Borrow Money for Wedding: Tie the Knot?
Once upon a time in a land far, far away, the bride’s parents actually paid for weddings. Of course, there was a time when the groom would also get paid a dowry for marrying the bride. I do not know about you, but I think I would always wonder if that is the only reason my husband married me. But I digress…
In our current wonderful world, those things are not as common. Some cultures still follow those customs but not all, and those that do not have to find new ways to take care of wedding expenses. One such way is to borrow money for wedding costs, though debt may take a little luster out of the marriage light.
Is It Common for People to Borrow Money for Wedding Finance?
If you have never known anyone to go borrow money for a wedding, the following statistic will probably shock you: A survey taken of 1,000 people preparing for a wedding in the next year shows that 74% of them will go into debt over their nuptials. Here is another fact that knocked the breath out of me for a moment: the average spent on wedding costs is over $30,000. Oh dear, that is a large amount. Actually, that is the cost of a brand new car and a few dozen houses I have seen for sale. So, to answer the question, yes, it is common for people to borrow money for wedding costs.
You may wonder why couples would take out loans for wedding expenses, especially for costs that high. Some of them simply want a nice and memorable wedding. Some just think that is how it is supposed to be. Others feel the need to compete with other people. There is one other group- those that are pressured by their families to do things a certain way.
If you fall into the pressured group, and you do not know what to say, repeat after me: “That is a great idea and I thank you for your opinion. However, husband (or wife- insert name here) and I have decided to keep our wedding costs down so that we can buy a house and start a family soon.” They should respect that, and if they really want what they are suggesting, they will likely find a way to pay for it. Do not let other people’s opinions land you in debt if what they are suggesting is not important to you. You can respectfully decline. If it gets too bad, you can always elope. It is not about being rude- it is about protecting yourself and your future spouse from financial problems.
Is It a Good Move?
Let’s start by being clear- this is debt we are referring to. If you borrow money for wedding costs, you are putting yourself into debt. In my humble opinion, debt is never good, but that is simply because you then owe someone and there is usually interest added. However, I am also aware that borrowing money, including loans for wedding expenses, can be beneficial.
Paying for Things You Would Otherwise Have to Wait For
I am not talking about a pair of shoes here, though you can use a loan for those if you would like. I am referring to paying for homes, vehicles, travel, college, and wedding costs. What if your car broke down and you desperately needed another one but did not have the money to pay for it at the moment? If loans did not exist, you would be stuck walking or hitching a ride everywhere. If mortgage loans did not exist, many people would not have homes.
Oddly enough, to get credit you need to have credit. Even better, you need to have recent credit to have a better chance at getting credit. It seems you cannot exist without credit these days. I know someone personally who, along with his wife, decided to stop using credit. They had the goal of buying a house and decided that they would save the cash and pay for it outright. They both worked hard and scraped by on as little as they could to save up $50,000 for a home.
When they located a house they wanted to buy, they tried to hand the cash to the real estate agent. She explained to them that, for some reason I will never understand, they could not buy it with cash. They would have to put the down payment down, then get a mortgage for the remainder. That was the day we all realized that credit was necessary to survive in our current age.
Unfortunately, if you have no credit, you will have a hard time getting credit when you want to make a large purchase, like a house. If you borrow money for wedding finance needs, however, and you pay it back diligently, you can build your credit.
Loans are Really Neither Good or Bad
Loans do have their perks and their place. Whether or not they are a good idea depends on your willingness and ability to repay a loan as well as how important the item you are trying to pay for is to you. It comes down to personal choice and what you and your fiancé decide.
What Wedding Expenses Could I Borrow Money For?
Loans for wedding expenses can actually be used for any wedding expense like a ring. These wedding loans are simply personal loans that you borrow for wedding costs. Some may borrow money for wedding rings, borrow money for wedding dresses, get loans for the venue or the caterer, or even use the loans for their honeymoon. If you are having a destination wedding you may want to pay for your grandma’s ticket with the loan, or the hotel for your maid of honor. You can use it to pay the florist, a DJ, a band, photographers, videographers, and for the wedding license itself. Any item you have on your wedding wish list can be paid for with the money you borrow for wedding expenses.
How Can I Avoid Having to Borrow Money for Wedding Finance Costs?
You may not want to even think about getting loans for wedding finance, and that is totally fine. There are plenty of ways to avoid getting a loan without sacrificing every part of your wedding. It simply takes some creativity, some patience, and maybe some sweat and tears. The following are some ideas to get your brain rolling:
Factor in Your Income
First, figure out how much wedding you can afford, set a budget and stick to it. If you and your fiancé decide to only spend $2,000 on your wedding, stick with it. Your wedding is a special day, but you may decide that your honeymoon, your home, or starting a family is more important.
Keep in Mind What is Most Important
During your planning, it is so important to remember that the wedding is merely a ceremony to share your union- it is not the union itself. Your relationship is what matters, not putting on a show for everyone. It does not matter if you have your wedding in jeans at the courthouse or in full regalia at the Taj Mahal, it does not change what you mean to one another.
One of my favorite tips for avoiding loans for wedding expenses is to be creative. Weddings do not have to be traditional. If you absolutely insist on feeding your guests, you do not have to provide caviar and lobster. Finger foods are great, barbecue is tasty, soups and breads are delicious. Seriously, talk to the ladies in your family. They may all be willing to bring a dish for the wedding. Considering the fact that catering is one of the highest wedding costs, this would save you a lot of money.
Another very high wedding cost is the venue, but there really are so many creative and much more budget-friendly options. Outdoor weddings are gorgeous and they provide some great pictures thanks to the natural light. Some people have barn weddings and seem to have a blast. If you attend a church, they likely have a reception hall. Or, if you know someone with a beautiful winding staircase in their home, ask to use it as your venue.
Earn Some More Cash
If you currently work somewhere that will allow you to work extra shifts, pick some up. Be a server at a restaurant or bar a couple of days a week. Do some transcription work from home a few hours a week. Babysit, clean houses, or pet sit. Pizza delivery is an option, as is magazine, bulletin and even phone book delivery. Side gigs are a great way to save some extra cash.
For one time money makers, you can organize a yard sale, sell your old cell phones for cash, sell your name brand clothing to places like ThredUp, or recycle cans. There are apps on your phone that will pay you in gift cards when you hit certain marks. There are also many that will reward you for taking pictures of your receipts. They get research, you get some cash. Do not forget things like yard work and car washes.
Cut Other Wedding Expenses
There are so many fun ways to cut your wedding expenses. Your dress, for instance, can be handmade either by you or a seamstress in your family. You and your girlfriends can have a glass of wine while putting together floral arrangements or centerpieces for the tables. Let your best friend or someone from cosmetology school do your hair and makeup.
What Is the Best Choice?
You have multiple options for wedding costs, but they basically fall into two categories: pay cash or borrow money for wedding expenses. Paying cash often requires cutting expenses and saving. It may also require pushing your wedding date farther off. On the bright side, you will not owe anyone or anything once you’re married.
Ways to Borrow Money for Wedding Costs:
Fortunately, borrowing money does not necessarily mean you need to go straight to the bank. When it comes to loans, there are different kinds to choose from. You may find that you need to put a few of these options together in order to cover your wedding expenses.
Family and Friends
You may have some people close to you that are willing to loan you some money with little or no interest added. You may even find that they are willing to give you part of the money you need as a wedding present.
If you have a credit card, you may be able to pay for at least some of your wedding with credit you have available on it. While this is a simple option, it is not always the best. Interest is usually compounded on credit cards, so it can take a long time to pay back the principle and interest. If, however, your credit card has a sweet deal like 0% interest for the first year, it might be the best option.
Payday Loans and Title Loans
While these are options, avoid them as much as possible. They come with ridiculously high interest rates and most borrowers find themselves in a cycle they cannot get out of. I can say from personal experience that these types of loans may be very convenient and not require credit checks, but those perks do not come for free. They can very quickly turn into a trap charging high interest rates that one can barely afford. In fact, the Center for Responsible Lending reported that in the last decade, payday loan borrowers have paid more than double in interest the amount they actually borrowed.
In a desperate time, I borrowed money against the title to my SUV. I only borrowed about $1,300, but the interest on that was over $400 per month. In a measly three months, I had paid almost as much in interest as I had borrowed in the first place. It took over a year to finally pay it off because I could barely pay over the interest. Payday loans can be just as bad. Unless you are in dire straights, try to stay away from these loans types.
Short Term Loans
These are not the greatest option either. They often require you to pay them back in very short periods, often around a month. They also charge pretty high interest, so unless you have a big bonus coming in soon, you will likely have a hard time paying short term loans off.
Personal Lines of Credit
If your credit is okay or you at least have a pretty good history with your bank, they may approve you for a personal line of credit. If you get approved for $4,000 but only need $1,000, the other $3,000 will remain available to you through your account. You can borrow the money as often as you need as long as it is within your approved total. These can be great if you can get approved because they are convenient and often charge low interest rates.
Personal Installment Loans
If I have to borrow money from a financial institution, I want it to be either a personal line of credit or a personal installment loan. Both are much easier to pay off due to the interest rates and repayment terms. Many personal installment loans offer fixed interest rates on your loan. This is wonderful because it is factored in at the beginning of the loan and you simply pay the set payment each month. Also, they have longer repayment terms thank short term loans, payday loans, title loans, and credit cards. Even those that compound interest monthly are generally easier to pay off than the others because the interest rate is lower.
If you are still trying to decide if you need or want to borrow money for wedding costs, think it through carefully. It is never a good idea to make rash decisions when it comes to finances. Weigh out the pros and cons of wedding loans, and decide if a loan will help you or hurt you more. If you are interested but want to shop around a little before deciding, online loan shopping is a great way to collect information. Additionally, we here at Loanry can help you find a lender that fits your needs.
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Brandy Woodfolk is an educator, home business owner, project manager, and lifelong learner. After a less than stellar financial upbringing, Brandy dedicated her schooling and independent studies to financial literacy. She quickly became the go-to among family, friends, and acquaintances for everything finance. Her inner circle loves to joke that she is an expert at “budgeting to the penny”. Brandy dedicates a large portion of her time to teaching parents how to succeed financially without sacrificing time with their little ones. She also teaches classes to homeschooled teenagers about finances and other life skills they need to succeed as adults.
Brandy writes about smart money management and wealth building in simple and relatable ways so all who wish to can understand the world of finance.