There’s nothing quite like getting ready for your big day – the months of planning can be equal parts exciting and exhausting. Unfortunately weddings are getting increasingly expensive, with couples starting their new lives together deeper in debt than ever before. It’s important to remember that your wedding day is going to be special no matter your budget, and with a little careful planning you can have the wedding you want without breaking the bank. Here’s a couple of tips from our friends over at Trust Deed Scotland on how to avoid starting your marriage knee-deep in wedding debt.
1. Budget like a demon
We all want to have our wedding cake and eat it, but the truth of the matter is that you probably can’t afford everything you want to have at your wedding. Sit down with your partner and work out what you need and what you want. Use this as the backbone for your wedding budget, and plan your day around this. Once you have your budget in place, stick to it, stay the course, and get ready for a smaller, more personal ceremony.
2. It’s not what you know…
That old adage is just as true on your wedding day as it is when you’re going for your next promotion. Do your friends and family have any skills you can put to use? For example, would you rather have your sister bake what you know will be a stellar wedding cake, or would you rather pay hundreds of dollars for a professional one? Is your sister in law a pro at applying makeup? Is your brother an artist who can produce commissioned invites on the cheap? Don’t be afraid to ask around for help, too – the more of your friends and family that help out, the more personal your big day becomes and the cheaper it gets – a true win-win!
3. Shoe love
Quick question – how long is your dress? Some brides are more than happy to save a couple hundred dollars on wedding shoes and just wear a pair of white sneakers under a floor-length dress. This may not be for every bride, but you can save money and actually be comfortable on your big day and nobody will have to know…
4. DIY DJ
Even if you can’t find a professional DJ among your friends, you can still DJ your own wedding. Unlike professional DJs who all somehow love the Macarena and that one song from The Full Monty more than anyone else on Earth, your iPod/phone won’t play the cheesy songs you don’t want. You can set your wedding playlist in advance, and with the impressive range of DJ apps out there you can even achieve perfect, professional style fades without having to be anywhere near your cell.
5. A little give and take
Traditionally guests bring gifts to make your new life together cheaper. However in this day and age most couples already live together and if you need a new (insert wedding gift here), you’ll just go out and buy one. It’s becoming increasingly common for the couple to instead ask their guests to simply put some money in an envelope which can be put towards the cost of the wedding. At the end of the day this makes life easier for everyone and you won’t end up with a spare toaster.
Wedding favors add up quickly. At $5-10 per guest you’ll soon be looking at hundreds of dollars’ worth of gifts which many people will probably be done with in a just a few minutes. Why not try a more contemporary idea such as lottery tickets as wedding favors or even a wedding raffle? You never know, if one of them win the jackpot they may even help pay off your wedding as thanks!
6. Limit the number of bridesmaids
While we all want half a dozen bridesmaids, that’s often too decadent for most wedding budgets. Simply put, bridesmaid outfits and bridal party gifts are expensive – cut down on cost by cutting down on the number of bridesmaids.
7. Don’t put it on your credit card(s)
One of the most popular ways of paying for things these days is by putting it on your card. Sadly, many people resort to borrowed money in order to pay off wedding debt; this is something you should avoid at all costs. The interest rates you’ll get on your credit cards will leave you paying off your wedding for far longer than you would expect; 20% interest on something that is already expensive is a lot of money. Anything you can pay for up front should be paid for in advance – this will save you a lot of money and hassle in the long run.
Trust Deed Scotland is a leading debt advisory service in the UK. They help thousands of people get out of debt in Scotland every year by providing advice and helping set up debt relief schemes.