In 2019, the average wedding cost nearly $34,000.
Are you gearing up to pay for your own nuptials? Or, maybe you’re planning to foot some or all of the bill for a loved one’s big day. Either way, you’re likely swirling in dollar signs.
How do people pay for weddings without experiencing a major financial strain? The good news is there are few approaches you can take to ensure the road to matrimony isn’t riddled with potholes of debt.
Read on to learn the strategies to adopt today!
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1. Create a Budget and Start Saving
While arguably the least glamorous way to pay for a wedding, simple saving techniques can go a long way. In the time you have leading up to the day, factor the wedding into your actual budget.
To start, take the total cost of your wedding and divide it by the number of months you have to save. For instance, if you’ll need $15,000 and you have one year until the wedding, divide $15,000 by 12. That means you’ll need to set aside an additional $1,250 every month to afford it without additional help.
How can you add that much to your income? Start by looking at places of discretionary spending that you can cut. You can also consider reducing your monthly expenses (e.g. gym memberships, cable service, eating out). Rather than simply leaving the excess funds in your checking or savings accounts, create a new wedding account to keep that money separate.
2. Make Temporary Sacrifices
Often, cutting back on routine expenses isn’t enough to help you cover your wedding. If that’s the case, there are more drastic measures to take.
For example, could you move in with your parents for a few months to save on rent? Or, is there a vehicle that you could sell if you anticipate sharing a car once you’re married? You might even need to consider postponing your wedding until you can save more money.
While these should be last-ditch efforts, it’s important to consider the situation from every angle.
3. Get a Side Job
In addition to saving money, you can also focus on earning more money!
Before your wedding, look for a hobby you can turn into a side job to generate extra funds. Could you open an Etsy shop and sell homemade goods? What about working for a ride-share or delivery service, such as Uber or GrubHub?
Sometimes, you don’t even need to leave your house to make money. If you’re tech-savvy, you may be able to find freelance work writing, editing or performing IT services online. You could also sell items you don’t need anymore on a platform such as Facebook Marketplace.
4. Be Realistic With Credit Cards
While you save up for your wedding, there will be certain purchases you’ll likely need to make in the interim. For instance, you might need to put down a deposit to reserve your venue or book your photographer. In these cases, it’s often easiest to pay for those charges with your credit card.
As long as you’re being responsible with your cards and paying them off in full and on time, this shouldn’t impede your progress. Of all the forms of payment, credit cards are some of the most secure and can also help prevent fraud. The key is to make sure you have enough money to pay them off before you accrue interest.
Keeping this in mind, it’s never a good idea to begin your marriage under an avalanche of debt. If you know you can’t afford a purchase, don’t swipe your card.
5. Take Out a Family Loan
Feeling financially stressed and strained? If you need money to pay for your wedding but you know you can’t save enough on your own, there’s a chance that a loved one might offer to help out.
When you initiate this request, it’s best to request advice first, not money. Ask if there’s any way they can help you out without offering up cash. For example, could you get married in your parents’ backyard and pocket the money you would have spent on a venue? Could your brother and his band cover your wedding music?
If your family does offer to provide you money, make sure to get all the terms in writing and set a specific repayment timeline. This way, it’s clear that the money isn’t a wedding gift and everyone is on the same page.
6. Research Unsecured Personal Loans
There are some lenders that will offer unsecured personal loans to help you pay for a wedding. While this might be a feasible option, it isn’t the most economical one.
A wedding loan, also called a special occasion loan, is a convenient way to get access to quick cash, but it can cost you. In addition to the money you’ll spend on wedding-related goods and services, you’ll also be responsible for paying interest on any money you borrow.
To ease the strain as much as possible, look for lenders that offer low interest rates and favorable terms. If you have a solid credit history and income, your chances of achieving these rates are more likely. The major downside is that by taking out a loan to pay for your wedding, you’re already starting out your marriage in debt and that’s never a good place to begin.
How Do People Pay for Weddings? One Step at a Time
With event costs on the rise, how do people pay for weddings? The best way is to save strategically, starting as early as possible. Both you and your fiancé should commit to the savings plan and the sacrifices should never feel one-sided.
If you take it one step at a time, reduce unnecessary expenses, and adjust your expectations realistically, you might find that your wedding is more affordable than you thought. After all, it’s the meaning behind the big day that really counts!
Looking for more personal finance tips you can trust? Keep reading our blog for the insights you need. Once you’re hitched and the honeymoon is over, check out this post on how to get your first mortgage!