How to Handle and Plan for Wedding Debt
Your wedding is a joyful event in your life, but you don’t want the happiness to evaporate as soon as the credit card bills arrive. According to the Wall Street Journal, the average American wedding now comes with a price tag around $30,000. This event may ultimately amount to an unrealistic expenditure, but with some careful planning and prioritizing, you can create a deeply meaningful wedding and prepare for a healthy financial future at the same time.
Start Out with a Final Figure
Before you and your partner discuss the ideal wedding, decide up front how much you’re comfortable spending. It’s harder to economize if you’ve already spent hours dreaming about that destination beach wedding in Hawaii. You may find it unromantic to set a price tag on an emotional event, but you’ll discover that upfront financial dealings help your visions take a more realistic direction. In order to arrive at the bottom-line figure, first consult with family members about their willingness to help. It’s also good to calculate future payments on any wedding debt before you take your credit card out of your wallet.
Use a Wedding Worksheet
Wedding budget worksheets are published by bridal magazines, online wedding sites, and (of course) smartphone apps. The benefit of such templates is to remind you of all potential expenses, so that nothing unexpected pops up at the last minute. Bear in mind that many lists are funded by businesses hoping to sell you their products; virtually every item on the list is optional.
Decide on Your Priorities
Armed with a wedding planning worksheet and a bottom-line budget figure, you are now able to choose which elements are most important to you. Do you want a professional videographer to record the ceremony for posterity? Perhaps you can hold the event in your aunt’s garden, rather than renting that historical chapel. If serving a full catered dinner to your guests is a family custom, you may want to skip the rehearsal dinner or have your buddy’s band provide the music. Don’t overlook the rosy glow you’ll feel starting your married life with no wedding debt.
Handle Existing Debt Constructively
Has your gorgeous but over-the-top wedding already occurred? If you now seek retirement of all those credit card payments, you may find debt consolidation can help you manage your responsibilities and enjoy peace of mind. Strong marriages are built on a foundation of good financial planning. So whether it is before or after your wedding, honest conversations about your budget will nurture essential trust between you and your partner.
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