According to TheKnot.com, the average American wedding costs about $28,000 which is two thirds of the average annual salary of $42,000. With an expense this big it's important to have an honest conversation around the costs involved in your dream day and who is going to pay for it. Sarah J. Halpin, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional and Vice President-Investments of The Danforth Group of Wells Fargo Advisors is here with some tips to help you survive rising wedding costs.
- Set a Budget: The first step to keeping your wedding spending under control is to create a budget. Decide how much you can spend and don't overspend! Your budget will dictate the size and style of your wedding, as well as other aspects such as dresses, flowers, music, photography, transportation, and so on. You should provide a safety net for yourself. Factor in a percentage of the budget, 10 percent for example, for last-minute or unexpected expenses.
- Confirm who is Contributing Monetarily: The bride, groom, your parents, his parents? It is important to have an open dialogue around who is going to contributing monetarily and how the wedding is going to be paid for. Be candid and discuss your expectations and the finances with all involved parties up front so that there are no awkward money misunderstandings or conflicts around your big day.
- Prioritize Spending: There are some things that might be more important to you and your finance/e than others. Prioritize to spend more on things that are truly meaningful to you and cut costs on things that aren't as important. Reception venue and menu usually take the majority of a budget so prioritize the other components such as, dresses, music, flowers and photos accordingly.
4. Give Yourself Plenty of Time: By having more time you'll be able to shop around for the best deals, and not get stuck with what's available at the last minute. To get a basic idea of the cost of a wedding in your area, ask recently married friends and check out local wedding websites (many vendors post prices). Schedule a budget consultation with a wedding planner. Many planners will charge an hourly fee, and you can pick their brains for budget information
While you want to make your wedding an event that you and your guests will remember forever, you want to keep the future in mind. By saving a few hundred or thousand dollars here and there, you can use that savings to prepare for your future together. Maybe it is buying your first home, or getting rid of that credit card debt. Whatever your goals are, some careful planning can ensure that you are spending money on what is most important to you and your partner. What will make your wedding memorable are the love and the people, not the elaborate extras.
The information provided is general in nature and may not apply to your personal investment situation. Individuals should consult with their chosen financial professional before making any decisions. Investment services are offered through Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC member SIPC. Neither Wells Fargo Advisors nor its financial professionals are legal or tax advisors.