Getting engaged is an amazing time in your life and while the proposal is the first step in your wedding planning the next step is considering how you’re going to save up for your big day.
The big questions to consider are where you are going to get married and whether you can afford a venue or restaurant and of course how many people you can afford to invite as your guests. Add to the mix costs for your dress, suit, attendants, food, beverage, decorations, rings, entertainment, honeymoon and the cake – and you’re quickly racking up tens of thousands for your wedding budget.
Even if you keep it simple and low-key, the cost of hiring a caterer, a wedding planner and a photographer, plus the venue, the wedding cake and honeymoon can break the bank. Planning your wedding shouldn’t be stressful and starting your married life in debt due to the cost of your wedding is something you’ll want to avoid.
If you’re planning a trip down the aisle, here are five things to do with your money.
1. Set a budget
First thing is first, set a budget for the maximum you want to spend and cap it at that price. Be sure to consider you will need to still pay your daily bills as you plan your wedding and possibly go on a holiday during the wedding planning process, so if you can do a strict budget with some contingency money this is the time to set it up so you know what the event is going to cost. Sit down and determine if your parents are going to contribute to the wedding budget or if you and your partner will be covering all the expenses. You should also be clear if you will be paying for the outfits of your attendants as that can also wind up costing you a bucket load of money.
2. Start saving
When you’re planning a wedding there are plenty of things that pop up that you just can’t plan for. There are always the last minute costs such as updates to the dress and even time off to plan your big day can wind up putting a strain on your budget so it’s important to save your spare pennies to ensure you can enjoy the process without having to worry about whether you are going to be poor once your wedding day has come and gone. Set financial goals as a couple and save as much money as you can to get the financial cushion you need to enjoy the planning process. If you do want to save leading up to your wedding, why not consider moving in with your parents for 6 months or 12 months while you put all your money into saving for your honeymoon holiday or marital home?
3. Review you and your partner’s credit report
When you’re in a relationship you often don’t share personal details about your finances, however, when you are about to walk down the aisle it’s time to check your partner doesn’t have any credit surprises that you should know about. When you want to qualify for mortgages, car loans, and credit cards as a married couple you will need to share your credit history with lenders so now is the time to have a frank and open discussion about your credit and review your credit together. Most couples need to combine their income when applying for a mortgage or loan so you will need to know this information in the future but it’s better to know pre-wedding if you need to break any bad credit habits or help your partner sort out their poor credit history.
4. Don’t hurriedly combine bank accounts
Once you’re married it’s common to combine everything and that includes the bank accounts. As an engaged couple, you might want to start the process off in express mode however it’s better to hold fire until you’re well and truly married before you start combining all your accounts. After all, you’re going to need to update banks and utilities if you wind up changing your last name anyway to your married name, so you may as well leave this step until post-wedding so you can kill two birds with one stone.
5. Pay off your debt
If you’re on your way down the aisle the last thing you want to start your married life off with is debt, so write up all your debts and start crossing them off one by one. If you have a pesky credit card hanging over your head why not save to pay it off so you can focus on the more pressing things in your life – like your big day! Paying off all your credit debt such as store cards, credit cards, car loans and personal loans will allow you to start off your married life on the right foot without the expenses of paying off debt.