Lately, I’ve been seeing a lot of talk about wedding loans. And as a personal finance blogger, this worries me a bit.
Getting married is very exciting, and in the beginning, you’re probably thinking about what your wedding will be like. All of your favorite family and friends, good food, dancing, and whatever else your heart desires.
But then, reality hits – how will you pay for it all?
Shockingly, many couples take out wedding loans to finance their big day.
It seems like more and more people around me are getting wedding loans in order to afford their wedding, and there’s a big industry growing that is trying to normalize marriage loans as well. I’ve even seen advertisements for wedding loans for bad credit!
I’ve also noticed more people putting their weddings on credit cards, which is very dangerous when you consider that the average credit card interest rate is now over 21%.
For many people, having a wedding is important. Some may have even been thinking about their wedding since they were young.
However with an average wedding cost of $29,858 in 2019, having the wedding of your dreams can be very, very inexpensive. And in some states, there’s an even higher average – in New York City it’s $88,176, and in South Florida it’s $51,073.
Some couples may have started saving money for their weddings years in advance, and others may have parents who will help pay for some or all of their wedding.
But if you don’t have enough money for your wedding, many are tempted to take out wedding loans in order to “afford” a wedding.
Having a wedding can be fun, but it is not worth it to start out your new life with debt. Wedding debt can cause arguments, stress, financial problems, and more. It can even cause you and your spouse to resent one another, and that’s not a good way to begin a marriage.
The scary thing is that many people consider debt to be normal, so they have no problem taking on debt to pay for things. But, just because everyone else is doing it, that doesn’t mean you need to as well. This is true for smaller purchases like clothing, to big expenses like you wedding.
Weddings can be expensive or they can be affordable. You can have a wedding on any budget, no matter how low your budget may be. You may have to get creative or prioritize some things, but remember, you can get married for just the cost of a marriage license!
If you’re thinking about taking out a taking out a loan for a wedding, please read today’s post before you do anything you may regret.
Here is why I recommend avoiding wedding loans.
It’s another monthly bill.
According to Business Insider, 28% of couples go into debt for their wedding.
That is much higher than I thought it would be!
By getting wedding loans or putting your wedding on a credit card, you are giving yourself one more thing to pay for. It’s another payment you will have to make every month.
Wedding loans don’t mean that your wedding is free!
Are you really sure that you want to take out a loan for your wedding and have to pay a monthly expense until it is fully paid off?
It could be months or even years until you have paid off your wedding loan.
If you have student loans, a mortgage, car payments, etc., adding a wedding loan on top of it all sounds like a lot of financial stress.
Why is an expensive wedding important to you?
One thing you should think about is why do you feel the need to spend so much on your wedding?
I know weddings are a very special day, but lenders for wedding loans prey on those who believe their “once in a lifetime event” should be the biggest and most expensive party ever. Sadly, many people believe that they need a big wedding and that it’s normal to have high wedding costs. And many do it to keep up with others.
Your wedding is a special day, no matter how big your wedding is or how much it costs.
By determining what YOU truly want out of a wedding, you’ll probably be able to save money by thinking about your true needs and wants.
Also, think about what other things in life may be more important to you than an expensive wedding. Perhaps, you’d rather be saving for a home, travel, starting a family, retirement, or something else?
It can add stress to your new marriage.
Starting out a new marriage with wedding debt can add a huge amount of stress.
And, it’s stress that you can easily avoid.
Wedding loans can add a lot of financial stress to a person’s life. The amount of happiness you get from having an expensive wedding will probably never match the amount of hardship that debt will add to your life.
Debt can cause you to:
- Not reach retirement
- Not reach your dreams
- Have fewer days off
- Stress about keeping up with others
- Stress over paying bills
And, financial issues are usually what couples fight about more than anything. Is that really how you want to start your marriage?
Living debt free means less financial stress, and you can be in control and live the life you want.
There are high interest charges on wedding loans.
Wedding loans aren’t cheap – you will most likely be paying a high interest rate if you finance your wedding.
I did a quick search for wedding loans, and it was common to see interest rates of anywhere from around 6% to 35%.
This will make your wedding cost even more than what you originally thought it would be.
Here’s an example: if you took out a wedding loan for $30,000 on a 5-year term at a 17% interest rate, you would end up paying $44,735 for your wedding. That’s almost $15,000 more! Even a wedding loan with an interest rate of 7% will cost you $5,000 more over the course of your loan term.
It’s only one day.
I hate to say this, but after being married for some time, I realize how true it is – your wedding is only one day.
Taking out a huge amount of debt for one day is not something to take lightly. After all, you may forget a lot of details about your wedding, and these may be things you financed for thousands of dollars.
You and your spouse have the rest of your life ahead of you with lots of happy memories, and many of them will be completely free.
Some studies say that a cheap wedding is the key to a happy marriage.
A few years ago a study found that couples who spend the least on their weddings were more likely to have longer-lasting marriages than those who spent lots of money on a wedding. In fact, weddings that were $20,000 or more resulted in higher divorce rates, and the lowest rates of divorce were among those who spent $1,000 or less on their wedding.
Researchers weren’t sure if the results were about the type of couples who spent less on a wedding or the stress of an expensive wedding, but it’s interesting to think about.
Wedding expectations are becoming unrealistic.
One thing I’ve noticed is that weddings now include week-long bachelor or bachelorette parties, entire wedding weekends, destination weddings, and customized or personalized everything. And there are some couples that start their wedding celebrations weeks in advance.
You can see those big events all over Facebook and Instagram, and it’s really easy to think that you need a wedding like that too. But, just because someone you know had an expensive wedding doesn’t mean you should too.
You don’t know how much someone spent, how much help they had paying for their wedding, or how much they took out in wedding loans.
There are plenty of affordable ways to get married.
Instead of taking out weddings loans, I highly recommend finding more affordable ways to get married.
You can have a great wedding for much less than the average of $30,000.
Here are some ways that you can have a more affordable wedding:
- Skip the wedding altogether. You don’t need a wedding in order to get married! You can simply go to the courthouse. If you want to spend time with close family and friends on that day, you could simply go to a restaurant or someone’s home afterwards.
- Have a smaller wedding. The bigger your wedding, the more costly your wedding will most likely be.
- Set a budget. If you want a bigger wedding, please make sure you can afford it. Start off by creating a budget.
- Elope in a vacation spot. While this option will still cost you money, you may be able to have a fun wedding and honeymoon all in one, for much less than what a traditional wedding may cost you.
- Find a more affordable wedding ring. Wedding rings are usually one of the highest costs of getting married. You can save a lot of money by choosing something more affordable without taking on any debt.
- DIY your wedding. More and more couples seem to be going the DIY wedding route when it comes to their special day. Some want to save a little money, some want to be more involved in their wedding, or some have a certain plan they want to follow and DIY is the only way for them to do that. I personally DIYed a LOT at my wedding. Learn more at DIY Wedding Ideas – Worth It Or A Waste Of Money?
- Delay the wedding. If you still want a more expensive wedding than you can afford, then you may want to delay the wedding so that you have more time to save.
There are easy ways to save up for your wedding.
Speaking of saving up for your wedding, there are so many ways to save for one now.
There are tons of ways to make extra money, there are savings challenges, and there are even apps that make it easy to save.
Here are a few articles that will help you save for your big day:
With so many options, taking out a marriage loan can be a costly mistake that you can easily avoid
In the end, it’s your wedding.
One of the reasons that so many people go overboard with the cost of their weddings, which leads to wedding loans, is that they think they have to have the big weddings they see on social media, TV shows, and movies.
But, that just isn’t realistic for everyone.
You are the only one who should get to determine the kind of wedding you have.
If you want a big, expensive wedding, that’s okay, but make sure you truly want it and can afford it.
The same goes if you really want a small, inexpensive wedding. That doesn’t mean your wedding will be any less meaningful.
Think about your priorities, your budget, and make a plan to get there. Your dream wedding is the one you want, not what society tells you that you need.
What do you think of wedding loans? Do you think that wedding debt is worthwhile?