While the thought of paying for a wedding is a topic many brides-to-be (and grooms-to-be) would like to avoid altogether, it’s something that must be discussed. Today, we are tackling the dreaded wedding budget and trying to make it a bit less taboo. Paying for a wedding is one of the most expensive things you will do in your life. When I was getting married, I had no idea what certain things might cost or what percentage of my budget to dedicate to things like a photographer. We’ve helped you out by including a list of the percentage you should expect for certain items in your wedding here. We’ve also given you tips here about how to avoid some of the items that can add up at the last moment.
Things like the venue or bar tab could easily amount to way more than you initially expected. However, if you are adequately financially prepared (hello to my money savers out there), you can have the wedding of your dreams without going into debt.
One. Figure out who will be paying for the wedding. Many families opt to contribute a certain amount to help out with wedding expenses, which is so generous. If your family if intending to contribute, make sure you know how much they are expecting to give. once you have that amount, you and your fiance can decide how much the two of you need to come up with. If you families are not contributing, you and your fiance need to sit down and come up with an amount you are both comfortable spending on a wedding – and how much you can realistically contribute given your current income. Remember: it is not one person’s responsibility to pay for the wedding. It should be an equal contribution on both ends.
Two. Once you have narrowed down the financial contributors for your wedding, start doing the math. If you know you want to spend $30,000 on a wedding (the average price of a wedding in the U.S.), and you want to be engaged for a year prior to tying the knot, your average monthly contribution toward wedding expenses should be $2500 ($30,000/12). If that amount seems high, consider extending the length of your engagement so you have sufficient financial resources to pay that wedding bill, or consider cutting back on some of the items you want, but aren’t necessarily deal breakers if you don’t have them (i.e. keep your wedding photographer, but nix the wedding video). Don’t set unattainable goals- think about what is best for you and your partner in the long-term.
Three. Take a look at your personal spending habits and those small thing that add up. Are there certain things you could cut back temporarily that might help you pay for some of those wedding expenses? How about that monthly trip to the spa? Over the course of a year, a monthly spa tab of $100 equates to $1200, which is certainly a hefty contribution toward something like your floral tab. What about hitting pause on some of those monthly subscription boxes for a bit to save some money? Those excess items add up over time. Even eating out one meal less a week will help you save some money over the course of a year. Think about it – if you and your fiance partake in a (nicer) Friday night dinner complete with drinks – it’s easy to run up at least a $50 tab. Eliminating that meal out once a week could save you $150-$200 a month – an amount that adds up to close to $2,000 at the end of a year. What about that daily $5 latte? Cutting back on your daily latte on Mondays through Fridays alone, saves you $25 a week. In a month, that figure adds up to $100. And over the course of a year, giving up your daily latte, saves you $1200. That’s enough to cover wedding makeup and then some. Figure out what items are necessities and what items you might be willing to budge on to help you (smartly) achieve the wedding of your dreams. We don’t want you to forgo items you love, but we do really want you to have that photographer you really want.
Four. Use your credit cards strategically. You must think I’ve lost my mind? Remember where I mentioned above about not going into wedding debt? Well, I did mean that. However, there are also ways to use your credit cards strategically to make them work in your favor. Do you have a travel or rewards credit card? If so, why not put some of those big ticket items on those cards to rack up points in your favor? I am a Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards card holder, and I am a huge fan. This card allows you to receive an offer for 50,000 bonus points after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. (Click here to take advantage of this deal). We recommend you pay off that balance diligently each month. However, those 50,000 bonus points could easily count toward your honeymoon flight – saving you hundreds of dollars.
Let us know how you saved for your wedding!