There are few things in life that can make a wallet groan, such as the prospect of paying for a wedding. You want to make the day special by throwing a good bash; but inevitably, there is a cost involved.
How much your wedding costs is down to how much you are prepared to pay and/or how much you are prepared to save or borrow. This is not a guide to help you make floral arrangements on the cheap, but a guide on how to finance your wedding.
The first thing to do is work out how much you can afford. Parents may wish to contribute: if you can, try to get an idea of a figure or an item that they are prepared to pay for. If parents won't be drawn on a possible contribution, assume there won't be one - if they decide to help later on, you will have a much needed surplus or extra spending money for the honeymoon; and, if they don't, you won't need to panic that you haven't paid for everything!
As part of your budget, you will need to ensure you have money available for deposits. The heftiest deposit is likely to be the one required for your reception, but be prepared to pay deposits for a whole host of other costs, too (a registrar will require a deposit, for instance). Before booking anything, find out how the supplier or venue will require you to make payment.
It depends. Different vendors will have different requirements regarding when they would like to be paid. For example, your venue may require a deposit upfront, whereas your musicians might be happy to be paid on the day. Some vendors will require half of their fee upfront and half at a later date. Before booking anything, make sure you know how each of your vendors needs to be paid, and make sure you put enough cash aside for each one.
A lot of vendors will require a deposit upfront, but what if something happens to the vendor between the time you booked them and the big day itself? Your wedding venue could go bankrupt, your hairdresser might have an emergency they can't avoid. What happens then? That's why it's a good idea to pay for your deposits with credit instead of cash. You can always dispute a credit card payment with your card issuer. Your card issuer is not required to refund you, but in certain cases, they might. Or, you might want to consider insurance...
What happens if your venue goes bust two days before your wedding or the person conducting your ceremony doesn't show up? If you do have to cancel, things still have to be paid for and deposits or even full balances may be lost. Wedding insurance gives you peace of mind for your big day. It covers (among other risks):
Remember, however, that there are some things wedding insurance will not cover, like:
As with all insurance policies, don't be driven by price, but by cover. Shop around for the most suitable policy at the most competitive rate and always, always read the small print.
It is also worth bearing in mind that your home contents insurance may automatically increase your cover in the weeks leading up to and following your wedding (because you may have extra items such as a wedding dress, rings etc. stored at home). Check your policy schedule to see whether this is the case, or if it can be included.
How do you pay for it? Borrowing vs. Saving
Saving is the preferable route as you don't owe anyone anything and, when your wedding day is over, you can concentrate on the first part of your married life without a debt hangover from your big day. The disadvantage is that it may take some time to accumulate the necessary funds, particularly if you want a big wedding. When selecting a savings account, you need to consider the following:
You will also want to put more money into the account as you save, so you will most probably want an account that allows you to make further additions. A no notice or instant access account allows you to withdraw your money quickly, while giving you the option to make further additions as you wish.
Why not try…
If you have an offset or current account mortgage, why not put your wedding savings into the linked savings or current account? You are likely to be saving a few thousand pounds for your wedding and, if earning interest is not as important to you as your wedding fund, then you may as well save interest on your mortgage!
There is no denying that you want your wedding to be special, but do you want to be paying for it for the next 20 years? Well, that's exactly what you may end up doing if you choose to borrow money for your wedding from your mortgage. The monthly payment is likely to be more manageable because of the lower rate of interest; but over the long term you will probably end up paying a lot more than a shorter-term method of finance.
If you have to borrow short-term, there are three main routes: loans, cards and overdrafts. Credit cards and overdrafts may have higher rates of interest, but allow you the flexibility to borrow more later on, whereas a loan is for a set amount over a set term.
If you are borrowing on a credit card or overdraft, you need to have a repayment plan. Work out how much you can afford to pay back every month and set up a standing order. If you do opt for a credit card, go for one that offers 0% on purchases for the longest time possible.
If you do have the money saved, paying on a 0% purchase credit card and keeping your money in a savings account until the end of the deal means that you earn the maximum amount of interest possible.
Yes - if you have put your entire wedding costs on a credit card, you will be able to pay it off monthly. We would recommend one that offers 0% on purchases for as long as possible to keep your monthly payments manageable without paying extra.
Remember to set up a direct debit to pay the minimum payment and make sure you repay the balance in full at the end; otherwise you will lose any benefit gained from keeping your money saved.
Disclaimer: This information is intended solely to provide guidance and is not financial advice. Moneyfacts will not be liable for any loss arising from your use or reliance on this information. If you are in any doubt, Moneyfacts recommends you obtain independent financial advice.
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