Traditionally, a bride’s family paid for the majority of the wedding expenses while the groom’s family paid for things like the rehearsal dinner. However, now that weddings are running on average $30,000 and women and men are older when getting married, often after living together for several years, those old traditional standards no longer apply.
Instead, the bride and groom often try to pay for their own wedding or divide the expenses three ways between themselves and their parents. However, what happens if each of the three parties does not have enough money to pay for a wedding?
Recently, a new phenomenon has become popular–taking out a loan for your wedding and reception.
Is taking out a loan for your wedding right for you?
To decide, ask yourself these questions:
- How much is the interest? Many of these loans have interest rates between 13 and 29%. That is very high. Determine how much you’ll be paying for the loan total once you figure in the interest. You may be shocked to find that you’re paying an addition 1/3 in interest alone. A loan for $20,000 may end up costing you $27,000 to 30,000 total after the interest is figured in.
- How long will you be paying and how much are the monthly payments. Wedding loans have terms from one to six years. If the loan is paid off in one to two years, that will be better than a wedding loan that takes six years to repay. Sadly, a friend of mine took out a five year wedding loan, and she was divorced before her third anniversary. Still, she had to keep paying on the loan.
- What will you have to give up to pay the loan? Will you have to wait to buy a house or have a child if you have a wedding loan to pay back in addition to any other debt you have such as credit card and student loan debt? Is delaying major events in your life worthwhile to pay for your wedding day?
- Are there places you can cut costs? The wedding industry wants you to spend as much money as possible–that’s how they make money. Yet you don’t have to have all of the extras that they suggest like wedding favors and table toppers. The bride’s dress doesn’t have to cost $4,000 when an $800 dress can be just as nice. Before you take out a loan, look at all the places you can cut expenses to lower your overall cost.
Only you can decide if a wedding loan is the right choice. However, remember that the wedding is only one day. You’ll have the rest of your life with your spouse. Entering marriage without excessive debt may make your life together easier.
Would you take out a loan for your wedding, or would you have a simple, cheaper wedding instead?