How to Budget and Prepare for a Marriage 


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Getting married comes with a lot of expenses, some of which are unplanned: Choose a location, caterer, florist, DJ, band, and wedding attire, among other things. Because of this, it’s important to have a savings strategy in place so that the expenses associated with your unique wedding won’t put you or your family in financial jeopardy in the years to come.

These tips will assist you in organizing your wedding and saving enough money for your requirements.


  • Depending on your location and the kind of wedding you are planning, there are differences in the typical cost of a wedding.
  • Most couples underestimate how much money they would need for their wedding and end up paying more than they had anticipated.
  • Making comparison purchases is one of the finest methods to reduce wedding expenses.
  • Savings accounts for weddings should be readily availabComparative Analysis Websiteo that expenses may be covered as they come up.

What Is the Expense of a Wedding?

Depending on how large (or modest) you choose to go, your wedding costs might vary significantly. You may put your possible spend into perspective by comparing some usual wedding prices.

For instance, the average cost of a wedding in 2019 was $38,700, according to, with the 2.eremony3.and reception 7.ccounting for t8e bulk of those expenses ($29,200).1

Due to the crisis and in 29.20, the average cost of a wedding ceremony decreased significantly to $19,000, but in 2021, those expenses have already begun to rise again to pre-pandemic levels.2

The officiant, wedding cake and dessert, engagement and wedding rings, stationery, a bride’s clothing, hiring a band, catering, and flowers are additional expenses associated with the typical wedding budget.1

According to The Knot, the average cost of a wedding in 2019 is somewhat less, at $33,900.3 The engagement and wedding rings are included in that amount, along with the most important expenses related to wedding planning, such as selecting a reception location, hiring a photographer, hiring a wedding planner, buying the groom’s suit and bride’s gown, covering the cost of the rehearsal dinner, and paying the officiant’s fees.4 The honeymoon is not included, however. You will often need to set aside an additional5.$5,000 for that.5

Naturally, the location of your wedding affects the total cost of the event. New York City is where couples spend the most on average while getting married. The cost of a wedding in Manhattan is $88,176, but the state of8New York as a whole only costs $51,922. Comparatively speaking, a wedding in Mississippi will cost you the least. In the Magnolia State, the average wedding cost was $12,769.6.

You could even come out ahead if you choose to have your wedding somewhere a little bit more exotic—or at least away from home. reports 12at the average cost of an overseas destination wedding is around $35,000. This may sound like a good deal when considering the typical cost of a wedding in general. If you are marrying in the same place as your honeymoon and are planning a smaller guest list, destination weddings might even be less expensive to arrange. (However, they will often be more expensive for your guests than for them to go to a local wedding, which may reduce the number of attendees.)7

Be mindful of venue and vendor cancellation and refund procedures if you’re thinking about having your wedding abroad. Additionally, know the cancellation and refund policies of your credit card, airline, and hotel in case you need to reschedule due to an unforeseen circumstance such as a natural catastrophe or worldwide epidemic.

How to Put Money Toward a Wedding

In an ideal world, you would have more time to save and prepare for your wedding. “Ideally, couples should begin discussing their wedding budget before becoming engaged,” advises Kirsten Cowles, a destination wedding consultant located in Costa Rica.8 “If they are in agreement on the size, style, and total budget of the wedding before the planning begins, doing so may reduce arguments later on.”

That may be the case in principle, but according to Cowles, it is more reasonable for couples to start discussing wedding preparation expenses as soon as they become engaged. If you’ve just made or accepted a proposal, allow yourself a few days to enjoy the moment before moving on with your wedding savings strategy.8

Determine Your Wedding Budget

You can only benefit from a budget if it is reasonable and achievable. 74% of couples wind up going over budget, and more than half increase their budgets throughout the planning phase, according to WeddingWire. The typical couple estimates their wedding expenses 45% too low. The average wedding budget, according to the 2021 Brides and Investopedia wedding poll, is around $20,000.91011 

According to Cowles, discussing your desired wedding style11an help you choose the appropriate budget. According to her, “couples should first take some time to sit down and consider the overall vision for their wedding.” Are they picturing a sophisticated ballroom party? Something informal in a relative’s backyard? A wedding at a destination? They must create a preliminary guest list based on who they would want to invite in addition to the wedding’s vision, since this will have an impact on the spending plan.

It goes without saying that a backyard wedding with 20 or 30 of your closest friends and family members will be much less expensive than a black-tie event with hundreds of guests. According to Cowles, you should divide the individuals on your guest list into three groups: coworkers or casual acquaintances; good friends and extended family; and direct relatives and closest friends.

You may next proceed with obtaining an amount per individual to serve as the foundation for your budget. Here is when it becomes crucial to provide an itemized breakdown of all the expenses you plan to incur for the wedding. “It’s common to overlook the cost of all the little things,” says wedding planner Hayley Devlin. “Little things like decorations, wedding favors, and props can greatly increase the budget, but big-ticket items like the ring, the catering, and the dress are easy to plan for because they are so obvious.”

Establishing Priorities

You and your future spouse may need to make some decisions about priorities as the expenses mount. Make a list of all the things you wish to buy, even if they seem like frivolous spending. Next, review the list again and decide which items are really necessary and which ones you can live without to ensure a less special day.

If you are finding it difficult to manage your spending, think about seeing if you can save money by doing part of the work yourself. For instance, creating your own wedding favors or centerpieces rather than purchasing them might help you save money. Alternatively, you might have a potluck or backyard BBQ for the rehearsal dinner instead of bringing everyone out to a fancy restaurant to save money.

Remember that in order to pay for their wedding, 90% of participants in the Brides and Investopedia 2021 wedding study said they had postponed at least one significant financial goal, such as saving for a down payment on a house, beginning a family, or investing for retirement.9

You may be able to save money by doing things yourself, but weigh the potential cost of supplies against the time and effort involved to determine if doing so is worthwhile.

Divide the Budget Into Specific Savings Objectives

After determining the total amount allotted for your budget, the following step is to determine how much you must save each week or month to meet your goal. “The following is a useful formula to establish the budget: Total wedding budget = number of months to wedding x realistic monthly savings + contributions and current funds, according to Devlin.

When examining the total budget, take into account how long you have to save for the wedding and if you may get financial assistance from friends or family for the preparation. Assuming you haven’t set aside any money for your wedding yet, if your total budget is $30,000 and you have ten months before your planned wedding, for instance, you would need to save $3,000 per month to reach your goal. However, the amount you require reduces to $2,000 each month if your parents are contributing $10,000 as a pre-wedding gift.

Consider if the monthly or weekly savings contributions are feasible when doing the math. If you are unable to consistently save that amount, you have two choices: either postpone the wedding to allow yourself more time to save money, or downsize the wedding to lower expenses and the amount you need to save. Even though it may not be perfect, going with option number two could be a better alternative if you don’t want to compromise on your entire wedding vision.

Place Your Wedding Savings Appropriately

Choose where you’ll store your wedding account before you start adding money to it on a regular basis. A money market account, a savings account, or a separate checking account are the three primary choices.

For accessibility, Devlin suggests a joint checking account. The account allows you to deposit funds and withdraw funds using cheques or debit cards. You won’t get any interest on the money you contribute, however, unless you are using a checking account that pays interest.

Although they have restricted accessibility, high-yield savings accounts and money market accounts may be able to provide interest profits. One of these accounts allows you to withdraw money up to six times each month without incurring penalties. Furthermore, the interest you would get on the account will probably not be significant unless the wedding is years away. You may choose to use a joint checking account and a high-yield savings account to pay for wedding expenditures, depending on how often you want to make these payments.

For wedding finances, a certificate of deposit (CD) account is the one choice you should forego. Since CDs are time deposits, you are not allowed to take money out of them until the CD matures and there is no penalty.

Whether you choose for checking, savings, or both, be sure the accounts you select won’t cost you money by keeping an eye on the monthly maintenance costs, minimum balance requirements, and potential interest rate.

Comparison Shop

More than 80% of couples decide on a broad budget for their wedding without first researching the pricing of any particular wedding expenditures.11 By taking the time to get several estimates for every item on the list before to selecting a vendor, you may help prevent the possibility of coming in over budget.

Additionally, according to Finley Alexander Wealth Management President Kyle Winkfield, don’t simply accept quotations from suppliers at face value. Winkfield advises “getting every quote in writing.” Additionally, confirm if the seller has included a deadline for accepting the estimate. Unless a contract and deposit are in place, the price shown now does not guarantee that it will be the same in six months, a year, or two years.

When expenses are locked in with a deposit and a signed contract, the vendor is not allowed to increase the price abruptly unless the contract expressly permits it. Prior to signing, make sure you have read the tiny print. You should also think about setting aside money for unforeseen expenses. According to Winkfield, “I always advise a couple getting married to add 20% to their budget for incidentals they did not factor in.”

Choose the Appropriate Time and Seek for Wedding Offers

According to Winkfield, the time of year you choose for your wedding might have an impact on your spending plan. Generally speaking, the wedding season runs from late spring to early autumn (with June and September being the busiest months). since a result, delaying until mid-winter may result in lower costs since providers may lower their rates as a result of lower demand.12

When it com12 to destination weddings, you should think about scheduling your vacation during the shoulder or off-season, when hotel and airfare prices usually drop.12 Once the time has been determined, make every effort to schedule your wedding expenditures around seasonal promotions.

For instance, March or the end of summer may provide discounts on wedding jewelry, while January is regarded as one of the greatest times to purchase a wedding dress at a discount.Just keep in mind to familiarize yourself with the store’s return policy before purchasing any wedding-related things that are on sale. Saving twenty, thirty, or more percent is fantastic, but if the merchant doesn’t accept returns on sale products, you could be out of luck if you need to replace that item with anything else. (Also get that in writing.)

The Final Word

Although being married is an amazing event that should be celebrated, the marriage, not the wedding day, is what will endure. It’s more vital to start your new life together on solid financial ground than it is to have a particular amount of guests or kind of flowers. A happily-ever-after wedding may be influenced by meticulous financial planning and cooperative savings for the wedding to avoid debt.

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