Did you know that paying off debt is one of the reasons why some couples choose to delay their plans of getting married?
A study published on Brides.com revealed that student loans are to blame for couples delaying marriage. The study conducted by the American Student Assistance revealed that 21% of respondents admitted to postponing their wedding plans because of a student loan debt situation.
Apparently, a lot of millennials have chosen to delay a lot of milestones because they are overloaded with debt. While getting married at a later age may not really seem that bad, it can delay other milestones in your life like parenthood. It may seem like a noble sacrifice for living a debt-free marriage life, but the truth is, it is not really necessary. You can plan your wedding even if you are currently paying off debt.
According to the data from CostOfWedding.com, the average wedding cost in the US is $26,645. However, there are also a lot of couples who spend less than $10,000 on their wedding. There are various opportunities to lower your wedding expenses so it will not compromise your goals of paying off debt.
How can paying off debt compromise your wedding
Although getting married is primarily an emotional decision, you still need to consider your finances before you tie the knot. There are two ways your debt can influence your decision to get married.
- It makes the wedding unaffordable. The ceremony and reception will cost you money. While it is not as expensive as buying a house, the cost is still significant enough for your debt situation to make paying for a wedding seem impossible.
- Hesitation to bring debt into the marriage. There are some couples who are embarrassed about their personal debt situation. They would prefer to pay it off first rather than bring their personal debts into the marriage.
While your decision to pay off debt before you get married is admirable, it is not a necessity. Believe it or not, you can afford to pay for your wedding even if you still have debts to pay off. You just have to do a bit of planning and a lot of DIY projects in between.
Some people who are in debt may be inclined to borrow money in order to pay for their wedding. In fact, according to MarketWatch.com, 36% of couples used their credit cards to pay for their wedding expenses. Not only that, 32% of couples say that having access to credit will give them more room in their budget.
The truth is, it is nice to have a huge budget when you get married, however, it is not necessary to spend a lot to have the wedding of your dreams. It is possible for you to have a frugal wedding that is still elegant and well thought-out.
How to make your wedding affordable despite the existence of debt
Spending a lot of money is not mandatory to get married. Here are some tips that will help you finance the wedding of your dreams without making your debts worse.
- Set a wedding budget. A budget is always the best way to start. It is nice to get into the habit of discussing your finances before you make a decision. Your marriage will be more harmonious with a budget plan so start by using one as you plan your wedding. Whatever amount you decide should strictly be followed.
- Keep it small and intimate. You do not have to invite anyone just to be courteous about it. You can only invite those you really want to be with on your special day. Besides, having a long guest list will make you spend more.
- Ask help from family and friends. If you have skillful relatives and friends, you can ask for their service as a wedding gift. A friend who owns a nice camera and can take great photos can be your wedding photographer. A sister who can bake can provide your wedding cake. You can also enlist your mom to help you cook the meal for the party. A relative with a spacious garden can serve as the venue for your wedding reception.
- Do-it-yourself. Why spend on invites, souvenirs, decorations, and other wedding effects if you can do it on your own? If the wedding date is a long way off, you can research and create your own wedding materials. It should be a lot of fun and it can be very cost-efficient.
Instead of looking at the amount that you will spend, why not focus on making your wedding priceless? This will help you keep your cost down so you can continue paying off debt while planning your wedding.
7 ideas that will keep your wedding from compromising your debt payments
To plan a cost-efficient wedding, here are 7 ideas can help you plan a cost-efficient wedding.
- Get married during the off-peak season. Most weddings happen from April to August. Prices will go up then. Choose a wedding date that will not fall in these months.
- Choose a day wedding. Most evening weddings are more expensive because it is more formal. A more casual wedding will help you cut back on some of the wedding costs (e.g. serving cocktails instead of a full dinner).
- Select a non-traditional wedding venue. As mentioned, if you know someone with a beautiful backyard or farm, that can be a great place to get married – and cost efficient too.
- Use what you have. For instance, if you have a stereo equipment, you can use that instead of paying to rent a sound system. The same goes for the wedding decorations.
- Go without the groomsmen and bridesmaid gifts. They are your close relatives and friends anyway. They will understand.
- Offer to advertise suppliers in exchange for discounts. If you do not mind displaying vendor cards, this should help save money.
- Tap into the local university. Students sometimes need the extra cash. Look for students who wish to have a hands-on experience in playing instruments, catering or photography. You can get these services for a lower price.
Planning your wedding can be a great way to practice financial harmony as a couple. This can serve you well as you continue paying off debt after you get married. Your credit situation does not have to delay your plans of getting married. You just have to learn how to prioritize the important expenses and choosing the cost-efficient option for the rest.