How to Finance a Wedding?
Trevor Mahoney is a financial services writer and content creator based out of Los Angeles, California. He holds a Bachelors of Science in Finance from Santa Clara University. In his free time, he enjoys hiking and lounging on the beach.Read full bio
At a Glance
Regarding future expenses, wedding costs are one of the most common things to expect. With such a large wedding price tag, it’s only natural to seek some form of financing. Learn about the best options for financing a wedding to cover your costs for the big celebration.
In this article, you’ll learn:
What is the average cost of a wedding?
Understanding why financing for your wedding may be required starts with learning about the average cost associated with this major event. Based on data from recent years, the average cost of a wedding from 2019 to 2021 hovered around $28,000. However, depending on the state you live in, this average price can vary by around $7,000 in either direction.
Paying for this cost all upfront may not be a feasible option for the average person, which is where financing strategies can come in.
Related: Wedding Budget Calculator
How can you finance a wedding?
The idea of financing a wedding may seem daunting initially, but there are numerous ways to pay for a wedding. Wedding financing can come in many different forms ranging from credit utilization, loans, borrowing from loved ones, and much more. Learning about these strategies can help anyone secure the funds they need for their perfect day.
1. Wedding Loans
Wedding loans are one of the most common forms of financing used today. This method works relatively simply. Borrowers are provided with a lump sum of money up front, in most cases, that is either secured or unsecured. Following the receipt of funds, the borrower is responsible for making payments each month until the entire sum of the loan is repaid.
Benefits of wedding loans
There are numerous benefits to using a loan to pay for a wedding, with the primary considerations including:
- You receive all funds needed up front.
- Assuming all payments are made on time, your credit score can benefit.
- Wedding loans will typically come with a lower interest rate than other options.
Things to consider before taking out a wedding loan
With any form of financing, there are minuses that go along with the pluses. Keep the following items in the back of your mind if you decide to finance with a loan:
- Your credit score can be damaged if you fail to make payments.
- Having access to large sums of money may lead you to attempt to spend more than you can repay.
- Different wedding loans can have varying terms.
2. Credit Cards
While credit cards may not be the first idea that comes to mind when looking at how to pay for a wedding, they can be useful. This option is more dependent on the type of credit card you have and the associated credit limit. If you have healthy credit and a large enough credit limit, you can certainly put some expenses on your card.
Benefits of credit cards for wedding financing
There are several pros to consider when looking at using a credit card for your wedding financing:
- Certain credit cards, such as 0% APR introductory cards, may delay the time before interest kicks in.
- Borrowing on a credit card means a higher likelihood of only borrowing what you need.
- Credit cards often offer rewards.
Things to consider before using credit cards
On the other hand, using a credit card to finance your wedding can come with some strings attached. Keep the following factors in mind:
- Your credit limit may not be high enough to support the financing you need.
- The APR on your credit card may be too high to justify using it for your wedding.
Related: Personal Loan or Credit Card for Your Wedding
Other ways to finance a wedding
Wedding loans and credit cards aren’t the only forms of financing available to you. While they are effective strategies, they may be too expensive or inconvenient for your specific wedding or financial situation. Consider some of the following options:
1. Borrow from family and friends
Assuming you have friends and family willing to pitch in, consider reaching out and explaining your situation. Even smaller donations from friends and family can greatly contribute to certain purchases at your wedding. You can even consider splitting it up and asking certain people close in your life to help cover specific parts of the wedding.
2. Personal savings and cash
Using your savings and cash on-hand is another one of the most common ways to finance a wedding. While the over $20,000 average wedding cost isn’t a small sum of money, taking the time in advance of your wedding to set aside more money each month can heavily benefit your budget.
3. 401(K) loan
Finally, a 401(K) loan can be a potential option to consider. This loan type works by allowing a borrower to take out money from their own 401(K), with any interest payments going directly into their account. However, it’s important to keep in mind that a failure to repay means that you lose the retirement funds used to borrow.
Most weddings are financed with a hybrid strategy. Rather than taking out a massive sum of money to fully pay for a wedding, certain sums are borrowed for certain items, some is paid upfront, and other funds may come from loved ones. There’s no single right way to finance a wedding, and using multiple strategies can help you save money.
For most wedding loans, you will want a credit score of at least 600 to have the best chance of approval. Some lenders may allow for a lower credit score if the loan is secured.
Getting a wedding loan can be an excellent strategy for securing funding for your wedding. If you have the financial standpoint where you can afford a wedding loan, it can certainly be worth borrowing the money. Just be sure to never borrow more than you can comfortably afford to pay back.
There is no rule for a realistic amount to spend on a wedding. The cost will be a balance of what you can afford and what you wish your ceremony to look like. Gorgeous weddings can be as cheap as a couple of thousand dollars for those who are tight on a budget. Despite the average wedding cost is around $28,000, you can have a great ceremony with whatever you can afford.
Paying for the wedding is not the same as it was in the past. Studies today have found that parents of the spouses contribute around half of the wedding cost, and the couple makes up the other half.