Wedding Budget: how much to spend?

Whether you have little or plenty of time to plan or save for the wedding, KEEP IT SIMPLE.

No matter who is paying for the wedding, do NOT spend more than you can pay for in advance. In other words, do not put a bunch of expenses on a credit card to pay for the wedding AFTER the occasion comes and goes. Why?  A marriage is hard work and has enough real life stress.  Conflict over money is one of the two biggest issues a couple can face.  You do not want to start your married life with a significant wedding debt in additional to the regular monthly living expenses.   And do not ask your parents to put significant debt on a credit card.  Times are too uncertain.

Having an expensive wedding with debt to pay after wards, does not encourage the longevity of your marriage.  Be SMART about this.  Figure out a wedding budget and stick to it.  Only purchase wedding expenses that you can pay off BEFORE the wedding date.   If you cannot afford to get those paid off before, you certainly can’t afford it after wards.

Take off your rosy colored glasses and use your calculator.  Do not over budget so you have no wiggle room.  Unexpected things happen to everyone:  car trouble, doctor or dentist bills, a family crisis etc.

If the wedding event is 12 months away and you each can afford to make $200. in additional monthly payments (each must already have accessible funds for emergency);  $400. X 12 = $4,800. for a wedding budget.  This includes ceremony, reception, rentals, dress,  dance, honeymoon, gifts,  ANYTHING associated with the wedding event.   If you can afford only half of the above monthly payment, then your budget should be $2,400. maximum.

Everyone has to prioritize.  Just because your best friend had a full reception dinner, doesn’t mean you have to.  Just because your sister and hubby went on a tropical honeymoon, doesn’t mean you have to.  Just because your co-worker had the best gown that money can buy, doesn’t mean that you have to.  You don’t have to pay their bills.  Their life is not yours.

Each couple must decide what is important to them.  What do you really value?  What is it about this celebration that you love so much that you are willing to spend hard earned dollars? Stick with a budget you can afford to pay off in advance! If you regret not having debt, I will take you out for your first anniversary dinner.

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