Weddings are an expensive business.
With the average cost clocking in around $27,698, it’s a pretty significant investment to make in spending the rest of your lives together. When you factor in all the extras and whatnot, this isn’t a decision you shouldn’t be making overnight, which is why it’s important to save for. However, as no one wants to start out their married life in a mountain of debt, it’s good to assess what exactly you want and how much to save for. That’s why I’m going to walk you through the steps in figuring out your budget. Check it out below:
What The Numbers Say
When you get married versus when you can afford to get married are two separate categories. Really, this is a subjective term, as it is heavily contingent upon the extent of your wedding. Quite simply, some people want to go all out and have a celebration that will stand the test of time, while others look more towards having a low-key affair that’s considerably more intimate. Again, this is a matter of personal preference, but assuming you want the usual combination of things (a venue, catering, hotels, flowers, etc.), then according to Soundvision, the average age usually falls around 25 for brides and 26 for grooms.
To save up to the point where you can afford the $20,000+ price tag listed above is obviously going to take a lot of financial commitment if you plan on getting married by 25. On average, even if you and your significant other started saving at 22 and split the bill equally, you both would have to save approximately $385 each month, or roughly $4,616 per year. However, while this is considered the average, I’ll note that plenty of people get married for next to nothing. All it takes is for you and your significant other to really get creative in your search.
The Deciding Factors
In defining affordability, the most important factor to consider is what’s going to make you and your significant other the happiest. After all, this day is about the two of you and no one else, so whatever experience you’re looking to have is what’s going to define things. This is going to require some compromise though as you both might have different goals for what you’re looking for in a ceremony. For example, one of you may want an amazing venue while the other may care the most for awesome entertainment. Before you start creating a financial picture, sit down together and ask one another what you want out of your special day.
Another thing to consider in forecasting your wedding day expenses is the access you have to certain resources. For example, a family friend that owns a farm or a buddy that can DJ. While it may seem important to get every single detail perfect right off the bat, you’d be surprised what you can pull off with what’s in the both of yours immediate networks.
A big thing to keep in mind with marriage is that this is only the beginning of the rest of your lives together,which brings up a lot of other financial questions as well. Ultimately, you both are going to have to start making decisions like if you’re going to purchase a home or car, if you want to have kids, and even how many vacations you can go on. Sure, you’re wedding is going to be your first test, but do you really want to start out being married in an umbrella of debt? Don’t take any chances when it comes to your personal finances. To be safe, check out tools like Credit Repair, which can help you fix your credit and can give
you insight on what you can afford.
Happily Ever After
While it might sound cliche, some of the least expensive weddings end up in the happiest marriages. That’s not just something that sounds nice but actually a well-studied phenomenon. In a study of over 3,000 marriages conducted by two economists at Emory University, two found a high correlation between
the amount of money being spent and divorce rate. Quite simply, those who had expensive weddings or ceremonies beyond their means ended up getting separated much sooner and in higher frequency.
Which, if you’re on a tight budget, this is excellent news.There’s no rhyme or reason as to where or when you should get married, just as long as you and your significant other are preparing yourself for what the rest of your lives are supposed to look like. I know this can be an emotional process, but if you both take the time to look at the bigger picture and how it will play
out in the long run, you’ll thrive. After all, isn’t this a day you want to remember forever?