Wedding debt can be a huge problem for couples who are planning their big day. The negative impacts of wedding debt can be felt not only by each individual but also by the relationship. If you’re worried that your wedding debt is going to spiral out of control, here are four ways you can keep your finances in check while still having your dream wedding.
Get rid of your old debt and start saving
It seems as though most things associated with weddings have a huge mark-up. Knowing this, the couples who fare best are the ones that go into wedding planning with their eyes open. You should begin to set aside money for the big day once you and your partner start to discuss the idea of marriage seriously. Begin by creating a joint savings account where you’ll both make regular monthly deposits. Even $50 a month from each of you will be $1200 in a year, not including any compound interest accrued.
If even $50 a month feels a little too steep, then it’s time to look at your budget and understand where your money goes. If any of your income goes to debt, you need to create a plan that frees up that money quickly. Try using this debt snowball calculator to form a plan so that you can give each other a beautiful life that doesn’t include your past money mistakes.
Communicate with your partner
Some partners will feel like they should stay out of the planning and leave it to their fiancé, only to be shocked by the final bill. Your marriage will be a partnership that should include an equal share of responsibilities, so get started on the right foot by staying involved and communicating your needs.
If you’re worried about the rising costs of the wedding or would prefer something be done differently, it’s time to speak up. If you don’t, resentment could build to the point where you end up dissolving the marriage and on the hook for a debt that created nothing but broken hearts and financial difficulties.
It can be tough to have hard conversations with your partner, but it’s necessary for a successful marriage and can be done in a way of love and respect.
Manage your expectations
The weddings you see on social media are rarely as perfect as they appear, so temper your expectations for what your special day should include. If you’re in a shaky financial situation, then it might be better to have a small wedding with a potluck or head to the courthouse instead of a giant event that will leave you in debt.
That’s not to say that your day shouldn’t be beautiful; nothing is better than coming together to celebrate a couple in love. Just keep in mind that marriage is so much more than just this one day, so prioritize the relationship over the wedding.
Stand your ground
Often, couples will feel pressured by family members to invite guests or to spend a certain amount to make their wedding and lifestyle seem more extravagant than it is. Remember that this is your day, not your family member’s, so you can invite or not invite whomever you choose or wear whatever you want.
If you have family members who are pushing for specific people to be invited or for things to look a certain way, explain the desires you and your partner have for making the day perfect for the two of you. If you’re still feeling pressured and are willing to compromise, invite them to help contribute to the wedding day budget so that everyone can get what they want. No matter what, remember that you and your partner are adults and can ultimately choose the direction of your own wedding.
The bottom line
By putting together a plan ahead of time, sticking to a budget, and keeping communication lines open, you and your future spouse will be able to enjoy your wedding and avoid the debt that can haunt or even end a marriage.