Congratulations, you're engaged! The excitement of planning your wedding can be overwhelming, but with the average cost of a wedding in 2021 being $28,000, it can also be stressful. Not everyone has the option of receiving financial assistance from family or friends, and the thought of taking out loans to pay for your wedding can feel daunting. However, don't let the idea of wedding debt stop you from planning the wedding of your dreams. With a little bit of planning and organization, you can avoid wedding debt and still have a memorable day.
Create a Budget
The first step to planning your wedding without going into debt is to create a budget. Take a look at your and your partner's savings, how much you can realistically save every month leading up to the big day, and any contributions you may receive from parents or loved ones. Having a clear understanding of your financial situation will help you stay on track throughout the planning process. Consider using a budget calculator to get a better idea of how much you can afford to spend in each area.
Determine Your Non-Negotiables
As you start planning, you may find there are a few things that are must-haves for your big day. This could be a specific venue, a particular photographer, or an abundance of flowers. Sit down with your partner and list your top three non-negotiables. Allocate most of your budget there and cut costs in other areas that are less important to you.
Don't Forget Miscellaneous Expenses
When putting together your budget spreadsheet, don't forget to include a line for miscellaneous expenses. There are quite a few unexpected costs, such as alterations, your marriage license, taxes, service fees, and more. Be sure to include a buffer for these expenses to avoid any last-minute financial surprises.
Create a Separate Bank Account
Creating a separate bank account that is used solely for wedding planning can help you keep track of your spending and prevent overspending. By automating your contributions and keeping a certain amount in there, you can stay on top of your budget. We recommend opening a high-yield savings account, which allows you to earn money by just having some in the bank.
Give Yourself a Deadline
While you want your wedding to be special, it's important to remember that it's just one day. Don't spend years saving up for your wedding. Make a realistic deadline and stick to it. Avoid putting off your wedding just because you need to save money. Remember that the most important aspect of a wedding is you and your partner promising forever to one another.
Discuss Finances Often
Make sure you and your partner are on the same page financially. Have open and honest discussions about your budget and priorities. If you begin to feel overwhelmed financially, take a break from planning and focus on each other. Think about your future aspirations together, whether it's buying a home, traveling, or starting a family. Focusing on these goals will help you avoid overspending and stay on track.
Get Married on a Friday or Sunday
Saturdays are the most popular day of the week for weddings, which also means they're the most expensive. Consider getting married on a Friday or Sunday instead to save on venue costs. You could even have a Sunday brunch wedding, complete with delicious breakfast foods and sunshine.
Opt for a Wedding Website
Wedding websites are a great way to share details with your guests and save money on printing costs. Include all of the important details, such as the rehearsal dinner, welcome party, and hotel room block, so guests can easily access the information they need.
Host an All-Inclusive Destination Wedding
Did you know that destination weddings can actually be cheaper than traditional weddings? Especially if you choose an all-inclusive venue. Depending on the location, you can save thousands of dollars. An all-inclusive package means you don't have to worry about coordinating vendors or additional expenses like food, drinks, or decorations. Plus, it can naturally limit your guest list, which also helps you save money in the long run.
Use a Budget Guide and Spreadsheet
To make planning as seamless as possible, we've created a budget guide with everything you need to know. It even comes with a free budget spreadsheet, so you don't have to make your own. Use this as a tool to keep track of your expenses and stay on top of your budget. By having a clear understanding of your finances, you can avoid wedding debt and still have the wedding of your dreams.
Avoid Wedding Debt
Planning a wedding on a budget may seem daunting, but it's possible. By creating a budget, determining your non-negotiables, and sticking to a deadline, you can avoid overspending and stay on track. Don't be afraid to get creative with your choices, like having a Sunday brunch wedding or opting for an all-inclusive destination wedding. Remember, the most important aspect of your wedding day is you and your partner promising forever to one another. With these tips and tools, you can have a beautiful wedding without breaking the bank.
In conclusion, planning a wedding can be stressful, but with careful planning, it doesn't have to break the bank. By following these tips and using the budget guide and spreadsheet provided, you can avoid wedding debt and still have the wedding of your dreams. Remember, the most important part of your wedding day is the love and commitment you share with your partner, so don't let financial stress overshadow the joy of the occasion. Happy planning!