The average American wedding in 2018 cost $33,931. Given that that’s about half of the average annual American income, most of us can’t afford to pay that money out of pocket. So if you’re in the process of planning a wedding, you’re going to need to figure out a plan to pay for it.
Financing a wedding can be a major undertaking, but it can be done. There are lots of options for how to earn or borrow money, as well as to cut back on unnecessary expenses. Read on to learn how you can afford to pay for your dream wedding.
1. Start a Savings Account
It’s a good idea for your financial health to have some savings in the bank anyway. But even if you aren’t engaged, it can be a good idea to start saving up some money towards your wedding. Depending on your relationship status, you may have time to save up lots of money towards the wedding of your dreams.
As you can, start putting a little money each month into a savings account, and designate that money as for your wedding fund. If you can put in $100 a month, in a year, you’ll have saved $1,200, which is enough for a nice dress or a venue deposit. Over time you can build up a solid savings to be able to put towards your wedding.
2. Get a Side Hustle
If the savings account isn’t covering everything you need (or if you’re trying to get enough money to start saving, a side hustle can be an excellent way to go. The gig economy is on the rise, and there are opportunities to make some extra cash everywhere you look. Pick up a gig that works for your lifestyle and use the money you earn from that to put towards your wedding.
If you don’t have much time during business hours for another job, think about getting a gig with Uber or Lyft. When you have a few extra hours available, you can go pick up some rides and make a few bucks. If you don’t have a car or time, consider looking for some online freelance gigs that fit into your skillset and you can do from home.
3. Cut Back Expenses
Most of us have some extra expenses we don’t really need to spend every month. Maybe it’s that subscription box you love or the cable television package you have. Whatever it is, cutting back on those luxuries during the time you’re planning and saving for your wedding can go a long way towards meeting your budget needs.
Sit down with your partner and go over all your monthly expenses together. Make a mark by every expense that you could probably cut back on or live without for a while. Decide what you can do without, cancel those services, and put that money towards your wedding.
4. Use the Latte Factor
It’s a Monday morning, you were up late last night going over the seating chart for your reception one last time, you’re tired, and you have a long day ahead of you. You stop into a coffee shop and get a latte. After the tip, it’s $5.
Now let’s say you get a latte just three times a week every week for a year. You’re spending $15 a week, $60 a month, and $720 a year on those lattes. Now how often are you buying lunch out because you forgot to bring yours or getting the extra $3 wax at the car wash because why not?
Those seemingly small expenses here and there can add up to a lot of money over time. When you’re trying to pay for a wedding, focusing on cutting back those little expenses, or the latte factor, can turn into a major financial difference. Take a moment before each small purchase like that to stop and think about if it’s really worth losing some of the money towards your wedding fund.
5. Get a Loan
If it comes down to it and you just cannot come up with the money for your wedding, you can always take a loan. Keep in mind you’ll have to figure out ways to pay that loan after the wedding. But taking out a loan can be a good way to stretch those payments out over a longer period of time.
There are a few options available to you if you’re thinking about taking out a loan to pay for your wedding. If one or both of you own a home, you could consider refinancing your mortgage and using the money you get from that. You could also take a loan against a life insurance policy or borrow from your 401K if you have either of those accounts.
6. Ask for Contributions
One of the other options you have available is to ask your wedding guests to contribute to your wedding fund. In lieu of gifts, you can provide an account where guests can pitch in to help you have your perfect wedding. It’s a somewhat unconventional gift, but it can be a great one.
Many wedding websites offer options these days for guests to pay for different parts of your wedding. They can go in and pitch in money to buy a flower arrangement or a meal for you on your honeymoon. This allows them to pay as much as they want for a wedding gift and lets you have the wedding of your dreams without having the foot the whole bill.
7. Rework Your Wedding Budget
It’s not the most fun option, but sometimes, you just will not be able to pay for all the bells and whistles on your dream wedding. Yes, a chocolate fountain is an amazing thing to have at a wedding reception. But remember it’s more important to make sure you have a solid financial future for your marriage rather than a giant blowout wedding.
When you start making your wedding budget, sit down with your partner and talk about everything you’re wanting to have at your wedding. Talk about what’s really important for each of you to have in the wedding, and which things you would prioritize over others. Be realistic, and take out the plans that cost too much and aren’t crucial to your wedding.
Learn More About Financing a Wedding
Paying for a wedding can be a major undertaking, and it takes some serious financial planning to pull one off. There are a lot of things you can do to find the extra money. Make sure you’re considering the best option for your future and getting what’s important out of your wedding.
If you’d like to learn more about financing a wedding, check out the rest of our site on Pay My Wedding. We help you pay for the expenses that come around getting married so you can have the wedding you’ve always dreamed of.
Get started saving money and planning your perfect wedding with us today.