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So you’re getting married, congratulations! Weddings are a time to celebrate and bring friends and family together. However, they can often be an extravagant and expensive affair: the average cost of a wedding it was $28,000 in 2019, according to a survey by Knot.
When it comes to planning a wedding, everyone seems to have an opinion, whether it’s your mom, your future mother-in-law, your best friend, or the wedding planner. But the last thing you want is for bad advice to derail your finances after your special day. Weddings are already very expensive and bad advice can really cost you dearly.
Here are three terrible (but common!) money tips that every woman should ignore when planning a wedding.
1. “Expenses [X amount of money] It is normal!”
There is no normal price when planning a wedding. It depends on you and your future spouse, your financial situation, and what you can reasonably afford. It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of planning, especially when everyone around you encourages you to spend.
A recent survey in girlfriends Magazine found that while 91% of couples set a budget for their wedding, almost a third end up spending more than planned.
A wedding is not an opportunity to spend far beyond your means. This is where a budget comes into play. Sitting down with your fiancé early and making a plan can help prevent additional stress later on.
You should set a number that is reasonable based on how much you’ve already saved and how much you can reasonably save in the time period you’ve set.
Once you’ve got a ballpark estimate of how much your wedding will cost, make a savings plan to reach your goal. Consider cutting back on unnecessary expenses to help you get there.
2. “Just put it on credit. You can worry about paying it off later.”
The last thing you and your partner want is to be in debt before you’ve even walked down the aisle.
While paying for things with your credit card is fine, you should have the money on hand or have a plan to pay it off quickly. Don’t ignore expenses until after the honeymoon — use a spreadsheet or budgeting tool to track how much you’re spending. This can help you identify when you are going over budget and make a plan to reduce it.
A particularly expensive wedding item for women is the dress. Average costs for a wedding dress vary from state to statebut they cost about $1,000 on the low end and nearly $2,500 on the high end.
Maybe you’ve already gone shopping for a wedding dress or watched episodes of “Say Yes to the Dress,” but you probably know how easy it is to get carried away by the excitement of shopping and end up paying double your budget. Looking and feeling great on your special day is important, but you probably won’t feel so great if you’re paying for the dress in the coming months. Remember, you will probably only use it once.
Have a clear price in mind that you won’t overspend, make a deal and stick to it. Explain to your friends, family and store associates that you will not move above this amount. Do not try on any dress that is not within your range.
3. “You have to invite everyone! You don’t want to leave anyone out.”
Your mom may be thrilled to see her neighbor’s cousin’s bride at your wedding, but you’re the one paying for the food. The average cost of a wedding per person is around $200 per person, which can add up quickly the longer your guest list is.
Traditionally, the bride’s family pays for some (or all!) of the wedding costs. It’s also not uncommon for other family members to contribute; It really just depends on her family situation. The most important thing is not assuming you will receive financial aid, unless you have discussed it first. It can be awkward talking to family members about your finances, but it’s important to know what you’re working with.
Remember, this is nobody’s wedding but yours. As with other wedding line items, have a maximum number of invitations and stick to that list. Whatever you do, don’t be talked into something you can’t afford. This really applies to every other aspect of your wedding, from flower arrangements to dining and entertainment options.
At the end of the day, you need to choose what works for you and your future spouse. Wedding planning can definitely get stressful at times, but don’t let that stop you from enjoying the process. After all, it really is about the journey.