(Closed) Other broke bees, how did you pay for your wedding with no money?

posted 2 weeks ago in Money
Post # 2
77 posts
Worker bee

brokebee69 :  Hi bee! I’m sorry I don’t have any real suggestions for money saving, but I think I can help with the whole student loan thing. I’ve been through that ringer multiple times. Are you a US bee? If so here’s what I know to be 100% true…First and foremost, if you are CURRENTLY enrolled in your program, your loans should be “deferred” meaning that while they’re accumulating interest, you don’t have to pay a penny on them. That deferment period lasts 6 months until AFTER graduation or leaving the program (I.e. dropping out and not finishing your degree). Even if you’re enrolled part time (~6 credits) then you still qualify for student loan deferment. I would call your borrower and see what the deal is. Next, if you’re outside your deferment window you should qualify for an income based plan. Since you’re not married yet, FH does not count towards your income. If you’re living paycheck to paycheck, then $300 probably isn’t income based. I know, lower student loan payments mean more interest and longer to pay off, but you can always change plans. Consider going to income based to save money until after the wedding. And side note, if you’re still struggling with money after the wedding, consider filing taxes separately. That’ll keep his income from combining with yours and driving up your price. The only other thing I can think of to save money is dog sitting. Get on Rover. They pay decent and it’s easy.

Good luck!

Post # 3
3994 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: December 2016

We had a small wedding at a free venue and went to dinner afterwards. We weren’t broke, just didn’t see the point of having some lavish party when there are a million other things to spend money on. It just sounds like you aren’t willing to compromise your vision but it doesn’t suit your budget. Truly, the trick is… don’t have some extravagant to-do. Our wedding with dinner for 60 people was 3k. 

Post # 4
986 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: City, State

If you have savings, you’re doing everything right.  Paycheck to paycheck with funds in the bank means you have a buffer, but you aren’t saving anything new. 

If you have no savings, your priorities will cause you pain. 

Post # 5
1475 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2021 - Kauai, HI

Overall I’d say wait until you can afford to have the wedding you want.  Its meant to be a once in a lifetime event and you deserve to have the wedding you want.  But The easiest way to cut costs is to cut your guest list.  Keep it intimate. I wouldn’t want to start a marriage off with wedding debt.  

Post # 6
12224 posts
Sugar Beekeeper

You had the right idea in the first place. Don’t agree to plan a wedding you can’t afford. Instead of getting ahead, if this is going to put you in debt and further behind, then you can’t justify it. What if one of you loses a job or has a health crisis? If you are living paycheck to paycheck then you are one step from disaster. You need an emergency fund, and to be thinking about the future. 

We were just starting our careers when we started out and had significantly more saved than your wedding would cost but would still have never spent it on a one day event at that time in our lives. Before announcing our engagement we had discussed something very simple with an immediate family dinner afterwards and possibly a delayed celebration at some point. If our parents had not generously insisted on hosting, and able to afford to do so, that’s exactly what we would have done. 

That early savings is really what got us started. It takes much longer to dig yourself out of a hole and beyond than to fall into one. Don’t let other people spend your money.

Post # 7
3533 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: January 2021

Not sure where you live, but does your area have anything similar to the “Money Mentors” program we have where I live? It’s basically a not for profit credit consolidation program supported by our provincial government that helps people who are struggling with debt to consolidate their various debt loads, reduce their debt servicing costs, and determine a reasonable and practical debt repayment schedule suited to their income and goals. You may want to look into something like that. 

Your student loans may be eligible for deferral – it seems odd to me that you would be required to be paying them while enrolled in school?? Are these loans from a previous program? Or have you not graduated since taking them? It seems odd but I don’t know much about how these things work in other places. I know in both provinces I went to school in here in Canada we had a grace period of six months after graduation before interest kicked in and out repayment schedule automatically began. However, even after graduation, I was able to apply for reduced monthly payments during some more difficult times and I know it was also possible to defer payment entirely in some situations (though interest would still accrue). 

What I’m thinking with that rambling mess above is that if you have significant credit card debt as well as student loans, you may be better off consolidating all of that debt into a line or credit or loan that is slightly higher interest than your student loan but much lower than the credit card interest, depending on the amounts owed on each. If not, I’d apply for deferral of the student loans so you can focus entirely on the credit card debt – you’re better off letting that lower amount of interest accrue for a while than continuing to accrue much higher interest on your cards. 

As for the wedding itself, it sounds like you’re doing a great job of keeping it reasonable. I’m not sure what your plans are for decor, but my sister in law is a super frugal woman and for their wedding she bought all the linens, chair covers, etc used off Kijiji/Facebook marketplace/wedding swap sites/etc and then resold them all for the same amount she paid for them after. It’s a bit risky because there is always the possibility you won’t be able to sell it all, but it’s an idea. 

Post # 8
1513 posts
Bumble bee

We eloped and then had a nice dinner with the two of us.  Our costs included the rings, a single rose from the grocery store, a license, the Justice of the Peace’s fee, and dinner.  All in all, less than $500.

Post # 9
1150 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2018

The best savings plan I’ve found that works for us is establishing a set percentage of our monthly income that we will set aside the day we get paid. We then put that all toward whatever our goal is (reducing debt, savings etc). Make sure this percentage allows you to pay your usual bills but is robust enough to pressure you to save. I would also second PP in checking if you can defer your student loan payments until after graduation. 

Post # 10
2179 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: March 2017

We had an elopement ceremony. We went with a venue package. It was just us, the officiant, a witness, and the photographer and assistant. I bought a dress for under $100. My husband rented his tux. Our venue package included a night at the B&B and champagne. We paid about $1000 in all (including photographs). 

Post # 11
65 posts
Worker bee

I would say plan for the wedding you can comfortably afford. It’s not worth going into debt over just one day. 

We weren’t broke, but definitly stuck to a tight budget: discounted venue, discounted catering, small guest list, DIY decor (saved so many craft store coupons). 

We were engaged for 15 months and I would say we focused less on the amount we needed to save and more about increasing our income substantially over that time. We follow Dave Ramsey’s baby steps for budgeting and saving money, so I would highly recommend checking out his YouTube videos and podcast. 

Post # 12
7039 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2012

Honestly, as much as I’m sure it’s really hard to hear (and not what you want to do) I’d probably consider eloping. Spending money on a wedding when you already live paycheck to paycheck just isn’t financially responsible. 

If you’re absolutely set on having a wedding I would just rethink your vision. Have you considered a morning wedding with just cake/punch/snacks afterwards? 

Post # 13
141 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: December 2020

I think your ideas for saving money by DIYing are great! 
However I think it would be in your best interest to become more financially stable before spending money you have not yet earned on a wedding you can’t afford. 

I already tried begging him to elope and he said no, that it’s important to his parents. 
I think your idea of eloping is good, and your fiancè needs to be sensible and stand up to his parents if necessary. Elope now and have a grand wedding when you can afford it. 

Post # 14
3533 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: January 2021

starfish0116 :  I think it’s also worth considering just deferring the wedding for a while as well. 

OP, I know you said you’re already giving yourselves a slightly extended timeline from engagement to wedding, but is there any particular reason(s) why it is so important that you get married now rather than after you’ve reached a more financially stable stage in life? 

It sounds like you’re quite young and both barely starting out in adult life, have significant debt and low to moderate incomes. This just doesn’t strike me as an ideal time to be having a wedding, which no matter how you slice it, is still going to be a very expensive party unless you don’t do the wedding part of it at all. 

Why not focus on building your financial foundation for now and get married down the line when you’re a bit more stable? Or, if there are important reasons to marry now (such as insurance or other financial/legal benefits that your life plan depends on), just do the justice of the peace legal ceremony now and throw a wedding celebration later on down the road? 

Post # 15
216 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2019 - Sandpoint, ID

What if you elope in a beautiful free location and only have parents as witnesses? Then go to dinner afterwards and stay in a hotel for the night?

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