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With wedding season in full swing, many couples are preparing to walk down the aisle on what is one of the most important days of their lives, but with the UK being the fifth most expensive country in the world to host a wedding, the costs can be eye-watering.
According to the 2019 Global Wedding Report, compiled The Knot, WeddingWire and Bodas.net, the average cost of a wedding in the UK stands at £14,740, which excludes rings and a honeymoon. As few couples will have this amount of money to hand to pay for a wedding, many will have to plan in advance and build up a substantial savings pot to pay for their big day. Luckily for those saving up for a wedding, there are a number of savings accounts available providing competitive rates.
While fixed rate bonds are currently providing the best rates in the savings market, these savings accounts are usually not right for those saving for a wedding, as once open they normally do not allow further deposits and can tie money into terms for five-years or more. Instead, savers should look at savings accounts that allow more flexibility with making further additions and withdrawals to their savings.
Easy access accounts usually offer the most flexibility when it comes to savings. There are currently three providers offering the top rate of 1.50% AER in the easy access chart. Cynergy Bank offers this on its Online Easy Access Account – Issue 23, which includes a 0.50% bonus for 12 months, from a minimum opening deposit of just £1. This online-only account allows unlimited further additions and withdrawals.
Marcus by Goldman Sachs® offers this rate on its Online Savings Account, which includes a 0.15% bonus for 12 months. This account does not require a deposit to open, but a UK mobile number is needed. It also allows unlimited further additions and withdrawals and can be opened online then managed by phone as well.
Virgin Money also offers this rate on its Double Take E-Saver Issue 10 and Man Utd Double Take E-Saver Issue 5 accounts, both of which require a minimum opening deposit of £1. These accounts allow unlimited further additions, but withdrawals are restricted to two per calendar year including closure. They can only be opened and managed online.
While the bulk of a wedding is ideally paid for using savings, some couples will also borrow money to ensure their big day is the wedding of their dreams. For small borrowing, a 0% purchase credit card can be a good choice, as interest won’t be charged on purchases for the wedding as long as the full amount is paid off before the interest-free term ends.
The credit card currently topping the 0% purchase chart is Barclaycard’s Platinum 27 Month Purchase and Balance Transfer Visa, which offers 0% interest on purchases for 27 months, after which it charges 19.9% APR. This card is restricted to those with a minimum income of £20,000 and who are 21 years old or over. It can be applied for online, by post and by phone.
An advantage of using a credit card to pay for a wedding is that under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act, anything bought costing from £100 and up to £30,000 can be refunded if there is a problem with goods or services that constitutes a breach of contract. While this won’t protect couples having to cancel their wedding due to unforeseen events, it does provide peace of mind if there are any legitimate issues with goods or services.
Rachel Springall, financial expert at Moneyfacts.co.uk, said: “It’s easy for couples to get swept away with planning what is one of the most important days of their lives, but they will need to take a step back and think about how they are going to pay for it. Saving a bit each month, utilising a credit card or loan and making sure to stick to a budget are useful ways to cover the cost – but they may feel slightly overwhelmed with what to do first. Still, making a few small steps can help couples avoid a financial headache later down the line or feeling like they have to skimp on their honeymoon.”
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