How to Pay for Your Wedding
Your wedding day is one of the biggest, most important days of your life. It can also be one of the most expensive. Even a simple, bare bones wedding ceremony can cost thousands of dollars. If you’re planning to get married, you may be starting to add up food, travel, photographers, flowers and all the other expenses. Are you worried about how to find money for a wedding? Don’t be. How to Pay for a Wedding will help calm those wedding money worries.
Money for a Wedding: Here’s Why It Matters
Weddings are deeply personal, and our financial choices are even more personal. Some people say big weddings are a waste of money and it’s better to save that money. Others say it’s priceless to have the memories and photographs of a special day where all their loved ones were gathered.
Whatever side you choose, you will need to figure out a way to pay for your special day. Here are five ways to pay for the big day.
1. Take Out a Loan
On the Practical Wedding blog, Jareesa Tucker McClure says there is a lot of unspoken “shame” about how people pay for their weddings. Everyone has a different idea about who should pay, how much it should cost and what the right solution is. She says people need to be open about what they chose to do and why.
She notes that a loan is the option she and her husband chose.
“As our wedding was 90% self-funded, our options were limited in how we could pay for our wedding,” she writes. “Our short engagement meant either radically changing our lifestyle so we could save aggressively or drastically scaling back on the wedding. Neither of those options were things we were willing to do.”
If you’re in a similar situation, a loan might be a better solution than hitting up your family or maxing out your credit cards.
Created by a photographer, this informative video gives you a peek into why weddings can cost so much.
2. Get Help from Other People
This is also known as letting your parents, grandparents or other family members pay for your wedding. This is a traditional way to get money for a wedding.
This is a truly generous gift. It’s especially helpful if you’re already struggling with student loan debt and housing costs. Your family wants you to be happy, and you’ll never forget their help.
At the same time, when someone else pays, they usually get to call the tune. How much of a say do you really want your parents or other relatives to have in your wedding plans?
Be Smart About the Money
Financial expert Dave Ramsey suggests that whoever pays for the wedding should establish a wedding checking account to hold the money for the wedding. He suggests writing out a detailed budget for every item to avoid going over the total amount set aside for the wedding.
If you’re both comfortable with this option and your family can afford to do it, this is another good option.
Many young people use a combination of side jobs and scrimping to pull together money for a wedding. They prefer knowing they’ve managed to raise the money on their own. As the WeddingWire blog notes, “Will it be stressful? Unless you’re both oil tycoons, yes, but honestly? Learning how to work, save and budget together to achieve a shared goal is great training for marriage.”
At the MoneyUnder30 blog, Christopher Murray suggests doing as much of the legwork yourself as possible. He describes the way he slashed expenses for his own wedding while working side hustles:
“We’re not getting married until next fall, so we’re taking advantage of all the sales happening during the summer, which is saving us a fortune.
- Making our own decorations.
- Cooking all our own food.
- Making our own invitations.
- Having our wedding at a campground (that alone is saving us thousands over a smaller, more expensive venue.”
Look for Double-Duty Side Gigs
Are you looking for more ideas? If you get a side job, make it doubly valuable by getting one that also gives you valuable discounts on wedding-related needs.
- Work part-time for a bridal retailer to get a discount on gowns, bridesmaids’ dresses and tuxes.
- Work for a catering company to make some cash and get a catering discount.
- Get work at a photography studio, restaurant, bakery, florist or grocery store where your discount will come in handy for your wedding.
Some people choose to get married with no fuss and no guests. This is one way to never have to find money for a wedding.
Some people hire a minister to stand on the beach while they recite their vows. Some people fly to Las Vegas for the weekend to have a cheap, quick wedding there.
Others pay $25 or so for the required license, then go to the county courthouse for the ceremony.
My husband and I were living in the Los Angeles area at the time we were planning our wedding. The stress of clashing ideas and requests from both families, and a small budget make eloping look like the perfect option. It was! A quick drive over to Las Vegas, a cute little wedding chapel recommended by a co-worker, and problem solved!
There are some advantages to this approach.
If you really want to save money, this is the best way to do it. You completely avoid all wedding-related costs and debt.
There are also disadvantages.
If it’s important to commemorate your special day, you should make sure you’re both dressed up and looking your best. Assign someone in your party to take pictures of the big day.
If you’re worried about your guests feeling left out of a celebration, you can always join them at a local restaurant, on the beach or at someone’s home. My mom and dad hosted a lovely reception for us at their home a week after our ceremony. It was a perfect solution, and extraordinarily budget friendly.
5. Make More Money
Wouldn’t it be great to have enough money to pay for a nice wedding without maxing out your credit cards, scrimping and saving or working three jobs? If you have a reliable system for increasing your monthly income, you can find money for a wedding easily.
Even if you’ve already taken out a loan to pay for your wedding why not start making money with your own website and pay that loan off quickly?
Worried you don’t have all the skills to build a viable website? Don’t be.
This page explains the four easy steps to getting an online presence established, and even gives you a chance to look it over with no obligation.
So, whether you just need a little assistance getting a site set up, or a complete how-to that covers things like:
- Buying a domain name
- Setting up and building your website
- How to use WordPress
- Best ways to use social media to grow your site
- Google’s role in helping you build your business
Starting your own online business with my #1 recommendation will allow you flexibility you never thought possible, and will provide you a way to build something tangible and long-lasting.
After all, this is just the beginning of your journey together. There are going to be lots of big-ticket items you’re going to want and need in your future. Why not start building your very own online “piggy bank” today so the money will be available before those needs arise?