Do you think it is a good idea to borrow money just so you can finance your dream wedding?
A lot of experts do not think so. In fact, financial advisers believe that this is one of the debts that you should think twice or thrice before you borrow. If you ask any expert, they would discourage you from borrowing money just so you can get married. It is better to just save up for this expense rather than force it by getting a loan to finance it.
Apparently, some people do not mind being in debt as long as they are united with the one their love. According to a press release published on PRNewsWire.com, 2.1% of loan borrowers use it to finance wedding expenses. Based on the data provided, the average loan offered is usually $11,000 and more people from the Northeast region borrow money to finance their wedding.
This goes to show that people can sometimes make irrational choices when they are going through an emotional high. The engagement, after all, is a very emotional phase in anyone’s life. That rush of love and affection for your partner can cause you to make irrational choices that could affect your future together. If you want to start your marriage right and enjoy financial bliss, you, ideally, need to start it without debt. But in case you really cannot wait another year before you say your vows, is there a way to be smart about the money that you will borrow for your wedding?
When is it okay to get a loan for your wedding?
Being smart about this loan means satisfying a couple of qualifications to justify your decision to borrow money for your wedding. Before you can apply for a loan, make sure you satisfy as much as you can from these 5 qualifications:
If you have to get married now.
Do you really have to get married now? Sometimes, couples are in a hurry to get married because the other is about to go abroad for work (or maybe a military service member deployed in another country). If you are trying to race against time, you can probably justify the need to get a loan just so you can get married.
If you have a good credit score.
Another qualification that you need to meet before you borrow money for your wedding is your credit score. Do you, or your finance, have a good credit score? If you have a bad score, you might be given a high interest for your loan. This will increase the money that you will be wasting on the loan. Try to avoid this as much as possible.
If you have a stable job.
This is another qualification that will help you decide if you should get a loan or not. If your job is not stable, you might find it hard to pay off your loan. If you lose your job or you are dependent of freelancing projects, you should think twice before you borrow money. Skipping on payments might cause stress early on in your marriage. You want to avoid that as much as possible.
If you have a payment plan in place.
Before you apply for a loan, make sure you have a payment plan in place. Creating one will help you check if you have the funds to pay off the loan. If you do not know where you will get the money for the monthly contributions, that is a problem. Find where you will get the money first for the payments before you get a loan.
If you do not have other debts.
The final qualification is to not have other debts. Ideally, you want to have zero debt at all. But if you have a small amount of debt, you can probably check with your payment plan if you can really afford to add more. If it turns out that you can, then proceed with the loan.
Before you borrow money, it is very important that you understand why you are doing it. Sure, love is important but you have to be careful about the amount of debt that you will put yourself through. According to a study published on PBS.org, the more you spend on your wedding increases the odds of you getting a divorce. The study done by two economic professors from Emory University. If you think that the amount has an effect on your marriage, what more if the money was borrowed? It might make things worse.
How to plan a frugal wedding
If you think about it, you can get married without necessarily spending a lot of money. You just have to be smart about your choices. Planning a frugal wedding may be the key to help you get the wedding of your dreams without the need for debt.
But how much does it cost to get married today? According to the study done by TheKnot.com, the average cost to get married in the US is $31,213. This is already $3,000 higher compared to 2006. Take note that this is the average cost. That means there are those who spend more and those who spend less than this amount.
If you do not have the savings to pay for a grand wedding celebration, you obviously want to be part of the half that spends less than the average. To do that, you may need to adapt a frugal mindset so you can pay for your wedding without borrowing money to finance it.
Let us go through the different spending categories and discuss how you can save on each.
The best way to save money here is by narrowing your guest list. You will save on the food, invites and even the centerpiece that you will place on the table. You can also opt to get married during the off-peak season – that includes forgetting about a Saturday wedding. That way, everything will not be as expensive – and you can choose from more suppliers. You can also set both the ceremony and reception in one place. This will eliminate the need to pay for two venues. Better yet, why not get a wealthy relative to host your wedding in their backyard? If the home of your parents has a backyard that is big enough, you can also choose to get married there.
Food and drinks
Even if you have cut down the guest list, there are other ways to save on food and drinks. If you know someone who is a great cook, you can ask them to help you out by cooking the food during the reception. Serving comfort foods like barbecued meats, corn, etc can save you a lot. You can also approach family-owned restaurants in your local community. They usually charge less than known wedding caterers. For the drinks, you can opt to buy your own beer, wine and drinks so skip the more expensive open bars. For your cake, you can choose a small two-tiered cake for the reception but have a simple yet bigger cake in the kitchen to serve to the guests. This can already be your dessert.
Gowns, suits, dresses, accessories, etc.
We all want that dream gowns and the dapper suit created by known designers. But if your budget cannot afford it, then skip it. There are dresses off the rack that look as good as any wedding dress. The bride can choose to use the wedding dress of their mother and alter it to suit their taste. For the bridesmaids – you can ask them to pay for their own dresses. That can really help cut back on the cost. The accessories can be borrowed or created to be unique. If you are creative enough, you can find a way to cut on costs.
What is a wedding without flowers right? We are not going to have a wedding without flowers but there are ways for you to keep costs down simply by choosing the right kind to use. Roses are beautiful and not as expensive as tulips or peonies. Buying the flower that is in season when you get married will keep your from the need to borrow money for your wedding. And you can skip using flowers as the centerpiece – use candles and glasses. They are just as beautiful and romantic if done the right way.
Invites and favors
You really do not need a printed invite because you can create a digital one and send it to those you want to be with you on your special day. In case you want to be traditional about it, you can create your own invite. When it comes to the favors, you can give one per couple. That will help save you money. Of course, doing your own wedding favors can save loads of money so check out simple yet elegant favors that you can do yourself.
Photos, videos and music
If you live near a university where art and music students go, you can probably approach some of the students to ask them to cover your wedding. This is a great way for them to earn some extra cash and at the same time, give them something to put in their list of experience. If you also know a family or friend who take great photos or plays an instrument or can sing, ask them to help you out as a wedding gift.
Believe it or not, you can get the help of your family and friends when it comes to putting together your dream wedding. If they love you enough, the wouldn’t mind giving you tips or contacts to help you save so you do not have to borrow money to finance your wedding.
How to save for the wedding of your dreams
To really avoid being in debt before your wedding, you really have to save up for it. Here are some tips that will help you get the finances that you need to pay for your wedding in cash.
- Plan the details. Start by planning the details of your wedding. The earlier you plan, the more you can anticipate the expenses so you can do something to make the costs go down. Besides, financial planning for genders are usually different. You can avoid disagreeing in the future if you sit down and talk to your partner about the details of your wedding.
- Figure out how much each will cost. This will allow you to identify the costs that you can work on and those that you need to save up for.
- Find out how you can minimize the cost. Check if you have family or friends who can lend a hand or share a talent. This can be their wedding gift to you.
- Total the amount you will need. Once you have removed the things you can get for free or at a discount, you can not get the sum of what you need to save up for the wedding.
- Calculate how much you should save each month. Once you have the total amount, you can calculate how much you will need to save each month. By saving money, you can avoid the need to get a loan to finance your wedding.
- Earn more or spend less to meet your saving goal. If you current cash flow and expenses cannot meet your target, you may have to start earning more or spending less. A few sacrifices will make your wedding all the more worth it.
If you have exhausted all these efforts and still come up short, it may already be justified to borrow money for your wedding. At least, all these efforts will make you borrow less than the actual value of your wedding event.