Should You Go into Debt to Finance Your Wedding?
Posted by Sarah at 12:31 am in Romantic

Most surveys now estimate that the average wedding costs between $19,000 and $29,000 – which is no small amount of money!  While everyone wants to create the perfect combination of romance and memories on their wedding day, the real issue is deciding what creates these special moments.  Is it the price tag of what you’ve spent at the end of the day, or your friends, family, and your new spouse coming together to help you celebrate a blessed union?

Years ago, it was common tradition for the bride’s family to pay the tab for the big day.  However, those standards have now changed, and many couples are finding themselves scrambling to pay the bill.  If you and your new spouse will be paying for your wedding, it may seem like a great idea to take out a loan or finance the event on credit cards.  However, consider the sad fact that over fifty percent of marriages fail due to financial stress.  In recent studies, over half of married couples have stated that the biggest reason for marital discourse is debt.  So ask yourself, do you really want to start your marriage already in debt?

The larger issue to consider when deciding whether or not to opt for financing is how long it will take you to pay off the debt.  What are your short term plans as a newly married couple?  If you’ve been together for a long time and plan to buy a house or start having children soon, paying off a large wedding loan could cause delays.  Think about all the things you could do with $20,000 dollars in the days after the wedding – do you really want to throw the money away on a one-day event?

Choosing to cut back on your spending doesn’t mean that you can’t have a beautiful wedding service.  Start saving up your money as soon as your engagement begins.  If you have a one year engagement, you could have substantial funds to plan your wedding if you start pinching pennies now.  You might also consider taking the amount you would have to pay back in a loan payment and placing it in savings each month.  Better yet, double the amount, and see if it’s financially feasible to take out a loan at the six month mark.  If at that point you decide it is, then you’ll have the first year’s payments in savings.

For some people, financing a wedding isn’t an issue.  If you’re currently paying for two living spaces, you’re likely anticipating a reduction in your monthly expenses after your wedding, although your income will remain the same.  The monthly payments on a wedding loan may be substantially less than monthly rent or a mortgage payment, so paying off the loan shouldn’t be an issue.  Just make sure you sit down and hammer out a firm wedding budget, and a strict after-wedding payback schedule.  Defaulting on the loan is enough to drive all the newlywed bliss out of your relationship!

Two of the biggest issues you’ll face in marriage are communication and understanding the other person’s opinions.  Planning your wedding budget is the perfect opportunity to get off on a sound financial plan together as husband and wife.  Sit down, crunch the numbers, add in a few what ifs, and see what course is best for you.

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