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Marriage and Money

Planning a wedding on a budget

When planning a wedding, it’s easy to lose track of costs. While making your dreams come true, keep long-term monetary goals in mind.
Your wedding is one of the biggest, most exciting events of your life. When you're in the middle of planning everything, it's easy to forget about setting a budget. According to, the average wedding costs around $26,000 and many cost much more. Before spending all this money, it's important to put these costs in perspective. Let's talk weddings on a budget. Otherwise, you'll risk blowing up your finances before the honeymoon is over.

Paying for your wedding

The first question you should ask yourself as you map out your wedding planning checklist is, “how are we going to pay for everything?” If you've saved up for the event or your family is going to help out, that's one thing. If you're going to need to borrow money or use your credit cards, you may want to think twice.

The problem with borrowing money for your wedding is that you'll need to pay everything back with interest. Not only will this add to the cost of your wedding, it also means you'll be heading into your marriage with a financial burden.

Debt can cripple a marriage

Debt can add serious stress to a marriage, and finances already tend to be a subject that causes lots of marital arguments. Couples can enter marriage with student loans, credit card debt, and car loans as well, an expensive wedding just puts you in a deeper hole. So why add to the stress by loading yourself up with debt on the big day?

Money for a head start in life

Even if you have the money to pay for your entire wedding, it can still make sense to stick to a smaller budget. Using the national average cost, let's say you scale back the event and only spend $12,000, leaving you and your spouse $14,000 for your future together. Think of what else you could do with this money. This could be enough for a down payment on your first home or could pay off some, if not all your other debts.

If you invest that money for the future, it would accomplish even more. Let's say you invest the $14,000 and manage to earn 7 percent a year. In 20 years, you could have about $54,000, just in time for when your kids go to college. In 40 years, as you're getting close to retirement, your wedding savings could be worth more than $200,000. How's that for perspective?

Most Americans dislike expensive weddings

If you scale down your wedding though, won't it disappoint your guests? Definitely not. In fact, most people believe that couples spend too much on weddings. Even as far back as 2013 a CBS News poll found that 80 percent of Americans believe weddings are too expensive while only 3 percent thought couples should be spending more. Chances are, your families won't notice any of your decisions to save money and will be happy to see the two of you starting married life in a more comfortable financial position.



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