Paying for your wedding

Published date: 30th January 2019

It’s good you’re thinking about how you’re going to pay for your nuptials. Many couples don’t, something that can come back to haunt them. Unless you’re a celebrity, a wedding is going to cost not earn money (Kim Kardashian reportedly received than $2 million+ for her wedding to Kris Humphries, mainly from People Magazine and broadcaster E! – about $27k for each of the 72 days the marriage lasted). So how do you pay for it?

The days when the bride’s parents footed the entire bill have apparently gone. Parental contributions from both sides are more usual nowadays, with the happy couple having to stump up cash too. If you’ve always imagined the most lavish bash in history, time for a reality check.

Your first task: set a budget. Work out what money you’ll have for the big day, and make the arrangements fit that sum. If you plan your wedding and then try to work out how to pay for it, you’ll probably have to plan all over again, and will inevitably feel deflated.

By far the best way of paying your bit is from savings. So once you’re sure it’s going to happen, set up a savings account or accounts dedicated to the wedding. Don’t dip in for hols and treats. It’s easier to save if you arrange automatic monthly payments from your earnings, instead of hoping that you’ll have something left at the end of the month and the will to put it aside. Make sure the account pays good interest, every penny matters.

It’s worth remembering that plenty of expenses arise before the big day, which can actually help you to spread the load. The first is often the deposit for your venue. You’ll order the dress well in advance, and need a deposit on the honeymoon (if you have one).

With such payments using a credit card (but only with discipline!) can be smart. With anything but relatively small (and huge) sums this gives some payment protection in case of faulty goods or service companies going bust (consider insurance too!). Look hard for card providers offering zero rates for a time, and ideally a rewards system. But never has it been true that the more you spend the more you save. Whatever you spend you’ll have to repay.

Some venues and suppliers have payment plans. Look at them closely: they can be brilliant, they can be less so. A true zero percent deal is attractive. But beware being tempted to increase your spend – stick to the plan.

Alternative funding sources include overdrafts and loans. Overdrafts are rarely cheap, but if you don’t arrange them in advance they’re expensive. For loans, try your banks first; and as for companies with pleasant or quirky names advertising on TV – don’t. It is honestly not the case that the higher the interest rate the better! Borrow £1000 at say 650 per cent and by our maths you’ll have to pay back £7500 in a year, not a great anniversary present – and enduring wedding debts can be a major source of marital tension. Such companies should be a desperate last resort for very short term emergencies, and by no sane person’s definition do co-ordinated centre-pieces constitute an emergency.

Weddings are rarely cheap (so consider wedding insurance), though some creativity can reduce costs, and keeping a grasp on reality prevent them from soaring. We hope you’ll have a superb, memorable, joyous day. Being free from money worries makes that easier to achieve.

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