Planning your dream wedding can bring a rush of excitement. From finding the perfect venue and wedding dress to choosing your photographer, all of these things make your big day become a reality. While the planning aspect of your wedding is enjoyable, the costs that come with your decisions can create stress. According to an article from Business Insider, the average cost of a wedding in 2020, was $19,000, a decrease of $9,000 from 2019. The average cost of a wedding in 2021 was $22,500, an increase of $3,500 from 2020. Though the cost of a wedding has increased slightly from 2020 due to less restrictions from the pandemic, overall wedding costs have been dropping in recent years. While the average cost of a wedding has decreased, they can still be expensive. Proper planning and having an understanding of how much you can afford is crucial to ensure you aren’t overspending.
Here are five financial tips to consider while wedding planning.
1. Create a wedding budget
After you select your wedding date, it’s time to create your wedding budget. This should include an overall amount you’re willing to spend on things related to your wedding. Be sure to budget for your vendors, save the date and wedding invitations, your officiant, and any bridesmaid or groomsmen gifts. While this list is just a sample of what to include, consider reviewing a full wedding planning checklist. It’s ideal to shop around for services to find prices that will fit comfortably into your budget.
Learn more about Three Financial Tips for Newly Engaged Couples.
2. Open a joint checking account to help manage costs
You’ll likely have many transactions occurring before your big day arrives. To help reduce unwanted stress and tension, consider opening a joint checking account to help keep track of wedding-related expenses. Instead of paying for things out of different accounts, designate one account that you both have access to as a wedding fund account. This can make it easier to track when and how much has been spent. Additionally, this makes it an ideal way to review past transactions or double check how much has been spent.
Read Money and Marriage: Combining Lives Often Means Combining Finances.
3. Refrain from using emergency and retirement savings to cover costs
Although it might be tempting to dip into your emergency savings and your retirement savings to help fund costs, it’s often not ideal. An emergency can arise at any time, and you’ll want to ensure you have the proper finances in place to cover that emergency. Additionally, taking money out of your retirement savings can delay when you will be able to retire and reduce the amount of money you’ve already saved. Instead, determine an amount that you can comfortably contribute to each of these until all of your wedding costs have been paid.
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4. Meet with a financial advisor
Your wedding will be one of many large expenses you might incur once you are together. Consider meeting with a financial advisor who can help you create a plan on how to pay for your wedding. Once you have that relationship built, it’ll be easier for them to help you plan for other large expenses too, like obtaining a mortgage loan for a new home, buying a new car, or even fine-tuning your retirement plan and savings strategy.
5. Discuss your finances
As you begin your life as a couple, consider having a discussion about your finances. Determine what major expenses you should be saving for and how much you expect to save each paycheck. Create a budget that includes shared and individual financial responsibility to help you stay on track with your finances. Additionally, if you’re taking a honeymoon after your wedding, consider how that will be paid for and adjust your savings strategy if necessary.
Planning a wedding can be fun, especially if you have an understanding of your finances. Creating a budget, opening a joint checking account, and meeting with a financial advisor are small steps you can take to ensure you’re spending within your means and keeping track of costs. To learn more about how our products and services can help you with your finances, contact a trusted First Bank representative.