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Tackling your debts

Have you borrowed to fund your dream wedding?

Posted 30 April 2015 by Christine Walsh

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New research finds that a quarter of couples have borrowed money to pay for their big day.

When you got engaged, what did you think of when you imagined your wedding? In fact, even if you’re not engaged yet, have you (or maybe even your partner) dreamt about having a big white wedding with everyone you know for years?

 

Having a big wedding with hundreds of guests is a great way to celebrate, but the one thing we all know about weddings are that they’re expensive … in fact, the average wedding now costs almost £25,000, so you need to make sure you can afford it before committing to anything. This is especially true if you have to borrow money in order to fund it, and even more so if you’re already managing debt repayments.

 

Borrowing money to pay for your big day

Recent research* carried out for us found that a quarter of couples have borrowed money to pay for their dream wedding, with half of these saying they regretted borrowing so much.

 

We found that, on average, couples have to repay £3,800 to help cover the wedding costs, meaning you’ll be starting married life with this hanging over your head. … in fact, almost a third of couples we spoke to are still repaying their six years after they tied the knot. Having a big wedding might be important to you as a couple, but something borrowed could leave you both feeling blue.

 

Save on your wedding

You don’t need to go overboard to have an amazing wedding … there are plenty of websites and blogs dedicated to budget brides, such as Pretty Thrifty. Here are some helpful rules to follow if you want to plan your wedding for less:

 

Keep it small … only invite your close family and friends

Off-season … get married in the autumn or winter, or on a weekday as it’s often cheaper

Get help … ask any friends who are photographers, florists or who are just particularly crafty to help out … it could be for a cheaper rate or maybe as a wedding gift to you

Budget … stick to a clearly planned budget, and don’t spend any extra

 

Save

If you really want a bigger ceremony in a fancy venue, consider putting off getting married for a couple of years and try to save for a bit longer. Making a spending budget and cutting back on non-essentials will really help with this, and you could start to save up quite a bit of money just by making a few lifestyle changes.

 

Remember why you’re getting married

Getting married is about making a life-long commitment, rather than the big day itself. It’s easy to get caught up with the celebrity culture around weddings … but remember, these celebrities can afford to spend big amounts on their dream wedding and unfortunately, for most of us, this kind of luxury is out of reach and we shouldn’t be taking on lots of debt to try and recreate them.

 

Help for debt

Like we mentioned above, if you’re already in debt, it might not be a good idea to think about taking on more credit for your wedding, as another monthly repayment could make it harder for you to manage your finances and could lead you into financial difficulties in the future.

 

Make sure you’ve thought about the consequences of borrowing the money if you’re considering taking on debt to afford your perfect wedding. Remember … your wedding is only the beginning of your marriage, and you’ll still have other financial commitments to afford after that, such as if kids come along.

 

If you’re finding it hard to manage the debt you took on for your wedding, you don’t have to cope with this alone. Speaking to a debt expert like the ones available at the Debt Advisory Centre could help you to get back in control of your finances, and make sure you stay in wedded bliss.

 

*OnePoll questioned a nationally representative sample of 2,000 adults aged 18 and over between 6th March and 26th March 2015, of whom 640 were Scottish residents.

by Christine Walsh

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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.