Weddings can be beautiful, emotional… and expensive. In fact estimates peg the price of the average wedding at over $26,000 dollars. Additionally, with retirement, savings, and everyday expenses to worry about, not many people are likely to have money set aside for their weddings and honeymoons prior to being engaged.
That’s why, more often than not, couples will need some sort of financial assistance when it comes to booking their ceremony, reception, and honeymoon. If you’re in need of some extra funds in order to make your dream wedding or honeymoon a reality, here are three options that you and your betrothed should consider:
This is usually the first idea that comes to mind when you think about spending money you don’t have. Credit cards can be extremely convenient if you need to buy something that you’ll be able to pay off the following month. On the other hand, if you don’t pay it all off when the bill arrives, the high interest rates that cards typically carry will only serve to make your wedding or honeymoon even more expensive.
If the bulk of your wedding bills are coming due just before the ceremony you may be able to get away with charging it to a credit card (or several) and then using the monetary gifts you get from your guests to pay down those balances immediately. Unfortunately, with gowns to shop for, deposits to place, and honeymoon flights to book, many couples don’t really have the option to push all of their spending into that final month. As a result you may want to consider other options for covering the bulk of your wedding expenses and only using credit cards for items you can pay off quickly.
Over the past few years crowdfunding has grown leaps and bounds to almost become commonplace (even if the term isn’t exactly a household phrase just yet). What was originally used to finance projects and products on sites like Kickstarter can now be applied to a number of causes. This could even potentially include your wedding and honeymoon.
Your first crowdfunding options are generic sites like GoFundMe that allow users to raise money for practically any cause. The only problem with this is that some couples may not feel 100% comfortable soliciting money from friends and strangers. However part of that discomfort may just come from the perception that these types of “anything goes” crowdfunding sites invoke. That’s what Honeyfund is looking to change.
Honeyfund is a crowdfunding platform that is specifically intended for weddings and honeymoons. The idea is that couples can share their Honeyfund link in the same way they would a registry from retailers. That way you can receive gifts from your guests ahead of time, alleviating both pressure on your finances and guilt on your conscience.
If crowdfunding isn’t for you and high-interest credit cards scare you off, there is always the option of getting a personal loan. These types of loans can really be used for just about anything and tend to charge far less in interest that credit cards do. In most cases personal loans are also paid back in monthly installments, which make it easy to pinpoint when you’ll be done paying.
While your local bank branch or credit union might offer personal loans, today there are several online options as well. For example Lending Club allows borrowers to request up to $40,000 that can be used towards weddings, honeymoons, or other expenses. The interest rate of the loan will depend on your credit as well as the terms of the loan (how long you plan to borrow the money for) but, on average, borrowers save 32% compared to using credit cards. Best of all, if you do end up with some extra money from your guests after the wedding, you can pay off your loan early without penalty.
Although there are several options available for funding your wedding, no single solution will be right for every couple. You should also consider if starting off your union with debt is worth the extravagant ceremony and reception you’ve been dreaming about. That being said, at the end of the day, weddings are a time to celebrate so don’t stress yourself out about money and enjoy the happiest day of your life.
This article by Jonathan Dyer first appeared on Dyer News and was distributed by the Personal Finance Syndication Network.