At a Glance
Wedding costs are one of the most common big-ticket expenses in life. With a large wedding price tag, it is 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:
The average cost of a wedding in the U.S. in 2023.
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 your state , this average price vary by around $7,000 in either direction.
Paying for this cost upfront may not be a feasible option for the many people , which is where financing strategies can come into play.
How can you finance a wedding?
The idea of financing a wedding may seem daunting , but there are numerous strategies for making the cost manageable. A 2023 Credello wedding survey of 1000 people, ages 18 through 54, that were currently married, divorced, or separated found that 38% of all respondents answered that they paid for the wedding themselves. One out of three (33%) men took out a loan or financed their wedding with a credit card, compared to one out of five (20%) women. Let’s explore the traditional breakdown of wedding expenses, suggest dividing costs, and discuss how to modernize the payment process.
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 and simplest forms of financing used today. 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.
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Benefits of wedding loans
- 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 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
Credit cards can also be a viable option for financing your wedding expenses. There are two primary types of credit cards to consider: 0% APR credit cards and rewards credit cards.
0% APR credit card
A 0% APR credit card offers an introductory period during which no interest is charged on purchases. This option can be advantageous if you have a solid plan to pay off the balance within the introductory period, typically ranging from 6 to 18 months.
Rewards credit card
Rewards credit cards provide benefits like cashback, travel points, or other rewards for each dollar spent. If you have excellent credit and plan to use a credit card for wedding expenses, choosing a rewards card can help you earn valuable perks while paying for your wedding.
Benefits of credit cards for 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
- 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.
Other ways to pay for your wedding
While wedding loans and credit cards may be helpful for certain circumstances or for funding certain wedding expenses, they may be too expensive or inconvenient for your specific wedding or financial situation. Consider some of the following alternatives:
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 make a meaningful contribution toward 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 is not 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 is important to keep in mind that a failure to repay means that you lose the retirement funds used to borrow. Failure to repay the loan on time may also result in tax consequences and IRS early distribution penalties.
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 is 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 creditworthiness to obtain a wedding loan with favourable terms, 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 standard amount to spend on a wedding. The cost will be a balance of what you can afford and your wishes for a ceremony . Gorgeous weddings can be as cheap as a few 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.
Wedding payment customs have evolved in recent generations. No longer are the parents of the bride necessarily obligated to finance nuptials.. Surveys have found that parents of the spouses-to-be typically contribute around half of the wedding cost with the couple financing the other half.
The time it takes to pay off a wedding can vary depending on the amount borrowed, interest rates, and the couple’s financial situation. It may take several months to a few years to repay the debt fully.