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Getting Married - and Money




Your wedding day is supposed to be perfect.  Most of us start dreaming about and planning our wedding day long before we even meet our spouse!  But what many people forget is that a wedding is in reality a financial transaction, and if it’s not handled properly, that dream day could quickly turn into a foundation for debt.

If you are planning your wedding day, you should take some time out and think about the possible financial ramifications that you could suffer if you don’t plan well.  Here are some tips for ensuring that your wedding day is indeed perfect—financially and all.

Talk

The first thing you should do when thinking about your wedding is to sit down and talk to everyone involved.  Usually, this will include the bride and groom, as well as any parents who will be contributing finances to the event.  You should set a firm figure in mind, as this will be the basis for all of the other decisions that you make.

In addition, you should think about one thing carefully: if your parents are contributing a great deal of money for the ceremony, are you sure that you wouldn’t rather use it for someone thing else?  People have been known to spend $10-15,000 on a single wedding.  If they’d thought it through, they might have made the decision to have a small wedding and use the contributed cash as a down payment on a new home instead!

Plan

Now that you have a budget in mind, you should make a list of absolutely everything that you’ll need for your ceremony.  This list should include things like the wedding chapel, reception hall, dress, catering, flowers, photographer, and more.  You will need to assign a portion of your overall budget to each of the categories.  You may need to do some price comparisons before completing this step so you’ll have an idea of what each item should cost.  It will help to assign a value to each item.  For example, what’s more important to you; your wedding flowers or the gifts for the bridal party?  Now that you understand how much you’ll have to spend on each thing, it should make the next step easier.

Compare

Now it’s time to do some comparison shopping and re-adjusting.  For example, if you’ve planned $500 for flowers, and find that it’s simply not enough to get what you wanted, you will have a few choices.  You could select something else that isn’t as expensive, you could reduce another category’s budget and put it toward the flower budget, or you could get creative and decide to grow your own flowers for the ceremony.  The point is to stick to your overall budget.

Move On

Once you’ve planned your entire wedding within your budget, you should be able to sit back and enjoy the occasion knowing that you have chosen to start your lives together responsibly.  Now, continue to budget and plan in the other financial areas of your live and watch your finances grow!