My husband and I just celebrated our 8-month anniversary! And as I think back through the financial details of our big day, I thought it would be helpful for brides and grooms-to-be to hear about some of the financial pitfalls we encountered — and what we learned from them.
1. Make Sure Your Bills are Paid:
When the actual day comes, all your bills should be paid in full (photographer, reception hall, bakery, etc.). And if you paid your wedding bills with a credit card, make sure to pay your credit card bill before you leave on your honeymoon, or set up an automatic transfer from your checking account. If you slip up and are forced to carry the balance on your credit card for even one extra day, you could be penalized with a substantial interest fee.
However, don’t let this make you think borrowing money to pay for your wedding isn’t a wise choice. The truth is that you’re not alone if you do because up to 60% of couples take out a loan to finance their wedding. That being said, it’s in your best interest to continue to make the minimum amount of monthly payments on it and get the loan paid off as soon as possible. You’ll sleep a lot better at night when you act financially responsible and make sure your bills are paid or being paid.
2. Ask Someone to Handle Cash on Your Wedding Day:
On the day of your wedding, you’ll have plenty to worry about. So take a tip from my friend (thanks, Aurora!) and put cash or checks into separate envelopes labeled for each vendor. Give these envelopes to your mother, father, or maid-of-honor to pass out to any vendors that require payment on your wedding day.
3. Get All Wedding Fees in Writing:
Our wedding day was wonderful, however, there was a miscommunication about two items on our bill, which amounted to $360! After discussing this with the manager two weeks later, we came to a good compromise. We also learned a valuable lesson — make sure you get all wedding fees in writing.
4. Include Tips into Your Budget:
Tips normally aren’t a huge consideration; but when you’re tipping on hundreds or even thousands of dollars, these tips can put a large dent in your overall budget. Consider these vendors as you plan your tips: DJ, other musicians, drivers, photographer, hairstylist, nail technician, etc. And remember, they can add up to hundreds of dollars.
5. Deposit Money Before Your Honeymoon:
When you open your wedding gifts, set aside any monetary gifts and deposit them before you leave for your honeymoon. This was particularly a problem for us as we live in Houston but got married in Pennsylvania, and our bank did not have a branch in PA. We finally decided that my mother would deposit our monetary gifts into her account, write us a check, and send the check to our home in Houston.
So as you plan your big day, keep these tips in mind. Then, once the wedding logistics are out of the way, you can focus on a fantastic wedding and marriage!
What is your best financial advice for brides and grooms-to-be?