So You’re Planning a Wedding

Planning a wedding can be lots of fun. It can also be expensive. The average wedding in the U.S. cost $33,391 in 2016, according to The Knot’s 2017 Real Weddings Study. If paying for a wedding is in your future –either yours or your child’s – the first thing you should plan is a spending guideline.

Establishing a budget can keep wedding costs in check and avoid the need to spend years paying down debt for one day of your life. Since most weddings are planned at least a year out, creating a budget is a good way to determine how everything will be financed.

Unlike generations past, it is no longer standard practice for a bride’s parents to cover the costs of the big day. With many people waiting until they are established in their careers to get married, most couples pay for a large portion or all their wedding costs. While parents still like to chip in, to help create the most accurate budget, it is important to speak to all parties involved to find out who plans to help financially. Once you begin getting quotes you’ll have a realistic idea of what you can afford and what you may have to live without or take on debt to have.

If the money you have doesn’t match the cost of the wedding, you’ll want to decide whether you are willing to finance part of your wedding costs, or whether you are better off  cutting costs, by lowering the size of your guest list or choosing a less expensive venue. If you are not willing to budge, a personal or home equity loan may be an option to provide additional funding.

Here are a few things to consider when determining what you will spend on your wedding:

  • Figure out how much you are willing to spend per person. While food and drink costs may be fixed, the larger your guest list the larger the room you will need. 
  • Don’t forget to include the cost of labor, tips, sales tax and any delivery or pickup charges. 
  • While you might not want to skimp on a photographer, a videographer may not be necessary, since people are now able to make high quality recordings from their smart phones. 
  • Limit invitations to family and close friends, as casual acquaintances can quickly send the size of your guest list and budget soaring. Do not give your venue a headcount until you have most of the RSVPs. Most venues will not lower the number of people invited in the contract. 
  • Weddings held on Fridays and Sundays tend to be less expensive than those held on Saturdays. 
  • Buffets are usually cheaper than plated meals. 
  • If you have an open bar, you don’t necessarily need to include top shelf liquor brands and you may want to consider limiting guest choices to wine and beer and maybe just a signature cocktail or two.
Back to Blog

Recent Posts

    Filter Posts by Topics

      Allpoint It’s your money after all. Find a surcharge-free ATM
      Return To Top
      En Español BACK TO TOP