A wedding may be one of the happiest but most expensive days of your life. Since the average American spends anywhere from $19,883 to $33,055 on their wedding day, it’s no wonder why couples are eager to utilize any and every strategy in order to keep costs low and avoid getting into debt.
Your dream wedding shouldn’t put you in debt and ideally, you should be able to pay for the special event in cash so you don’t have to go into your marriage with new or additional debt.
Having recently gotten married myself, I can hardly explain the amazing feeling of relief that comes with being able to pay for everything in cash. Since we already have student loan debt of our own among other things, we really didn’t want to add to that by taking out loans and owing wedding vendors. If you have that same mindset, here are a few ways to help ensure you pay for your wedding in cash.
Match the Features of Your Wedding with Your Budget
First, you’ll probably want to develop a specific wedding budget and outline your ideas and preferences. Determine how much you and your partner are earning each month and what seems like a reasonable price for your wedding. If it seems logical that you can only afford a $10,000 wedding, you’ll need to adjust your wedding budget accordingly.
There are numerous ways to cut the cost of your wedding including:
- Having a smaller wedding
- Getting married during the off season or on an unpopular day
- Skipping the venue option
- Having a smaller bridal party
- DIYing your centerpieces and flowers
- Making a playlist for the reception to avoid hiring a DJ
- Hiring a student photographer who can provide professional photos for a more affordable rate
The list goes on and on. To make sure that you can afford to pay for your wedding with the cash, you have to prioritize what you want and make sure you’re okay with getting rid of the things you don’t want.
Open a Designated Savings Account
You’re free to start saving for your wedding before you even get engaged. The early you start setting money aside, the better. Even if you and your fiance decide to open a savings account right after getting engaged, make sure it’s a high-yield savings account so you can earn a little money in interest simply for keeping the account funded.
Some of the best banks that offer the highest rates for savings accounts are online banks like Capital One 360, Ally and Discover Bank- as they all offer decent rates.
It’s not a lot, but it’s better than anything else at the moment. Invite your friends and family to contribute to the account if they can and set up automatic withdrawals so you can consistently grow your wedding savings.
Set the Date Far in the Future
Having a long engagement might help you avoid getting into debt for your wedding. If you are in no rush to get married, set your actual wedding date more than a year ahead so you can have enough time to save for everything. For example, if you and your fiance can only afford to set aside $300 per month for your wedding and get married after only having a six month engagement, you’ll only save $1,800 which may barely be enough to cover what both of you will wear.
But if you save $1,800 during the first six months, then bump your savings up to $500 per month for the next year once you get some momentum going, you’ll have saved up $7,800 over the course of 18 months.
Establish a Side Hustle for You and Your Partner
When it comes to side hustling, two is always better than one. It’s a challenge to manage one side hustle, but if you and your future spouse both start side hustling, you’ll bring in twice the extra income.
You may need to work around each other’s schedule, but your best best is to choose a side hustle that’s flexible and allows you to work from home or in your spare time. Getting a second job can be demanding, especially when planning your own wedding.
Put all the extra money you earn from your side hustle toward your wedding. Then, once you get married, you can either slow down or take a complete break from hustling. You can also monetize your free time by taking short surveys to earn extra cash. Many will help you earn several hundred per month, at least, which can be put towards your wedding budget.
Sell Some of Your Belongings
If you have items around your home that could be worth a decent amount of money, try selling the things you no longer want or need for extra cash. You don’t have to get rid of everything at once, but you can start little by little each month.
You can also host a huge garage sale for a couple of weekends throughout the summer to the amount of sales you get.
Start Living on One Person’s Income
As you prepare for marriage, managing your finances should be a huge topic of discussion. It’s important to determine who will pay certain bills and be responsible for specific expenses you both have in order to keep your household running smoothly.
Among deciding who will pay for groceries, consider cutting your expenses as much as you can while planning your wedding. The first expense to cut should be cutting the cord. You’re likely going to be busy planning the wedding and not able to watch as much as normal. It also instantly frees up $100 per month, if you’re paying the average.
The Amazon Fire TV Stick is one option to cut the cord and still get the content you want. The Fire Stick is a one-time cost, often below $50. It lets you access streaming providers, plus watch the content available from the dongle. Check out the Amazon Fire TV Stick channels to see what content you can get from the device.
If you both have jobs, try living on one person’s income for a few months and put a majority of the second income toward wedding expenses.
Even now with saving for big goals, my husband and I have found that we can make way more financial progress by living on one person’s income instead of each saving a small portion of our own income. Sure we spend less and have less disposable cash, but this strategy will help you reach your financial goal quicker and provide you with more motivation to get there.
While loans and credit cards can be tempting, try your best to pay for your wedding in cash so you’ll have one less financial burden to deal with in the future. If you do use credit cards, use them wisely and pay off the bill in full. Remember that’s it’s possible to have the wedding of your dreams on a budget.
Did you pay for your wedding in cash or would you? Why or why not?