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Financial Education
Planning a Wedding on a Budget
Planning a wedding can make finding the person who you want to spend the rest of your life with seem like the easy part. There may be a variety of people weighing in with their opinion on such matters as whether you should invite your 30 second cousins once removed whom you never see or if the cake should be chocolate or vanilla. And, of course, there is the little issue of how you are going to pay for the whole affair. Even if you skip arriving on a horse-drawn carriage and having flowers flown in from halfway around the world, a wedding can cost a pretty penny. However, with careful planning, you can have the wedding that you want without starting off married life in financial distress.

What can you afford to spend? The first step of financially-smart wedding planning is determining what you can afford to spend. Some of the money may be coming from you and/or your fiancé’s savings. How much do you have in savings and how much of it do you want to spend on the wedding? (Don’t deplete the savings completely – it is a good idea to maintain an emergency fund in case medical bills, car repairs, or other unexpected expenses pop up.) You may also be expecting or hoping that your parents or other relatives will be covering some of the cost. If this is the case, it is important to get clarification now on exactly how much they are contributing. You don’t want to sign contracts or start buying things, only to find out later that your parents are not giving you the $5,000 you thought they would provide. List all of your sources of contributions in the Wedding Budget below, and add them together to see what your total budget is. (You can always spend less, of course, but you should not spend more.)

If your savings or the amount of assistance you are receiving from others is limited, you may have thought about putting some expenses on your credit cards. Is that really such a bad thing? If you can pay it off in a couple of months, not really, but otherwise you could be burdening yourself with debts that take years to pay off and cost you thousands of dollars in interest charges. For example, if you charge $5,000 on a card with an annual percentage rate of 14% and only pay the minimum (typically around 3% of the balance or $20, whichever is greater), it would take you over 12½ years to repay the debt and cost you almost $3,000 in interest. Do you really want to still be paying for your wedding 12 years from now? Probably not.

Next >>> Where will your money go?

No matter where you are on your journey, we can help! Contact one of our professionals today for personalized guidance.