The perfect venue, dress, flowers, décor and — don’t forget — food and drink for your friends and family can break the bank if you’re not careful. According to The Knot 2020 Real Weddings Study, the average cost of a U.S. wedding was $19,000 (and that doesn’t include the honeymoon!). That’s no small amount, especially considering it was lower due to the pandemic than the previous year ($28,000 in 2019).
So, what makes a wedding so expensive? According to The Knot, the most expensive wedding costs in 2020 included:
- Venue: $10,500
- Engagement ring: $5,900
- Reception band: $3,700
- Florist/décor: $2,000
- Photographer: $2,400
- Videographer: $1,800
- Wedding dress: $1,600
- Catering (per person): $70 (If your guest list includes 100 people, that’s a whopping $7,000!)
That doesn’t include the easy-to-forget charges like gratuities and service fees that can increase the cost of your wedding.
If you don’t have the cash to finance your dream wedding, you may be thinking you need to get a loan for your wedding. But are wedding loans a good idea? We consider the pros and cons of taking out a personal loan to cover your wedding.
Pros of Getting a Personal Loan to Pay for Your Wedding
- Wedding loan lenders will take your income and credit score into account. These types of loans are generally easy to secure if your credit score is in good shape.
- Interest rates will often be lower on a personal loan than on a credit card — especially if you have a good credit score.
- The application process is typically the matter of a little paperwork.
Cons of Taking Out a Loan for a Wedding
- You’ll begin your new married life in debt or — if you already have student loans, a mortgage, car loans, etc. — with even more debt. A wedding loan could leave you on the hook for several years. And beginning your marriage with extra debt could add more pressure to your relationship.
- With the interest your loan incurs, you could be paying on that loan for years — and paying back much more than you borrowed.
- Taking a loan for a wedding with bad credit can mean paying high interest rates.
Other Wedding Payment Options
If taking out a loan for a wedding doesn’t feel like the right choice for you — don’t worry! There are other ways to fund a wedding you’ll remember for years to come.
- Opt for a longer engagement. Put more money away for your wedding during your engagement.
- Create a wedding budget and stick to it. It’s too easy to inflate your budget as you go through the planning process. Instead of booking an expensive outdoor venue, you could go with a quiet backyard wedding, or instead of a live band for the reception, you could consider a DJ.
- Downsize your guest list. It’s always hard to cut people from your guest list, but opting for a smaller, more intimate wedding may be one way to have the wedding you’ll cherish while saving some cash.
- Shop around for the best deals. Time is key. Securing a vendor farther out from your wedding day can mean more choices and more opportunity to compare prices.
Your day will be special no matter what you choose — from the food to the venue — because you are surrounded by people you love and are beginning a lifetime of memories with your special person.
Fund Your Future
Planning a wedding can be a good exercise in making tough financial decisions as a couple. As you think more about your finances as a married couple, it’s a good idea to connect with a Farm Bureau agent to discuss your future and ways we can work together to protect it.