How to Pay for a Wedding
If you’ve just gotten engaged or are talking about engagement with your partner, you might also be thinking about the actual wedding and how to prepare for it. You’re probably well aware that the wedding and reception will equate to the most expensive party you’ll ever throw—and you likely want it to be one of the most memorable for you and your guests. Which all boils down to needing to determine how much it might cost, how you’ll save for the event, and how you’ll eventually actually pay for it.
How Much Does an Average Wedding Cost?
Numerous factors go in to the overall cost of a wedding, including the price of the engagement and wedding rings, payment for the rehearsal dinner, the cost of the outfits for the day of, catering fees, floral arrangements, venue costs, and entertainment fees, just to start. According to WeddingWire, in 2019, the nationwide average wedding costs were $38,700, with $29,200 of that going to the ceremony and reception. Different areas of the country are certainly more expensive than others, and smaller, simpler weddings will, of course, be less costly. That all said, those figures don’t take into account a honeymoon, so if you and your partner plan to take the traditional trip right after the wedding, you’ll need to factor in a greater savings plan.
Paying for a Wedding: Five Tips to Get Started
Break it down. To figure out a plan for saving, you might do well to break your goal into smaller increments. For example, if you plan to spend $36,000 on your wedding and you want to have it in 18 months, you need to set aside $2,000 each month. Or go the other way with it: Ifyou can save only $1,000 each month and you want to have a $36,000 wedding, you’ll need to wait three years to accrue your goal amount.
Create a wedding budget. Determine the must-haves vs the nice-to-haves vs the okay-to-let-go’s. Choosing a live band over a DJ or an open bar over a cash bar will likely increase your total spend; similarly, if you choose a less fancy venue or fewer flower arrangements, you might offset some of those costs. Creating your budget will help you stay within the guiderails of your savings.
Cut back on monthly expenses. If saving for your wedding is your big prize, you might need to let go of some of the instant gratification expenses you would otherwise enjoy, such as an extra streaming service, food delivery, or daily lattes. If you and your partner both have vehicles, is it possible to sell one and rely more on public transportation? (Note that, if you follow this plan, not only will you get the proceeds from the vehicle, you’ll also reduce monthly costs on gas, insurance, oil changes, and repairs.) Brainstorm ways you can cut back or change your lifestyle for the short term to be able to achieve your longer-term dream.
Consider DIY items for the big day. Are there things you or a friend or family member could do that could offset total costs? For example, you could make your centerpieces or table tags instead of buying them. Or for the rehearsal dinner, you could host a potluck or easy barbecue instead of springing for an expensive restaurant.
Keep your wedding savings separate. Be sure you have a specific account for your wedding funds—and never dip into it for other expenses. You might want a joint checking account with debit cards for both of you—that way, you can both contribute to the funds and be able to make wedding purchases independently when the time is right. Plus, if you can get an account that earns interest, your balance will grow even when you’re not physically adding to it.
Stick to Your Goals
Do your best to maintain your savings goals each month, even if it’s tough. You’re bound to be much less stressed about money as you enter your first year of marriage if you’re not in debt from your wedding. That said, if you find the goal unattainable for a month or two, you can always look to a bank loan, such as a Bellco Personal Loan, to bridge the gap, with interest rates much lower than most credit cards. Be sure to speak with a Bellco representative for more information today, and good luck starting on your wedding-savings journey.