Plan a Wedding Without Breaking the Bank

Planning for a wedding can be an exhilarating time, but it can also lead to some serious stress once couples start to review the financial aspects of the big day.  Weddings are not a cheap affair; in fact, the national average for a wedding is pushing $30,000. While some people have parents who have put money aside to help with their wedding expenses, many brides and grooms are on their own when it comes to funding the wedding.  Wedding costs can add up fast, and without a very specific plan put into place, couples can end up overextending their budget before they even tie the knot.

The first step to take when planning a wedding is to determine wedding expectations.  While this may take some of the whimsical joy out of wedding planning, it is important for a couple to understand what they want out of the big day and just what aspects are truly important to them.  What can you live without and what would make the day truly special to you?  Do you want to be paying off your wedding purchases years after the big day, or do you want to be able to pay everything free and clear upfront? From this plan, a budget can be built around the importance of the different pieces to the wedding.

When putting together a budget, a couple needs to assess how much they make, and how much of that income they are willing to use on this one-day event.  Are there areas in everyday life that spending could be cut for at least a period of time, to help with saving?  What if you didn’t have the best cable package, or what if you took lunch to work instead of eating out?  Cutting back in insignificant areas can free up more money to go toward the wedding budget.  Also, doing some research into what companies in the area of the wedding actually charge will help to keep things realistic.  Just because the dresses on that popular wedding show are pushing $10k, that doesn’t mean that dresses in your area will be the same.  Do some shopping around to get a better idea of how much you would need to spend in order to reach your expectations.   People tend to overspend a bit even when they have a budget in place, so planning for possible 5-10% overspending could help to lessen the chance of surprises later.

Once a couple has their wedding plan down, with a budget in place, a separate wedding savings account can be opened to keep wedding funds safe.  Having extra money just sitting around in a checking account can be tempting for some to dip into for other purchases. Setting up a direct monthly or weekly deposit into this account can also help keep savings on track.

If you have a wedding in your future and need some assistance, contact the financial advisors at The Hopman Group and let them come up with a plan to help you make your big day everything you dreamed it would be.

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