This is such an exciting time! It’s both exciting and scary all at once. My first piece of advice? Take a deep breath & know this: most couples I come across end up dealing with some form (and size) of debt both before and after the wedding. The most important thing to determine is “your number”: how much are you comfortable committing to your wedding? Remember, this is the first day of your “happily ever after” and we want to make sure that you start your life together on the right foot! Before you start picking out venues, flowers and fashion, follow these tips:
Tip #1. Sit down as a couple and start talking MONEY
Questions to run through: How much have you saved up individually? How much are you willing to commit to the wedding? Next, both of you need to start a regular savings plan for the big day, $25, $50 or $100/month, it doesn’t matter, simply start with whatever you can commit and start now! The important thing is to be open about your current situation and how much you can afford to save up before the big day.
Tip #2. Take the money conversation to other relatives
Once you have some insight into your personal situation, it’s time to have the chat with family! Family members are often willing to help pay for your wedding, but beware of miscommunication! If Grandma wants to pay for your cake, or Dad wants to buy your wedding dress, be sure to find out exactly what this means. Often, there is a disconnect between how much they think something should cost, what it really costs, and what you plan on spending. Get the numbers up front and have an honest conversation about prices. This is going to help immensely when it comes time to create your detailed budget for the big day!
Tip #3. Before you dive into picking venues and flowers, identify your true priorities for the day
It’s incredibly easy to get distracted and carried away by inspiration photos; your money and time should go towards things that are important to you! Write the important things down and keep them top of mind.
Tip #4. Manage your debt properly
You’ve done all of the above and come to the realization that taking on some debt is unavoidable. Consolidate into the lowest interest rate possible, don’t throw everything onto your credit card and forget about it! Immediately start looking into options for lower rates. In many cases, applying for a personal loan for the amount you need to borrow is a good way to keep your debt at a lower interest rate, but also keep you on track with spending at the same time. Start a relationship with a financial advisor who is willing to coach you along the way. You will not receive a bill when you sit down with one of us and we are worth our weight in gold! Planning on using monetary wedding gifts to pay off your debts or do you plan to pay off the debt over a few years? Be sure to understand how this debt can impact your life after the wedding and ensure both of you are comfortable with the payments that you are committing to.
Tip #5. Spending more doesn’t mean you’ll have a better wedding!
Keep this top of mind: more money does not equal a better day. Focus on your priorities when creating your detailed budget and you’ll do just fine!
Stay tuned for my detailed budgeting tools; we’ve opened a can of worms with this topic and I’ll be sharing more tips on creating a detailed budget for your big day! Congratulations & remember to enjoy every minute of the planning process!