How To Avoid Wedding Debt When Planning Your Big Day

January 27, 2023 | riley

Your best friend asked you to marry them, and now you’re ready to enjoy the bliss of being engaged and planning your wedding. If you’ve never planned a wedding before–and we’re guessing you haven’t–the entire process can feel overwhelming, especially when it comes to finances. 

While some couples receive money from their family and friends, we know this isn’t an option for everyone. We also know just how expensive weddings can be. According to The Knot, the average wedding in 2021 was $28,000. That’s far from chump change.

Though the option of taking out loans is there, we understand that many couples want to avoid wedding debt, which can feel virtually impossible. But we’re here to tell you that it’s not! And we’re sharing our best tips to help you stay out of debt while still being able to enjoy the wedding of your dreams.

How To Avoid Wedding Debt

Create A Budget

There are a few steps to take before you can even begin to think about booking your vendors and venue–the first being creating a budget. Take a look at your and your partner’s saving accounts, how much money you can realistically save every month leading up to the big day, and what money (if any) you are receiving from parents or loved ones. This big-picture number will help you stay on track throughout the planning process.

Determine Your Non-Negotiables

As you start planning, you may find there are a few “must-haves” for your big day. This could be a venue you’ve had your eye on, a specific photographer, or an abundance of flowers. Whatever it may be, sit down with your partner and list your top three non-negotiables. This is where most of your budget will likely go. This will also help you cut costs in other areas that are less important to the two of you.

Don’t Forget A Miscellaneous Item Line In Your Budget

When putting together your budget spreadsheet (which we’ve already put together for you), don’t forget to include a line for miscellaneous expenses. There are quite a few unexpected costs, such as alterations, your marriage license, taxes, service fees, and more.

Create A Separate Bank Account

Creating a separate bank account that is used solely for wedding planning allows you to automate your contributions and keep track of your spending. While this may seem like a silly extra step, it can prevent you from overspending. For example, if you are just using money from your regular savings, you may spend more than you intend because the money is in the account. If you create a separate account, you can keep a certain amount in there, and once it’s gone, it’s gone.

We recommend opening a high-yield saving account. This allows you to earn money by just having some in the bank. Although it may not be much, that extra $50 that you make could be what helps you get the florist you fell in love with on Instagram.

Give Yourself A Deadline

The last thing that you want to do is spend years saving up for your wedding. While your wedding is something you may have dreamed about since you were little, it’s also important to remember that it’s just a fancy party. The most important aspect of a wedding is you and your partner promising forever to one another. All of the other details are just an added bonus. That’s why it’s not worth spending years saving for a single night. Of course, you want it to be special, but don’t put it off just because you need to save. Make the deadline realistic.

Discuss Finances Often

We’re firm believers that you should be discussing finances with your partner often during the wedding planning process. If you begin to feel overwhelmed financially, have a date night where you get the focus back on just the two of you. Think about your future dreams together, whether buying a home in the near future, traveling the world, or starting a family. Focusing on saving money and not going into debt for these future aspirations will help you reel it in and remind you why you’re committing to a budget in the first place. 

Image by McKenzie McNeil

Other Helpful Financial Tips

Get Married On A Friday or Sunday

It should come as no surprise that Saturdays are the most popular day of the week for weddings. They’re also the most expensive. While having a weekday wedding may not be realistic for many, if you’re looking to save a little extra money, consider getting married on a Friday or Sunday. There’s nothing we love more than a Sunday brunch wedding full of delicious breakfast foods and sunshine.

Opt For A Wedding Website

While we recommend sending out physical save-the-dates and invitations to your guests, you can save money by having a wedding website. On the site, you can list all of the details about the rehearsal dinner, your welcome party, and information about the hotel room block you’ve set up, so you don’t have to have this printed on even more cards.

Host An All-Inclusive Destination Wedding

Did you know that destination weddings can actually be cheaper than traditional weddings? Especially if you choose an all-inclusive venue. Depending on the location, you can save thousands of dollars. Doing so also helps you trim down your guest list naturally, which also helps you save money in the long run as well.

Now that you know some tips and tricks to help you avoid wedding debt, it’s time to get serious about your wedding budget. That is the first step, after all. To make planning as seamless as possible, we’ve created a budget guide with everything you need to know. It even comes with a free budget spreadsheet, so you don’t have to make your own!

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