So, you just got engaged – congratulations! Now, what’s the first thing you should do AFTER you break out the champagne and call everyone you know? Here’s the scoop from Real Simple magazine.

Nihara Choudhri is the author of the book What To Do Before I Do. And she says first thing - you need to have a serious discussion about your finances with your spouse-to-be. Go over your income and assets - but even more importantly, discuss your debts and liabilities. Ask about credit card debt, student loan debt, any money owed to friends or family members, and mortgage debt.

Choudhri says you need to know that if your spouse has any preexisting debt, and you combine your assets, your own finances can be at risk. Then, consult a financial planner to help you come up with the best strategy for merging your finances, or keeping them separate – whichever you both decide. Or if it gives you peace of mind, have a lawyer draw up a pre-nuptial agreement. I know, it sounds completely UN-romantic. But experts agree that couples who postpone talking about the money BEFORE the wedding end up paying for it later.