Once upon a time in a faraway land there was a tiny kingdom… peaceful, prosperous, and rich in romance and tradition. In a stately chateau, there lived a widowed gentleman and his little daughter, Cinderella…….wait, wait, wait!
You may be planning your fairy tale wedding, but unless you are Cinderella, Fairy Godmothers don’t exist…and someone has to pay for the wedding. It’s going to take more than a wave of the magic wand and a “Salaga-doola, menchika-boola, Bibbidi-bobbidi-boo. ”
Traditionally, the parents of the bride are responsible for the cost of the wedding, but the rules are changing. Most women are marrying later (average 26 years old in 2007), and many couples are established and paying for their own wedding.
Some parents have planned on paying for their daughter’s wedding since the day she was born, but if not, you may find it difficult to ask for financial help. First, you should decide what kind of wedding you want and then you and your fiance’ should ask your parents if they would be able to contribute. Try to get them to commit to an exact dollar amount by being very honest and appreciative. Make sure they understand that you do not want them to be in a financial strain by helping with your wedding.
Couples don’t always see eye to eye on how to spend money. If you want to spend your savings on your wedding, but he wants to spend his savings on a down payment for a house, maybe you need to sit down together and do some compromising.
- Both of you should sit down together with paper and pencil and write out your own wish list of every single thing you want to have in your wedding.
- Next, you are allowed to strike out 3 of his ideas without giving a reason, and he is allowed to do the same with 3 of yours. Everything left on the lists, has to be discussed until it is agreed upon. Since you can only strike 3 ideas with no explanation, make sure you use your strikes wisely.
- Don’t forget that whatever the estimate is that you decide upon, you’ll most likely end up spending more. Lots of unforeseen expenses come up when planning a wedding. Be sure to set your budget much lower than what you could actually spend.
Most couples today have not saved $20,000 for a wedding. If this is you, then start saving now so you won’t be paying this debt off for years to come. You may want to open a joint bank account entirely for your wedding fund.
- It’s a good idea to open a savings account with an online bank that pays high interest rates, if possible. Make sure the bank will allow you to transfer money from your checking to your savings without paying any fees. Try to put 10 to 20% of every paycheck into your savings for at least a year before your wedding date.
- You might also want to set up a bank certificate of deposit (CD). With a CD, you can save a large amount of money at a fixed rate for say….6 or 12 months. When the CD term is up, you can use your money to pay your wedding vendors.
- Try to avoid withdrawing money from an IRA or a 401K . These accounts will have hefty early withdrawal penalties or you may be taxed. Also, if you get a bank loan, you are only increasing your debt. If you pay your vendors by a credit card, go ahead and plan when and how quickly you will pay it off.
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