I’m delighted to present a guest post by Fiona from Savvy In Somerset. Fiona’s written many helpful posts on weddings on her blog!
If you got engaged recently, you may now have the daunting prospect of figuring out how to pay for your dream wedding.
Here’s why I think a loan or credit card is the last thing you should be considering. . .
If you got engaged recently, then congratulations! You are now entering the massive minefield that is Planning a Wedding. And I really do wish you all the luck the in world. Even if you think you know what you want, where you want it, when you want it there will still be problems, because inevitably there always is.
I love planning and organizing things and I always thought I would love planning my own wedding. I was wrong. It was actually one of the most stressful things I have done in my entire life. There was unexpected problem after unexpected problem. And I was lucky enough to have a healthy budget and substantial savings to be able rectify things that needed rectifying as and when they cropped up. I can’t imagine how much more stressful it would have been if we been on a much tighter budget and I hadn’t had that buffer.
If you can comfortably afford to spend £20k+ on your wedding then go for it. If it’s from your personal savings, a gift from parents or inheritance then that’s fine (just make sure you don’t blow the lot and leave yourself with nothing for emergencies).
What I absolutely 100% do not recommend is getting into debt for the sake of your wedding day.
Starting married life with a huge loan or crippling credit card bills hanging over you is not something that I would advise. Because more often not after marriage come babies (if you don’t already have them) and you’ll find even more of your budget being sucked up each month. Plus, if you don’t have your own place you may be thinking of saving up for a deposit for a house – which for me personally would absolutely take priority over my wedding day – which is just that one day. A home could be forever.
Saving Vs Borrowing
When you first become engaged and start wedding planning, the first thing you will notice is how expensive everything becomes when you put the ‘W’ in front of it.
In some cases, this is completely justified – when you look at the time, effort and skill that goes into a large intricately decorated wedding cake, the hefty price tag is completely understandable. It is also good to remember a lot of wedding businesses are small businesses themselves and are probably already charging the minimum they can to remain competitive. However, this does see a great many couples needing to stretch their budget further and further to have their dream day.
When you start to add everything up – the venue, the registrar, food, the dress, the flowers, DJ – the list goes on and on – it can start seem like you will never be able to afford the wedding you want. Or that it’s going to take years and years to save up and pay for it. So, I can see why the idea of a small (or large) loan, or placing the entirety of the wedding spending on credit card might seem tempting.
But think about it long term.
Where do you see yourself in five years time?
Do you want to still be paying for something that lasted just one day? With possibly hundreds of pounds a year in interest?
What if you were made redundant and could no longer afford repayments?
We live in YOLO society where everyone wants to do everything now, as quickly as possible no matter the consequences. But saving hard for two or three years could save you hundreds in interest in the long run. Plus there are often discounts to be had by booking early, so you could be saving twice if you wait.
Consider the long-term impact of the debt
Taking a loan or credit card out to pay for your wedding could also have a negative impact on your credit score. Which in turn could affect things in the future, like getting a mortgage.
While a mortgage lender will look at all aspects of your income and the ratio of these to any debts, things like a car loan (if your car is needed to get to work, for example) are much more positive than having thousands of pounds of credit card debt that was spent on a wedding – which could be considered non-essential.
It’s also worth considering what would happen if it got to a point where you are unable to repay the debt (such as a sudden redundancy) how much this would increase the interest rate and again, how it could end up impacting your credit score long term.
While I realise it’s not going to be the same for everyone, in my view being in the best position financially to obtain a mortgage or pay my rent would always win out over anything else.
The possibility of things not working out is also something that should be considered. 42% of marriages in the UK now end in divorce – that’s almost half.
While it might be the last thing you want think about in the rosy post engagement glow, remember that not everyone stays together forever. If any loans you are considering taking out now are in your name seriously think about whether you could afford the debt on your own should the worst happen and whether you’d want to be lumbered with affording repayments alone in that situation.
So, if you’ve got your dream wedding all planned but are really struggling to afford it, here are my top tips for getting your big day for less
- Opt for a midweek wedding. Many venues offer a hugely discounted rate for midweek and Sunday weddings and if you can get it to coincide with a bank holiday, even better. Given enough notice those who need to should be able to book time off work to attend.
- Wed2B offer a range of wedding dresses for £500 and under – all ready to take home on the day you try. These are usually much cheaper than traditional bridal boutiques and less scary than ordering a super budget dress from China.
- Think outside the box when shopping for bridesmaids’ dresses – mine actually came from Tesco’s F&F range, cost £22.50 each and were very similar to style that was selling at Debenhams for £80.
- No wedding actually needs a three course sit down dinner. Other cheaper options could include afternoon tea, a picnic, a ploughman’s or hiring a food van. The wedding cake could also double up as dessert.
- Get family and friends involved – instead of ending up with 25 toasters – allow people to help where they can in lieu of a traditional gift.
Over to you…
I’m sure you’ve enjoyed Fiona’s post. You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter. What do you think of Fiona’s ideas? Of course, I wholeheartedly agree that it’s worth saving up for a wedding instead of getting into debt, and you can find more penny-pinching wedding posts this month.