How to Prevent Wedding Debt

A bride and groom sitting on a fountain outside and laughing.

There’s no doubt that a wedding of any size and in any location can quickly add up to an expensive affair. It can be tempting to spend seemingly endless money to make this once-in-a-lifetime event unforgettable. Along with that urge sometimes comes the accumulation of quite a bit of debt, specifically on credit cards. It’s easy to fall into this hole when you’re planning a wedding, but there are many ways to prevent it from happening as you plan your big day.

Set a Realistic Wedding Budget and Stick to It

Wedding budgets are tough, but it’s really important to set a realistic one at the beginning of the planning process. Talk with your fiancé and whoever is financially contributing to your wedding and decide what you can realistically afford. From there, get quotes from vendors and figure out how they fit into your budget before you book anything. Setting a budget at the beginning and getting a feel for how much different vendors cost allows you to prioritize things within your budget before you officially start spending.

Set a Maximum Guest Count

A group of wedding guests at a reception holding wine glasses.

The price of a wedding goes up the more people are invited. It can be easy to keep adding a person here and there to your guest list. However, this quickly adds up. Make sure that once you decide on your venue and understand how much it will cost per person, you and your fiancé agree on a hard maximum number when it comes to your guest list. This will help you to avoid spending unexpected money and will greatly assist when it comes to staying within budget.

Open a Separate Bank Account for Wedding Funds

Opening a checking account specific to your wedding finances can also prevent overspending. This allows you and everyone else involved in the planning process to see exactly how much money is available at any given time to spend on the wedding. When you happen to leave all funds in an account that goes towards other expenses as well, it’s easy to ignore that established budget and spend whatever you want.

Check in Often on the Expenditures

A table setting at a wedding reception.

When you’re planning a wedding, it can get confusing when multiple people are involved in making decisions and spending money towards the event. For this reason, it’s important to check in often on spending with your future spouse and whoever else is involved. Revisit the budget, update where money has been spent, and get a clear idea of how much money is left. Talk often about how that money will be spent and definitely discuss any unexpected expenses so you can adjust the budget accordingly.

Don’t Get Caught up in Emulating Weddings on Social Media

On the internet, it’s easy to compare yourself to what others are doing. Looking at sites like Pinterest or Instagram are useful for finding inspiration for your wedding, but spending too much time fawning over the weddings of others on these sites can really tempt you to spend more money than you should on your event. The more ideas you see, the more you’ll want to implement for your wedding, even if they’re really unnecessary additions to your big day. Living in that comparison game is a slippery slope, so be aware when you’re getting too sucked into others’ weddings on social media.

Remember What the Day is all About

A bride and groom exchanging rings during their vows.

At the end of the day, your wedding will be unforgettable no matter how much money you spend. That’s because it’s a special, once-in-a-lifetime day of committing to the person you love the most. Remember that as you plan, using it as a curb whenever you consider overspending on something you think you “need.” A lot of those little details you may consider splurging on aren’t anything you’ll even remember when you look back on your wedding day, so try to keep that in perspective as you plan.

Do yourself a favor and take these steps to prevent yourself from going into debt over your wedding day. It’s the best wedding gift you can give yourself!

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