There is no denying that weddings are often expensive. The average cost of a wedding in the United States is around $34,000, including the engagement rings, but some can even go upwards of $50,000. For many couples, it can take years to save up this amount of money. Not to mention the fact that there is a whole new world of expenses after the big day, such as the honeymoon, housing, loans, moving costs, and so much more.
If you and your future spouse are not comfortable blowing that amount of money on a single day, why not downsize your wedding costs and spend the money on things that make more sense? Here are some ideas on what you can spend your money on instead of a lavish wedding.
A wedding is one of the most memorable days of one’s life, but there is so much going on that it can be difficult to live in the moment. That said, the honeymoon is often the time when you can sit back and relax with your new spouse, bask in each other’s presence, and enjoy the remaining high of the wedding in private.
Honeymoons usually last less than a week, and one of the main reasons for this is budget constraints. Because they spent so much on the wedding, some couples have little budget left for the honeymoon afterward. That said, having a smaller wedding and spending most of the money on your honeymoon instead can be a great idea—you can spend more money on travel, hotel accommodation, food, and other trip expenses with your spouse.
The down payment on a home
If you plan to buy a home with your partner after getting married, why not invest more of your wedding money on the down payment instead?
For instance, by choosing an affordable wedding venue, you can divert a significant portion of your wedding budget to your home down payment. Doing this can make it easier for you to put down at least 20% on your future house, which, in turn, will result in bigger savings in the long run (due to lower monthly payments).
The process of wedding planning and the actual wedding combined can leave you reeling afterward, so much so that you may not feel like going back to work just yet. More than that, it would be nice to spend more than a few days with your new spouse, relaxing after a memorable yet stressful time.
If this sounds like something you would want, downsize your wedding and ask your company for extended time off. Even if you don’t get paid, you won’t have to worry about your next paycheck if you have enough cash in your savings account.
An emergency fund
One of the best financial tips for newly wedded couples is to start an emergency fund together. This fund will serve as a financial safety net in case you need to make an unexpected expense, such as a medical bill or a car repair fee. And usually, the golden standard is to have at least three to six months’ worth of living expenses (for the both of you) saved up.
Something expensive that you’ve always wanted
Whether it’s a hot tub, a designer purse, or a Mediterranean cruise, finally allowing yourself to indulge in something expensive can be the cherry on top of your new marriage. Ask yourself and your spouse what you want but doesn’t seem reasonable to buy before, then splurge some of your wedding budget on those things without the guilt.
Start your new married life with no debt—or at least a reduced amount of it. Paying down debt with your wedding money can free up more cash for other expenses. More than that, it can reduce the weight off your shoulders by a ton, especially if you have a lot of accumulated debt.
Downsizing your debt can also improve your credit score. If you plan to buy a house, start a business, or buy a new car, a higher credit score can make it easier for you to secure loans—not to mention help you secure better interest rates.
There are many other things that a better to spend on than a lavish wedding, but these are the first ones that you should consider. Although there is nothing wrong with throwing a luxurious wedding (it is a very special day, after all), think about other priorities in your life that you would much rather be splurging on.