(Closed) Debt Free or Wedding Fund?

posted 12 years ago in Money
Post # 3
638 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2007

This is really a personal decision!  but…..  I’m all for debt-free.  Honestly in five years – would you rather have the freedom being debt free provides – or be glad you spent that extra $500 on the caligraphy, or the flowers, or the favors, or your hair.  etc.  Will you even remember in 10 years what it was you just ‘had to have’ for your wedding?  Will anyone else?

Really though.  Life is all about choices.  The choices you make will create the life you live.  What is the most important to you?

I’d pay off the debt today.  Then start a new savings fund for any wedding must haves.  It may be smaller – but I’m sure it will still give you a little freedom.  I’m not sure what your budget is like now – but skip a couple meals out and trips to Starbucks and I’m sure that savings fund will bounce right back 🙂

It’s a great question to ask – and one many people face!

Post # 5
149 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2007

As a newly wed, I say, go for Debt Free.  When it comes down to buy a house down the road, you’ll really love that you have a great credit score!  Since you already have your parents paying for most of your wedding, I suggest keep your wedding simple and elegant, so you have a brighter future financially! 

Post # 6
385 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2008

People are probably going to roll their eyes at me… but I say go both ways. Because it all depends on the type of debt.
If it is all consumer credit card debt… PAY IT OFF. However, if these are federal student loans with locked interest rates (done only by consolidating, but NOT by just paying them), then I would say pay some, but keep a little big of those funds for "mad money"… Also, make sure you keep some of that money for an emergency fund (health care/insurance deductable, auto deductible, accidental pregnancy and then kids are in the picture- lol, etc) and about 1 mo of your earnings JUST IN CASE anything happens… layoffs, etc.

Even better, set aside 80% of what is saved and use that for debt. and take the other 20% to keep in savings (house, car, eventual kids, etc).

But don’t use the mad money all for the wedding either.
Set a budget with your parents. Discuss it at great length. Set that number.
Then start budgeting- use the knot or brides.com to give you a start and before booking or buying ANYTHING, PUT ASIDE 10% of that budgeted amount (from your parents) for overages. Do not consider that amount part of the budget. This way… you’ll come in under budget.

Being debt free is a great feeling, I can’t wait until I get finished with grad school and pay off those loans, so I understand your dilemma. Discuss the options with your FH and see what he thinks.

Post # 7
337 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2008

If you want to keep the actual amounts your parents are contributing and what you have saved personal, that’s totally understandable, but I think it’s hard to give you good advice on your question without knowing what kind of amounts we’re talking here.  I mean, have your parents given you a big enough budget to actually have a complete wedding (if not as elaborate as you might want) or is it just a contribution towards a portion?  If they’re giving you $2000 then you maybe need to supplement that with some of your own money.  But if they’re giving you $15000, then you could do a wedding for that amount.  It might be tight, but it’s do-able, so I would use your own funds for your debts and I don’t think you’ll regret it.

It also depends on how much you have saved for the wedding, how much your debts are, and the rate at which you are able to save money.  This depends on your income, your regular expenses, and your spending habits.  If you want to use maybe $2000 of your own money so that you can have the dress of your dreams and you can pay that off within 2 or 3 months (or even 4 or 5 months), then I say go for it.  I would not, however, spend so much of your own savings that you will remain saddled with debt for years to come, because that is what I think you will really regret.  Use an amount for the wedding that you could save up and put back into your debt within a year and you’re not being excessive.

Post # 8
28 posts
  • Wedding: July 2008


 When is your wedding? 

My mother handed me a check with an agreed upon amount.  Since it was about a year from the wedding, I put half of it into a CD and upon maturity was able to roll it over again. 

The first go round provided me with an extra $125 from the interested earned.  I know that $125 may not seem like a huge amount but it may help towards postage, or something else.

Maybe you could do that with part of your savings.  But debt free is always good.


Post # 9
95 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: June 2008

Having a debt loom over your heads starting out in a new marriage wouldn’t be something that I would suggest.  It’s best to pay off everything such as credit cards with fluctuating rates.  If you have a good fix rate installment for your student loan or car, that can probably wait, but definitely pay off the rest.  Your wedding day is a very special day, but do you really want to spend the price tag of what you would pay for a car for one night only?  It’s really the marriage that will last a lifetime and yes paying off all that debt can really give your credit a big boost and help you towards purchasing a new home.  good luck!

Post # 10
61 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: September 2007

it really should depend on the characteristics of your debt.  if you got a low-interest loan, then it might not make sense to just pay it off, if you have a higher yielding savings account.  for example, if you got a special on your car for 2.9% interest over the life of the loan, but you earn 5% interest in your savings account, then it doesn’t make sense to pay off the car since you would be making more in the long run.  like melbride said, you could wait for school loans as well.

 if you have something like credit card debt, you definitely want to pay it off because of the super high interest rate.  at any rate, you want to make sure that you are aware of your partner’s debt before you get married. 

and there’s also no reason why you can’t just pay off a bit more of the debt instead of hte entire amount, and have most of your dream wedding, to compromise.  the marriage is most important, but if you have your heart set on something on your wedding day, there’s no reason you need to necessarily forego that either.

Post # 12
48 posts
  • Wedding: July 2008

My fiance and I are paying for our wedding mostly ourselves.  Meaning less than $5000 from all our parents combined.  We have been saving and scrimping like mad people.  We live in washington state and are hiring a so cal photog.  His price is our biggest expense, however we both decided from the beginning that photography was the most important thing to us because you get to keep it after the wedding…. And even though not a moment goes by where I don’t stress out about money and the wedding I am still totally happy with my photog choice.

So ask yourself is it worth it to go out of budget to have the photog of your dreams?  I did and I’ll make it happen some how. 

As for the debt.  If it was me, I’d go halfsies.  Pay off half and don’t get anymore.  Then make it a priority to pay off the rest after you get married.  If you saved $8000 in a year, you can save $4000 in six months.  It’s win win. 

Ultimatly, you should do what you and your fiance think will be best for you.

Post # 14
98 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

Debt free all the way!  The wedding is one day, but if you have plans to buy a house, have a kid or even take a nice trip in the next few years, you will be MUCH better off with a clean financial slate.

I’m not sure how much you have saved, but if you wanted to set a LITTLE bit aside for one wedding "splurge", then go for it, but I’d put 95% of that cash toward eliminating the debt burden. Money is the NUMBER ONE thing married people fight aboout (then sex and children-lol) so wouldn’t it be nice not to eliminate that topic?? And then you are more likely to feel like having sex, which can of course lead to the arrival of fight-topic # 3— but hey, you’d be 66% less "fighty" than most couples!!

I’ve been married twice and had a HUGE (400pp) white-tie wedding for the first marriage and a teeny (16pp) wedding for the second and believe me, the phrase "it’s only ONE DAY" is totally true.  You can have a lovely meaningful wedding no matter what your budget it, but starting your life together under a cloud of debt is a really bad idea.

Invest in your MARRIAGE not the 6 hours you spend making it legal– you won’t be sorry!

Post # 15
1 posts

I don’t know the circumstances (i.e., how much your parents are paying, what kind of wedding you want), but as someone who has always been debt-free, I can tell you, it’s the way to bee (pardon the pun, I had to!).

Both my Darling Husband and I were debt-free and had quite a bit saved away before we got married. This helped our marriage start out on the right financial foot. 🙂 We have always been financially secure and that makes for great peace of mind and it also makes it easier to start planning for the future (house, children, retirement, etc.).

I know you want your wedding to be perfect, believe me, I did too. But just focus on making the day about the love that surrounds your wedding, not the "things." As "beanchar" said, invest in the rest of your life together, not the details that nobody will remember about your wedding day.

Good luck!!

Post # 16
65 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: August 2008

Currently our debt is about 10 grand so nothing ridiculous.  For our wedding we’re putting $1000 a month into a "wedding fund" to pay for the wedding (in addition to money from my parents).  Sure, we could scale back our wedding a lot and use 10K from the fund to pay off our debt.  But we’re keeping our wedding as is and will keep putting $1000 a month aside after the wedding.  So 10 months after we get married, we’ll be debt free.  For us, it’s worth it.

On the other hand, if our debt was 100K instead of 10K, we would definitely use the money for debt instead of a wedding.

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