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Money saving

Don’t say ‘I do’ to wedding day debt regret – 7 ways to avoid it Pt 1

Posted 31 July 2015 by Shelley Bowers

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After exchanging vows, cutting the cake and opening the gifts, the last thing you want is a pile of wedding debt. Our guide will help you avoid it.

Your wedding day is one of the most important days of your life. You want to cherish the memory forever and, as a result, plan your big day in meticulous detail. Of course, the more you add to your day, the higher and higher the cost seems to rise. However, is it ever worth sinking into debt to get the wedding of your dreams?

With the average cost of a wedding in the UK, including honeymoon and gift list, standing at £24,716, according to Brides Magazine*, do engaged couples today have any choice but to borrow if they want to have the wedding they really want?

This two-part series will show you seven ways to avoid a huge debt, so you can start your married life stress free!

Why is this important?

Weddings are, and should be, very personal events and it’s completely understandable that you would want every detail to be exactly how you imagined it – the wedding of your dreams. However, it’s vital that this dream doesn’t become a nightmare once the rings and vows have been exchanged.

Research** carried out for us in 2014 revealed that of the one in five respondents who borrowed to pay for their nuptials, half regret the resulting debt they’ve ended up with. And, as for those first years of marriage being the best of your life, having a debt hanging over you might dampen this slightly – with a third of respondents admitting they’re still repaying their wedding debt now.

Stretched finances could put real pressure on not only your income, but also your relationship. If you’re struggling with unmanageable debts, memories of your wedding might quickly become tainted. If you’re planning a wedding, it’s really important to think about how much financial stress you want to take on in the run up to the big day, and what will happen afterwards, when you have to start to repay what you’ve  borrowed.

The good news? It is possible to get married without getting into debt, all it takes is some careful planning. Follow our tips on how to get the wedding you want, without breaking the bank:

Timing is everything

Timing is key when it comes to planning a successful wedding. The excitement you feel when you first get engaged is overwhelming, and it should be, it’s a wonderful thing! But don’t feel like you need to rush down the aisle straight away. Think ahead and see whether you could set a date for a couple of years’ time to give you and your partner plenty of saving time. Putting a little aside each month over a few years, and saving it in a high interest, easy access account (like an ISA), should make a huge difference to how well you manage the expense when the time comes.

Save the date

Did you know that it can be cheaper to get married on certain dates rather than others? For starters, it’s usually more economical to tie the knot in the autumn or winter. Yes, the weather won’t be as kind but, if you love your venue, you may be happy to enjoy it all day and not venture outside anyway. At some venues, it’s also cheaper to get hitched on a Sunday or weekday, as there’s more demand for Saturdays, so these book up fast. Another date that might save you money is Friday 13th – assuming you’re not superstitious, of course!

We’ll end it there to give you some time to take it all in. Next time we’ll cover five more money saving wedding day tips.

* http://www.bridesmagazine.co.uk/planning/general/planning-service/2013/01/average-cost-of-wedding

***OnePoll questioned a nationally representative sample of 2,000 adults aged 18 and over between 2nd May and 12th May 2014, of whom 500 were Scottish residents. Figures have been extrapolated to fit ONS 2013 population projections of 50,371,000 UK adults.

by Shelley Bowers

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To find out more about managing your money and getting free debt advice, visit Money Advice Service, an independent service set up to help people manage their money.