Weddings are expensive! There’s no doubt about it. In fact weddings in the U.S. have an average price tag upwards of $30,000. If you’re one of the lucky few, you have a parent or parents capable of paying for an entire wedding or chipping in a large portion. But if you’re like a lot of people, you and you’re fiance might be tagged to pay for the entire wedding or a majority of it. Nowadays, it’s actually becoming more common for the bride and groom to choose to pay for the wedding – roughly 77% of brides and grooms shelled out money for their own wedding in 2009!

My husband and I were one of those couples. And while I won’t tell you our budget or what we spent, I can tell you that we were able to plan and have the wedding of our dreams without blowing our budget or blowing our savings, with only minor help from our parents. How did we do it? Easy. We planned ahead and saved our butts off!

If you’re recently engaged or planning a wedding, I have a couple of simple tips to help you avoid the poorhouse and a whopping credit card debt.

  1. Don’t Rush It! If you can’t afford to pay for the wedding of your dreams right now, there is absolutely no reason you have to have the wedding of your dreams RIGHT NOW. You’re engagement is a commitment in itself so there is no need to rush a wedding, especially if it means you can avoid some serious debt in your future. It’s never a good idea to start out your life together in debt – I mean the first year can be hard enough for some couples. Why add extra stress? Moral of the story, set your date out far enough so you can plan to pay for it…IN FULL!
  2. Save, Save, Save! Once you set a date,set your budget, figure out how much you need to save a month, plan how you will save it and put that plan into action! Saving is not too hard when you plan for it. If you need to cut back on dinners out or shopping, well, then you just might need to make it happen. I know it’s hard, but in the long run having the money to pay off your wedding will be reward enough. Think about how stress free and happy you will be while paying your vendors in cash and paying off that final bill. If you think about it hard enough, the saving part will be worth it!
  3. If you pay by credit, pay it off immediately! This is really just a slogan for life in general, I suppose. We used credit cards a lot as payment for wedding vendors, merely because we wanted to collect the air miles for it, free honeymoon flight! But each time we made a huge payment by credit card, we transferred money out of our wedding savings and paid it off right away. No need to let the credit card companies get the best of you with their interest rates and no need to wait for a bill – if you have the money now, pay it off!

I know these suggestions sound pretty common, in fact, they probably seem pretty obvious to you. But the fact of the matter is there are couples out there still paying off a wedding that took place 2 or three years ago. I don’t know about you, but once the wedding was over for me, I was ready to start living my life with my husband and not focus on paying off bills!

There is no reason, a wedding can’t be paid for in full by a bride and groom. You just have to think about timing, what you can afford and when and begin saving to make your dreams a reality. Anything is possible with the right strategy and the right saving habits! Good luck and happy planning!

Cheers!

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