With the current average wedding cost coming in at a staggering £18,500, sourcing the funds to pay for your big day may seem an impossible task. However, not all of the cash needs to come from your savings account and there are potential sources of capital that exist which you may want (or need!) to explore.
Essentially, funding for your wedding comes from four sources:
- Your Current Savings
- Potential Savings
- Alternative funding
Let’s take a look at each one in turn...
This figure should reflect the amount of money have you got saved up which you don’t need to keep for anything else. It is important that you take the time to think about what potential events are likely to occur between today and your Wedding day that may eat into your savings. A new house with all its furnishings and décor, a new arrival on the horizon and all those baby essentials you need to buy, a big holiday to somewhere exotic and its subsequent spending money are just some examples of major events that can eat into your savings and must be taken into account at this stage. As soon as you are able to work out this value, you have made the first step in working out how much is available to spend on your Big Day.
This is possibly the hardest figure to work out. In order to calculate it you will need to understand where your money is going each month and what is left over at the end.
Money management is not an easy trick to master and it is something that a lot of people struggle with. Your bank or building society should be able to provide some free advice to help you on your way, or alternatively why not keep a simple record of where each penny is going on paper, a spreadsheet or money management software package. Once you know how much is ‘spare’ each month, simply multiply this figure by the number of months between now and your Wedding month – this simple calculation provides you with your potential savings amount. Knowing this value can even help you to set the date of your wedding based on how much you need to save and how long it will take you to save it!
After you announce your decision to get married, you may find that parents and certain other relatives are immediately forthcoming with offers to contribute to your Big Day. In this situation you and your partner will need to come to a decision - to accept the money or not! We cover money from this source in much greater detail in the article entitled Contributions and it is well worth a read.
If your total savings plus any potential contributions won’t stretch quite as far as you want it to, or at least, not quickly enough, there are additional options for financing your wedding, but they may not necessarily be suitable for all:
- A loan: In today’s world a great number of people owe money - whether it’s a mortgage, car loan or credit card. Whilst we would not recommend getting in to debt for your Wedding, (it’s certainly not the ideal start to married life) it may be a necessity for some people to do so. If you feel you really need to get that little bit extra for your day, make sure that you remember to reduce your savings by the amount you will need to repay each month, and always shop around for the lowest interest rate for your loan.
- Sell your old stuff: Given you are getting married, now may be a good time for you both to have a good clear out. You can take stuff to car boot fairs or sell a wide range of items from books to cuddly toys on websites such as Amazon or Ebay. Remember - every little helps!
- A second job: A couple of hours a few nights a week can soon add up to a decent amount of extra cash but this idea must come with a warning - you will be very busy over the coming months planning and organising your Wedding so you need to make sure you make time for yourselves both individually and as a couple away from the Wedding scene. Think carefully before taking too much on.
Depending on your view of weddings, you may wish to spend every penny you can get your hands on or just a couple of hundred pounds. Don’t let anyone tell you that either choice is wrong, but do try to think about your feelings both now and in years to come. You will, hopefully, be intending for this to be the last time the you get married, so think about whether you want to put that extra little bit towards it to get the day you really want. Likewise, keep in perspective that it is just one day! Getting in to debt that will take you years to pay off may be excessive when you consider that the Wedding should mainly be about showing and sharing your love for each other.
For those of you wanting to find out more, we've a whole host of other wedding planning articles on our site packed full of expert information and helpful advice, not to mention our online wedding directory that's filled with wedding planners, toastmasters and more.