Post # 1
My SO and I know we will be getting married, and I feel that we both thought an engagement would come later this year. We made the official move in together recently, though we have been living together for a while, we are now splitting all the bills and got a more expensive place to make our own. Of course the last month has been expensive, and I feel like we aren’t getting any closer to feeling financially stable enough to get engaged and start paying for a wedding. Just thinking about the cost of a wedding stresses me out and makes me feel like we may never be able to afford a nice/moderate wedding. We both work full time, though we don’t have very large incomes. We aren’t living beyond our means what so ever, I just don’t feel that we are rapidly saving.
So here is my question: What made you feel financially stable enough to get married and to afford a wedding? Did you have any debt, how much were you saving per month, were you buying or renting? How much did you have in savings, and what percentage of what you saved went towards the wedding? I would love to know where we are in relation to the average couple.
Post # 2
We are by no means well off – I just graduated and started graduate school, and FI has a semester to finish. However, between the two of us, we have relatively little debt, no credit debt, and a safe amount saved up from multiple jobs. I’m paying for school through teaching, and he’s got several internships that could easily go into full time jobs.
With what we’ve both saved up, we could pay for a small wedding by ourselves and not have to eat crackers for 6 months. Both our parents insisted on paying for a small portion, so we do have more flexibility. But, even with that – our budget is $10K with a unsubtle push to try to reduce that amount.
I currently have $40k in student debt, FI has none due to a military scholarship. I’ve been saving since I started working at age 16 (I’ve never been one to spend…just save and see what I’ll need it for later), so I have a decent amount in savings. FI has had several internships that have given him a decent savings account as well. Each of us can easily pay for the wedding separately. We’re renting apartments, not looking at buying until we settle in a specific area. Our apartment right now is about $700/month with utilities etc total. We scored on a nicer apartment for the same price by signing early for next year.
A large-ish percentage of what we’ve saved (at least in my opinion) will be going towards wedding. However, there’s really not a whole lot else for us to spend on, so it’s not stressing us too much.
I will admit that every now and then I do freak out a bit because it seems that anything and everything wedding related is ridiculously expensive. What’s helped is negotiating with venues and vendors – the venue we’re looking at would be $3k for 75 people originally, and $6k for everything above it, but the coordinator has agreed for $3k for under 100 people. I’m also simplifying bouquets, not doing certain things, etc. The little things do stack up.
Post # 3
gillykat824: Thank you for explaining your siuation, you guys sound very similar to us. It’s nice to know that you guys can do it, hopefully we can do it sooner than we think!
Post # 4
edepp2010: Well, we’re stable, but don’t have a lot in savings.
So when we got engaged, we figured out how much our parents would give us toward a wedding before we set the date. We knew before talking with them that they were going to give us some money toward the wedding, so we didn’t ask them for anything.
I knew before that, though, that I wanted to keep the cost to $10k or less. What our parents will be contributing is about 70% all together. And we knew we could comfortably contribue the rest before we started planning. We booked venues and vendors accordingly.
So as long as you aren’t going into debt for your wedding and you have enough in savings to comfortably pay for the wedding, pay your bills, and have a little extra for emergencies, then I think you’re ready.
Post # 6
We’re pretty stable but not well off. We only have one vehicle to share and we own a home that is halfway built on a nice chunk of land. We both work seasonal or temporary jobs so saving is really hard. We decided to not ask for help from our families for the wedding…my mom and stepfather are struggling financially and my dad and stepmom are both dead, and FI’s parents just don’t seem too happy that we’re getting married so we didn’t feel comfortable asking for their help. We wanted to have a really, really small wedding, maybe backyard bbq style. So we were just going to budget for that, until we found out that this one place my dad loved to visit when he’d go back to his hometown had a really affordable wedding package. The package covers almost everything for the wedding, including cake and an overnight room for the bride and groom, for $2800!
So we knew we needed to come up with this money and we’ve been engaged for two years so I bought my dress one month ($1000 but only had to pay half upfront and half when it came in) and a few months later he bought his suit and best man’s suit ($600 for both) and then another month we bought my family’s plane tickets ($1500). We just buy stuff as we go, and with the venue cost, we paid $500 a year ago for the deposit and owe the rest in a couple of months. So we owe $2300 and have to save for extra stuff like an open bar and our travel expenses.
I think it would’ve taken us YEARS to be “ready”…I don’t think we were by any means financially ready to afford a wedding but by setting the date and putting a deposit on the venue, we just HAVE to keep affording what we started, and so far it’s all working out just fine. (And if it doesn’t all work out, we have a great line of credit to fall back on)
Post # 5
MichiganGirl24: You have no clue how the words “then I think you’re ready” just made me feel! Like a wave of calm washed over me. I guess it all seems so expensive until you are actually making it happen. I know we are emotionally ready, so it has been a bit depressing to feel that we may need to put our future on hold to save up even more money first. I just don’t have anyone close that I can compare this to! I needed some inspiring stories like yours.
Post # 7
We didn’t really think about paying for the wedding before we got engaged. We kind of just reached a point where we both wanted to be engaged, so we did. 🙂 originally we planned a long engagement (like 3 years) but then it got shortened to 1.5 yrs because we were so excited to get married!! we just decided to plan the kind of wedding we could afford. If money had been tighter, we prob would have eloped.
Post # 8
We’re hopefully buying an apartment this year (one year into engagement, with one to go) so most of our savings is going on a deposit. We have been saving $600/month between us for the wedding, which gave us our initial budget. To give an idea of % saved, we are putting away five times that amount for the apartment each month, so it’s a very small proportion of our savings for just the wedding.
Luckily we had no bad debt between us so it was easy to feel ready. I think if we did it would have felt harder to be ready. A friend who got married last year waited until they had paid off a $40k debt before getting engaged, then the wedding was easily paid through savings on no longer having that debt.
Long way round to say, you’re ready unless you’re seriously struggling with debt each month? I think it’s easy to save a little and just have a longer engagement if you have less disposable income.
Post # 9
boogiewoogies: Thank you for explaining with real amounts. I’m feeling better with every post! And all jokes aside, would it be so terrible to charge part of the wedding and pay it off within the months following the wedding? It’s a life long memory, and as long as the debt can be easily managed, I don’t think stretching the cost a little bit is a bad idea. I mean, heck, we get loans for cars, and those last 10 years or so. A wedding may be for a day, but the memories are for a lifetime!
cestvrai: Your story is inspiring! I want this time to be happy go lucky and powered by emotions, money stress takes so much love out of all of this!
Post # 10
ms-tea: Thank you for sharing your story. You sound like you guys have a great budget in place, so I really appreciate your opinion. I’m beginning to relax a bit!
Post # 13
edepp2010: I don’t think it would be bad if you had to charge some of it to a credit card…as long as you don’t get carried away! Keep things realistic and you shoud be just fine!
Post # 11
What made you feel financially stable enough to get married and to afford a wedding?
We bought our house and decided to have a wedding right around the same time. We had enough money to put 20% down on our house, had a 6 month emergency savings and $0 student loan debt (we were older when we got married, 33 and 38)
Did you have any debt, how much were you saving per month, were you buying or renting?
We had just acquired our mortgage, but didn’t have any other debt besides that. Not sure how much we were saving each month exactly, maybe a couple hundred dollars.
How much did you have in savings, and what percentage of what you saved went towards the wedding?
Of our ‘spendable’ savings (not including our 6 month emergency fund) we had about 1 year’s worth of gross income saved (I don’t work). About 25% of that went to our wedding, and about another 60% of that went to our downpayment.
In the end it just depends on how your prioritize your funds, there is no “right” or “wrong” way, just what works for each couple. Best of luck!
Post # 12
- Wedding: August 2013 - Rocky Mountains USA
We wanted to both have stable careers, own a home together, and not go into (much) debt for the wedding. I think we put like $3000 on a credit card but paid in back within a few months.
If our parents hadn’t funded about 80% of the wedding, we definitely would have eloped. Too frugal and don’t make enough money to blow 10k+ on a wedding!
In answer to your question, no, I don’t think it’s automatically bad to charge some wedding costs to a loan / credit card. But I would want to make sure we could pay it back relatively quickly without a lot of high interest, and that it wouldn’t prevent us from achieving other important financial goals (paying off student loans, saving for a nest egg and TTC, etc).
Post # 14
When you look at it like “we need $XXXXX to pay for a wedding” it seems impossible. But if you give yourself a year to plan your wedding, and you break it down each month, it makes it much more doable. Our wedding is going to cost about $24k. Between the two of us, we contribute $2000 a month to our “wedding account” and as the months go by and we start booking things for our wedding, buying a dress, etc, we pay for it out of that account. You don’t pay for everything up front- some deposits are only a couple hundred dollars. That gives you a whole year to save the remaining balance! So in terms of paying for a wedding, add up ALL of your costs, assign an expense to each month, and go from there- the most expensive month will be the month of your wedding but like I said, you’ve got a year to save that amount.
Post # 15
We feel financially stable because we’re able to save over 30% of our monthly income and have enough in savings to pay for the wedding, the honeymoon, and a 6 month savings. We almost have enough on top of that to put a down payment on a house but not yet.
I have 18k in student loans but they’re not due yet so I haven’t decided if I’ll refinance them, pay them off, or just pay monthly. My interest rate is low so it makes it more of a decision to make than just getting rid of the debt. We both paid off our cars last year.
The wedding will be like 25% of our savings? Idk something like that. I haven’t calculated it out but we have enough so I’m not worrying about it. Tbh, if we weren’t financially stable we probably wouldn’t be getting married yet but that’s mainly because I’m still in school & if we had that PLUS not having money, I’d personally want to wait a couple extra years to feel secure. We’re lucky that we do have the money though (I’m REALLY lucky because my FI is the one who makes the money lol I bring home 1/4 of what she does)