The Wedding Blog series is BACK! And this time we're talking about a topic I have gotten SO many questions about, and that is how to actually pay for a wedding.
When I first started the wedding planning process (long ago.. back in 2019!) the numbers made me physically ill. I remember reading somewhere that the average wedding cost in CA was around $50,000. FIFTY THOUSAND DOLLARS. Traditionally, the brides family is responsible for the wedding bill (stupid tradition if you ask me) but what if your family doesn't have the means? This was the case for me, and I've partnered with Esther Lee, a Senior Editor at The Knot to give some tips on how to make things more feasible.
Start Early. I don't come from money, and I knew from a young age that if I wanted a wedding one day, I would have to pay for it. When I was 24, I started a "wedding fund" and put about $100 a month towards it. You can do this in a savings account OR put it in a Mutual Fund or Vanguard account so your fund can also grow with the market (thats what I did). Since I started early (before I even met my fiance!) I was able to put aside $15,000 for my future wedding.
Pool your resources. As the average age of marriage continues to rise, according to The Knot Real Weddings Study, many couples are increasingly paying for their weddings (or the majority cost of their weddings). So when my fiance and I first started talking about our wedding vision, we laid our financial cards on the table. We discussed what we both could contribute to our wedding, discussed our guest list and talked to a wedding planner about our budget and goals. From there, we could see where the financial gaps were so that we could both do the next (and for me, hardest, step) which was to figure out any family contributions.
Asking for money. Look, I didn't make up this tradition, but families have traditionally contributed to weddings so don't feel guilty for asking! Esther from The Knot just cautions "as with anything related to finances, be respectful in how you approach the conversation." When I called my mom to have the "money talk" I felt extremely uncomfortable so just tried to be as honest and straightforward as possible. I explained we were just starting to plan and were pulling together our finances to figure out our budget, and wanted to each see IF our families could contribute. (notice - no expectation) To my surprise, my sweet mom had also been saving for years for this moment.
Do whats right FOR YOU. If there is any silver lining to Covid, it's that it flipped the wedding industry on its head. Things are just so different from when I started the planning process in 2019. Expectations have been tossed out the window and more and more couples are trading lavish celebrations for mini-monies and more practical affairs. I think it's awesome. Embrace this weird time and do whatever the hell you want. Uninvite those distant cousins. Maybe trade in the expensive venue for a friend's backyard. Everything goes right now. Remember WHY you're getting married in the first place and prioritize what YOU want for your big day. Screw everything else, you have the perfect excuse!
Have any other tips? Share them in comments!