The Effects of Wedding Debt on a Marriage
The average cost of a wedding in the U.S. was $25,764 in 2017, according to costofwedding.com. All this spending might put a strain on your marriage, however. In one study – “‘A Diamond is Forever’ and Other Fairy Tales: The Relationship Between Wedding Expenses and Marriage Duration” – researchers found a connection with the amount spent on a wedding and the likelihood of divorce. Couples who spent more than $20,000 were 46% more likely to get divorced than couples who spent only $5,000 -$10,000. Thankfully, there are some tips that will help you avoid starting your married life with wedding debt.
How to Prevent Wedding Debt
Set a budget – and stick to it. Talk with your spouse-to-be about what you can afford to spend on your wedding. Work together to come up with a realistic budget, and stick to it. Disregard your budget in one or two areas and, before you know it, you’re way over budget.
Figure out what’s most important. Rank what elements of the wedding are most important and least important to each of you, so you can prioritize spending in those categories. For example, the wedding attire may be very important to you, but you may not care as much about the flowers.
Ask for help instead of gifts. Chances are good that in your circle of family and friends, you know people with the skills to assist you with different areas of wedding planning. Maybe your co-worker makes fantastic cakes, or your aunt is a wonderful photographer. Ask them to share these skills in lieu of getting you a wedding present, and your savings will be exponential.
Be open to alternatives. Wedding vendors are accustomed to working within a budget. So, if you like particular flowers, foods or other items out of your price range, ask if your vendors can recommend something similar yet more budget-friendly.
Keep the guest list under control. By the time you and your fiancé make a list of everyone you’d like to invite, and both sets of parents weigh in, your guest list may have doubled. Take into account the size of the venue and the cost per plate, and trim your list accordingly.
Consider non-traditional venues. Renting a location for your ceremony and reception can be one of the most expensive elements of your wedding, so consider non-traditional venues. If your home or the home of a loved one is suitable, consider getting married there or in an outdoor location with a beautiful view, like a public park or beach.
Make the day your own. There are many inexpensive ways to add your unique touch with creative details. Enlist the help of your bridal party to create table centerpieces, place cards and other decorative pieces.
If you’re planning a wedding, Clark County Credit Union is here to help you stay within your budget with Banzai. Banzai offers free financial resources and programs to help you reduce debt and manage your money appropriately. Contact us at 702-228-2228 for more information!