Unless you’re working with unlimited funds, paying for a wedding is inevitably a topic you’ll face when planning your wedding. And, with the average wedding sitting at about $28,000 (and much higher in most metro areas across the US), it’s no wonder. Aside from buying a house or possibly a car, paying for a wedding is likely the first time you will have ever spent that much money at once. And while houses and cars almost always involve financing, weddings don’t come with quite as many options. But there’s no need to panic. Read on for tips on ways to pay for your wedding day.
1. Determine your wedding priorities and budget
Before we walk you through the top tips to paying for the wedding, it’s crucial you and your partner are on the same page about the overall budget. Sit down and prioritize what’s most important to you. Literally list it out! Ask yourselves: what are our wedding must-haves? What are the things we just can’t do without? Merge your lists and come up with 3-5 areas that are most important to you both. This will make it a lot easier to trim when you’re faced with all those amazing options.
Now that you have your priorities straight, sit down and make a realistic budget based on your own personal situations. Ask yourselves, how much do you have in savings now, how much can you save over your engagement, and is anyone else contributing? If so, who is contributing to the wedding and how much?
All of these nitty-gritty budgeting questions might feel like they’re putting a damper on the wedding excitement but trust us: setting a realistic budget early will enable you to get exactly what you had in mind without overdoing it. Here, five ways to consider saving and paying for your wedding in 2022.
2. Create a monthly savings plan
Now that you have a budget in mind, divide the total projected costs of your wedding by however many months you estimate stand between now and your wedding date. Is your monthly savings target achievable? If so, great! If not, you may want to consider a lower budget or a longer engagement, but don't panic--we've got some great tips that could help before you decide to revise anything.
3. Consider Setting Up a Joint Bank Account
If you and your partner don't already have a shared bank account, this could be a good time to check out a joint savings account. Many financial institutions have great introductory promotions that offer more interest in the first few months. Everything counts!
4. Cut back on expenses
You don't have to cancel your cable package or never go out to eat again just because you're planning a wedding. Cutting back is all about finding balance, not sacrificing everything that makes you happy right now.
If there are subscriptions you can eliminate, while still maintaining your lifestyle and budget, then try it. Start small; if you're already subscribed to a gym, you could cancel your membership and opt for rewards systems like ClassPass or GoodLife instead.
If you don't think this will be effective, try adding up all the money you spend on subscriptions, coffees, and little treats each month. You might be surprised. This is an easy way to save hundreds of dollars without drastically changing your lifestyle.
5. Consider a Credit Card with Travel Points
If you feel like you can stick to your monthly savings goals, consider using a credit card. Many cards offer 0% APR for a 12-month promotional period, with introductory bonus point systems for new customers. Depending on your specific bank, your card could even come with added benefits like access to airport lounges or no foreign transaction fees.
A credit card can be useful because you'll usually be asked to pay for some large expenses like catering or venue costs well in advance of your wedding day, and you might not have the cash ready yet. Having a credit card on hand can help ensure that you're prepared for these expenses, as long as you're committed to paying off your entire statement every single month.
6. Decide whether a loan is right for you
Sometimes, if your credit history is a little patchy or your credit score is low, you might not be able to get the ideal credit card for your wedding planning process. In this case, you could consider a personal loan. But just be careful! Fees and interest rates are often higher than credit cards. If you know you're committed to paying it back in a timely manner, though, it might not be a bad option.
7. Set Up a High-Yield Savings Account
Aside from the more traditional ways to save strategies–and depending on how much time you have between now and your wedding date–you might consider setting up a high-yield savings account. Set your savings aside in an account that actually accrues interest and earn some along the way.
However you decide to tackle saving and paying for your wedding, we highly recommend steering clear of high piles of debt. Money matters and debt can cause a lot of tension in a relationship. So your best bet is to stay on track, steer clear of high-interest credit cards and keep one another honest about your wedding spend. Trust us: with that amazing party and honeymoon behind you, you’ll be glad you did!