Weddings can be expensive. The average cost for a wedding in the United States is around $26,000! That can be a huge burden for couples just starting off their new lives together.
The good news is it doesn’t have to be that way. With some smart planning and creative effort, you can have a memorable and beautiful wedding without breaking the bank. Here’s how!
Create a Wedding Budget
Sit down one evening and establish your initial budget for this big day. Who is paying? For some, parents are chipping in or it could be just the two of you.
Discreetly call your parents to see if they were planning on contributing. They want to give you a specific amount or maybe they’d like to cover a particular expense (food or the honeymoon).
Once you have an estimate, create a spreadsheet or prepare a binder with your numbers and notes. You’ll be needing them throughout the process.
Define Your Must-Haves
Now that you have a clearer idea of your budget, it would be good to talk about what you would like to do and have on your wedding day.
Make a list and then go back over it and order it by importance. Is the dress more important than the location? Do you really need a ton of flowers or would you rather have more options on the menu.
There are no wrong answers, you just want to make sure that no matter your budget, your wedding has key elements in it.
As soon as you can, start saving money. Automate a portion of your paycheck into a wedding fund.
You can do it as a joint account or start in separate accounts and then combine them later. However you do it, developing a habit of saving together puts you two on good financial and martial footing.
Review and Reflect on Expenses
Choose what big features matter most to you and go over your budget. For many the reception and venue are huge expenses, while you may have a specific vision in mind, you may have to adjust a few of the details to make it happen.
You can keep the location, but reduce your guest list. You can also keep the list and the venue, but choose a different day for your wedding like Friday night.
There are many ways you can save big on your wedding. By keeping what matters to you and reducing or eliminating less important expenses you can move closer to a debt free wedding, which is a huge win.
After Nuptial Tax Savings
You may be surprised to find that you can not only save during the planning phase of your wedding, but you can also save on your taxes for moves you make after your wedding. You can donate your wedding dress and decorations to a charitable organization and reap the benefits of a tax deduction on your first tax return that you file as a married couple.
Thoughts on Weddings and Savings
Your wedding, while special, is just one day. I hope you two have many more ahead of you. By mastering your wedding budget, you two can have extra peace of mind.
You don’t have to deal with debt from the celebration and instead have some money saved for your adventure as a new couple.