How to Pay for a Wedding

Avoid astronomical wedding expenses and prepare for wedded bliss by asking yourself a few questions.

Young couple sitting outside in the sunshine excitedly talking about their future.

Weddings are major life milestones that can also be major budget busters. Keep your cool and plan ahead to make it a happy day—that you won’t be paying off for years.

The amount you’ll spend on your wedding depends on a variety of factors. You might easily get carried away planning a lavish party—complete with a long guest list, decadent dinner and fairytale venue. It’s easy to see how wedding costs can quickly grow to $30,000 or more.

Or, you may be hoping to rein in costs and keep your wedding on a smaller scale. Ask yourself a few questions to help gauge where your wedding budget might fall:

  • What’s your number of guests?
  • Where will your ceremony and reception take place?
  • Will you serve dinner and have an open bar?
  • Do you plan to hire a professional photographer, videographer, DJ, etc.?
  • What type of honeymoon do you want?

Consider other costs, too, including invitations, rings, attire, flowers, cake and additional parties.

Once you have a rough estimate, take that total number and divide by the number of months until the big day. This will give you an idea of how much you’ll need to save monthly to cover everything.

For example: $15,000 / 12 months = $1,250 per month

Ways to Save on Wedding Costs

You can still have a perfect day while saving money. Here are some ideas to get started.

  • Cut down on guests.Invite only those most important loved ones.
  • Pick a weekday date.Costs are cheaper during the week.
  • Choose off season.Costs are cheaper in the off season.
  • Find a flexible venue.So you can choose your own caterers and more.
  • Have a simple honeymoon.It’ll still be relaxing and wonderful.
  • Ask friends for help.Instead of gifts, they can give you their skills.
  • Plan ahead.It’ll give you more time to shop around and compare.

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