, self-sufficient girls won’t become desperate housewives.

6. GET YOUR FINANCES IN ORDER, IF THEY AREN’T
Clear all or as much debt (or loans) as you’ve got. Married life should never start with a financial burden. That also applies to your fiance, so make sure he knows it too.

7. TAKE A GOOD LONG LOOK AT WHY YOU’RE GETTING MARRIED
“Until death do us part” means one day, you might have to bury this person, so you should be prepared for that commitment. You’re not getting married because you think you should, because you can have a wedding and certainly, not because you can finally wear a white, gorgeous dress.

8. SPEND ONE DAY BEING A COMPLETE SLOTH AT HOME, SNACK ON WHATEVER AND DO WHATEVER
You may never be able to do this again, just in case some of the things you like to do are that gross!

9. BE TOTALLY SELF-INDULGENT
Set aside a certain number of days, like two or three, for pampering yourself like never before. The idea is to do stuff just for yourself. Go for a facial, a massage, a manicure and pedicure, or shop to your heart’s content. Make sure you splurge on the one thing you’ve always wanted but never got: A collector’s watch, a pair of the biggest diamond earrings you can afford. It’s probably the last time you can spend a large sum of money without having to account for it.

10. PROMISE YOURSELF THAT ONCE YOU’RE MARRIED, SOME THINGS SHOULD STAY PRIVATE
Like doing your business in the toilet with the door locked. There’s no romance in a relationship if there isn’t that little bit of mystery.

11. HAVE A BRAZILIAN
Just so you know what it feels like. The bonus is, you both get to enjoy it after the wedding.

12. GO FOR A SHORT HOLIDAY ALONE WITH YOUR PARENTS
Enjoy the time you have with both of them. They may be missing you already. That said, if you can’t get away for a trip, a few days of quality time with them is good too.

13. TRY TO GET THROUGH A WEEK WITHOUT TALKING ABOUT YOUR WEDDING PLANS TO ANYONE
Your friends, colleagues, family (and perhaps even your fiance) may appreciate it more than you know.

14. ARRANGE FOR ONE EVENING “DATE” TO MEET UP AND HANG OUT WITH ALL YOUR GUY FRIENDS
Yup, all of them at once. It should be a chill-out evening of touching base, and if the guys don’t already know each other, then this is a good chance to make new friends. Of course, let your fiance know beforehand about this outing.

15. MAKE A LIST OF ALL YOUR MARRIED FRIENDS’ “COUPLE HABITS” THAT YOU DON’T LIKE
Use this list as a reminder not to adopt these yourself. Pin it up on the fridge so you’ll memorise it word for word.

16. DON’T FORGET FRIENDS’ BIRTHDAYS
Or any other important date for that matter, in the run-up to your wedding. They’ll love you all the more for your sensitivity.

17. THANK YOUR FRIENDS, BRIDESMAIDS AND EVERYONE ELSE FOR THEIR HELP WITH THE WEDDING
A month before the big day, treat your bridesmaids, friends and anyone who’s been helping you with the preparations to a nice dinner. They’ll be even more helpful as the wedding approaches if they know you appreciate their efforts.

18. SPEND A DAY WITH YOUR MUM AND TALK
Ask her advice on married life, what you can expect, and should do. Mums are hardly ever wrong, and thankfully, they still know us best.

19. RELISH SLEEPING ALONE IN A BED
Sharing that space will take some adjustment.

20. FINALLY, HAVE A LAST “DATE” WITH YOUR MAN WHILE HE’S STILL YOUR BOYFRIEND!
Romance and flirt with each other like you’ve only just met, and begun.

This article was originally published in Her World Brides June-August 2010.