Dr. Erika Rasure, one of our financial counselors, on her wedding day!

Saying “I Do” While Tackling Debt: Object to Overspending For Your Wedding Day

The excitement and joy from the union of two people on their wedding day can be electrifying. Yet, it can all come crashing down after the bills arrive. Being married involves many decisions, so we must understand the results of our wedding-related financial responsibilities.

With inflation and rising wedding costs, it is essential to consider a few things while planning. According to a study by “The Knot,” surveyed couples spent an average of $30,000 on their ceremony and reception in 2022. Their study also revealed how 2023 couples are pivoting to have their weddings:

  • 41% are making modifications to what they originally planned
  • 39% are trimming their guest list by an average of 25 guests
  • 36% are reaching out to more vendors than initially planned to find an option that fits their budget

Planning a wedding can be stressful, especially for those already in debt or trying to get out of it. Beyond Finance understands that just because you’re in debt doesn’t mean your life has to stop. 

That’s why we compiled a list of seven helpful ways to stay on track with your budget and still have the wedding of your dreams. We enlisted the help of one of our Client’s Financial Therapists, Dr. Erika Rasure, who recently got married.

“Even being in the financial services industry, I had to be a financial therapist to myself and evaluate why I felt obligated to do or spend on certain things. Societal or familial expectations can be difficult to think through.”

1. Love Don’t Cost a Thing

It is easy to get distracted by what matters on your big day with so much pressure to put on the perfect wedding. Couples must remember that this is “Day One” of their forever. Focus more on what the day means to you and your soon-to-be spouse. Have fun, plan a great day and stay on budget.

2. What Matters the Most

Your wedding day is about two becoming one.

There are so many different categories of items needed for your wedding. Instead of focusing on every little detail, pick your top three categories that mean the most to you as a couple.

“Couples have to ask themselves what things are unique to them as a couple, whether it’s the food, flowers, or a higher guest count,” said Dr. Erika. “If it seems like it’s not exactly how you envisioned, then it isn’t right. You feel this unspoken pressure to have certain things. That’s why making a list of your non-negotiables when your first start planning can be extremely beneficial.”

3. Rent Where You Can

Look into items you can rent and return after the wedding day. Remember that most of what you buy will not be used again after that day. Rental wedding companies are becoming more easily accessible by the day because more and more couples understand this. You can rent centerpieces, flower walls, champagne walls and more. The best part–no one has to know it’s a rental. 

4. DIY

You can still have the perfect wedding day on a budget by using your bridal party and other resources available to you.

While building or creating it yourself sounds scary, that’s where friends and family come in to help. Whether it’s sorting your deserts table or helping arrange your bouquet, use your village. Having your bridal party come over to help you make or assemble items is a time that you will grow to appreciate and is a fun way to get everyone excited for the big day. 

With every task built, you’re one step closer to relieving stress and feeling at peace. You can visit many sites for inspiration, such as Pinterest, Style Me Pretty and Bridal Guide.

Take advantage of planning apps that will help track your progress to ensure you are ready for your wedding day.

5. Computer Love

Paper invitations and Save-the-Dates can be very costly. Not to mention how time-consuming it can be to address and mail paper goods. Instead, opt for a digital invite that will track and allow you to keep up with RSVPs. It saves a tree and your wallet.

Suppose you have guests who need help using digital invites, like designing and printing them from an online source. You may have to print some, but only do 10-20. Print only what you need. 

“I used Minted.com, modified one of their fridge magnets meant for a save-a-date and made it an invitation. They have tons of great templates that are quality and stand out. It saved me tons of money,” said Dr. Erika.

6. Be Open Minded

Saturday weddings remain in high demand. It is convenient for travelers and works well for most guests. However, having your ceremony and reception on a Sunday or weekday can save you tons. Most venues offer a different price, usually at least $1,000 cheaper than a weekend slot. While it may seem odd to your guests at first, remember whoever is meant to be there will be there.

“We opted to get married on a Friday. It was cheaper and allowed us to enjoy our guests for the rest of the weekend,” said Dr. Erika. “We just made sure to give guests adequate time to take off work and attend.”

Dr. Erika Rasure shared her insight on things you can do to save on your wedding day.

7. Less is More

Try cutting your guest list down. Vendors often charge on the number of guests you plan to have. It is easy to get carried away and invite everyone you can think of. Not to mention your parents have their list of people to invite. A good rule of thumb is to leave them off the guest list if you do not have regular contact with them or have not spoken to them in the last six months. 

Brides, it is essential to remember you are not the only one having to pivot or be more creative to get the wedding of your dreams while saving.

Take advantage of free budget tracking specifically for your wedding and evaluate where you stand monthly. Be sure to remind yourself of the bigger picture–the union of two people, two families and this is only one day out of your forever.

all image credits: Emily Nicole Photography (www.enkphotography.com)