If you’re busy planning your wedding, then you might be very excited. After all, the future holds many joys, and weddings are one of the most joyful. But as ceremonies go, amidst all the love and excitement, they can be very expensive indeed.

In fact, the wedding is only the beginning. What happens when you get to the future? Do you have a plan for managing your finances together as a couple?

Costs can escalate rapidly when you factor in not only the location and food, but also the clothing, flowers, and decorations. We hope that this information in this article will help you avoid common money mistakes when arranging your wedding and even prevent marital financial problems in the future.

We have got you covered whether you are on a tight budget or just want to make the most of your wedding money. We’re also going to dive into the foundations of money problems in a relationship. Strap in, this is going to be a long one.

Why are weddings so expensive?

Planning a wedding can be an overwhelming experience, especially when it comes to managing the costs. It’s no secret that weddings have become increasingly expensive in recent years.

The average cost of a wedding in the United States is now over $30,000, and in some areas, it can be even higher. From the venue to the flowers, catering, and photography, every aspect of a wedding comes with a price tag.

It’s important to be aware of these costs and plan accordingly to avoid unnecessary financial strain.

One of the biggest contributors to the rising cost of weddings is the pressure to have a picture-perfect event.

With social media platforms like Instagram and Pinterest showcasing extravagant weddings, couples often feel compelled to keep up with the trends and create a wedding that looks like it belongs in a magazine.

However, it’s essential to remember that your wedding should reflect your own style and preferences, not what’s popular on social media. By focusing on what truly matters to you and your partner, you can create a memorable wedding without breaking the bank.

Another factor that drives up wedding costs is the desire for unique and personalized experiences. Couples want their wedding to stand out and be different from all the others they have attended.

While this is understandable, it’s important to strike a balance between uniqueness and affordability. There are plenty of ways to add personal touches to your wedding without spending a fortune.

From DIY decorations to handwritten invitations, small details can make a big impact without draining your bank account.

How should you budget on wedding costs?

We’ve brought this up in another article, but in short, setting a realistic budget is the foundation of successful wedding planning.

It’s crucial to know how much you can afford to spend and allocate your funds accordingly. Here are some steps to help you set a budget that works for you:

By following these steps, you can set a budget that works for you and ensure that you’re making informed decisions throughout the wedding planning process.

How do you prioritize wedding expenses?

When it comes to wedding planning, it’s essential to prioritize your spending. Not every aspect of your wedding needs to be extravagant or expensive.

Focusing on what truly matters to you and your partner will let you create a wedding that feels personal and memorable. Here are some tips for prioritizing your wedding expenses:

Keep track of your spending and focus on what matters most to you, so you can create a wedding that is both memorable and budget-friendly.

DIY vs. Hiring Vendors?

One of the biggest decisions you’ll need to make when planning your wedding is whether to DIY certain aspects or hire vendors. Both options have their pros and cons, and it’s important to consider your budget, time constraints, and personal preferences when making this decision.

DIY can be a great way to save money and add a personal touch to your wedding. From handmade decorations to DIY favors, there are plenty of opportunities to get creative and save some money in the process.

However, it’s important to be realistic about your DIY skills and the time it will take to complete these projects. DIY can be time-consuming, and you don’t want to add unnecessary stress to an already busy time.

From the dress to the suits and accessories, the cost of outfitting the wedding party can add up. However, there are several strategies you can use to save money on wedding attire without sacrificing style.
From the dress to the suits and accessories, the cost of outfitting the wedding party can add up. However, there are several strategies you can use to save money on wedding attire without sacrificing style.

Hiring vendors, on the other hand, can save you time and ensure that everything runs smoothly on your wedding day.

Professional vendors have the experience and expertise to handle all the details, leaving you free to enjoy your special day.

However, hiring vendors can be expensive, and it’s important to budget accordingly. Shop around, get quotes from multiple vendors, and ask for recommendations from friends and family to ensure that you’re getting the best value for your money.

When deciding whether to DIY or hire vendors, consider your budget, time constraints, and personal preferences. It’s important to find a balance that works for you and allows you to create the wedding of your dreams without breaking the bank.

How do you negotiate with vendors?

When it comes to wedding planning, negotiation skills can be your best friend. Many vendors are open to negotiation, especially if you’re booking during the off-season or on a weekday. Here are some tips for negotiating with vendors:

Remember, negotiation is a skill that takes practice. Be polite, respectful, and open to compromise, and you’ll increase your chances of getting a good deal.

How do you save money on wedding attire?

Wedding attire is one aspect of the wedding that can quickly eat into your budget. From the dress to the suits and accessories, the cost of outfitting the wedding party can add up. However, there are several strategies you can use to save money on wedding attire without sacrificing style. Here are some tips:

By being strategic and open-minded, you can find wedding attire that looks beautiful and fits within your budget.

How do you find affordable wedding venues?

The wedding venue is often one of the most significant expenses when planning a wedding. However, there are several strategies you can use to find an affordable venue without sacrificing style or quality. Here are some tips:

Be flexible and open to non-traditional options, and you can find an affordable wedding venue that meets your needs and budget.

How do you manage guest lists and RSVPs?

Managing guest lists and RSVPs can be a challenging task, but it’s essential for proper planning and budgeting. Here are some tips to help you stay organized and avoid any unexpected expenses:

Staying organized and proactive will let you manage your guest list and RSVPs effectively, ensuring that you stay within your budget.

What are the most common money mistakes during and after a wedding?

It is no surprise that money issues are a primary cause of divorce given that 41% of Americans with families in 2022 reported that financial issues were a major source of friction in their homes.

It is possible that problems will arise even before you say “I do.”

When it comes to planning a wedding, there are several common money mistakes that couples often make. These mistakes can quickly add up and result in unnecessary expenses. By being aware of these pitfalls, you can avoid them and save yourself some money in the process.

Not planning enough

First of all, one of the most common mistakes is not setting a realistic budget from the start. It’s easy to get carried away with grand ideas and forget about the financial limitations.

Before you start making any decisions, sit down with your partner and discuss your budget. Be honest about what you can afford and what you’re willing to spend on each aspect of the wedding. This will help you prioritize your spending and make informed decisions along the way.

Another mistake related to that is failing to prioritize wedding expenses. It’s natural to want everything to be perfect on your special day, but not everything is equally important.

It is easy to let your wedding budget get out of hand when you get caught up in all the fun aspects of organizing your big day.

Talk to your partner about what is absolutely necessary and what is just a nice-to-have before you start making plans. And keep this list in mind when you are in the midst of wedding planning; if having a band is your number one priority, but you are open to any kind of linens, that should factor into your decisions.

Focus on what really matters, and do not waste time worrying about everything else.

Take some time to identify the aspects of your wedding that are most important to you and allocate more of your budget towards those areas.

For example, if you’re a food lover, you may want to invest more in the catering and have a smaller budget for decorations. By focusing on what matters most to you, you can create a wedding that feels personal and memorable.

Creating a wedding budget begins with doing some preliminary research. We are not assuming that you already know everything there is to know about how much wedding venues and bands cost in your area.

The first step in making any choice for your wedding day should be finding out what is possible and affordable.  The overwhelming number of possibilities may have you wondering, “Where do I even start?”

The Internet will prove to be an invaluable resource for you. Examine local suppliers by reading their online biographies, social media accounts, and customer evaluations. Pay close attention to the prices listed on their websites as well.

Word of mouth is another reliable source of data. Have you or someone you know recently celebrated a wedding? Make use of the work they have done and the information they have gathered. 

Spending too much on miscellaneous expenses

Many engaged couples often make the mistake of losing track of their wedding budget. A simple Excel spreadsheet will do the job if you do not have access to more sophisticated software.

If you want an accurate picture of your expenditures, you must record every cent spent, no matter how small.

Small expenditures are easy to overlook, but they may rapidly become a major drain on your finances. In addition, schedule regular check-ins with your future spouse and anyone else who will be contributing financially to the wedding as the preparation proceeds.

That way, you can keep your spending in check and make sure everyone is on the same page. 

Cutting down on the number of guests is one of the simplest ways to save money on the big day, but it may be a challenge.

The average cost of a wedding guest is $100 – $1,000 and often much more. To follow the rule of thumb, a guest should be eliminated from the list if neither the bride nor the groom would be ready to write a check for that amount and send it directly to the guest. 

When all costs are known in advance, creating a budget is a breeze. However, it is difficult to estimate all of the costs that might be involved.

You might want to provide some wiggle room in your budget to deal with these surprise costs. Find out more about any possible unexpected expenses so you know how much to save. Here are some examples of typical incidental costs:

The cost of catering an event might increase by an average of 20%-25% due to service charges. Do not forget that the lower your visitor count, the lower this cost will be per person. 

Not spending enough money into insurance

To expect the unexpected is a lesson we took away from Covid-19. One “nice to have” that you should seriously consider adding to your “must have” list is special event insurance.

If your special event has to be canceled or postponed for whatever reason, your insurance will cover the costs.

The services you hire may have insurance requirements, but you should also think about getting an umbrella coverage to safeguard the entire event. When you have insurance, you can rest assured that your deposits and other non-refundable payments are safe.

Not pooling funds

When both partners are employed and unable to devote sufficient time to discussing the couple’s financial situation, it is not uncommon for the couple to simply divide all of the household expenses evenly.

After all the necessary expenses have been paid, the remaining funds can be divided equally between the two partners.

It seems like a good idea at first, but it usually ends up creating anger about the purchases that were bought. Especially when you past the wedding and into the marriage itself.

It also reduces the financial benefits of marriage by reducing couples’ combined purchasing power. The couple that shares the household expenses has usually not taken the time to sit down and make plans for the future, such as saving for a house or retirement.

Negative effects in the relationship are even possible as a result. The term “financial infidelity” refers to the seriousness of one spouse hiding financial information from the other.

The practice of sharing costs often excludes preparation for major changes, such as setbacks. What will they do if one partner loses a job, decides to take a wage reduction to attempt a different professional path, or drops out of the workforce to take care of kids, aging parents, or go back to school?

Couples should have this chat early on, before any of these issues become serious.

Being haunted by old debts

As for common money mistakes for married couples in general, this one is among the most problematic. Whether it is student loans, credit card debt, or a gambling habit, most people bring financial problems to the altar with them.

Tensions can rise in a relationship when one spouse has more debt than the other when money, spending, and paying off debt are discussed.

Those in this predicament can take comfort in the fact that a spouse is not responsible for paying off a debt accrued before to the marriage. Your credit score, which is associated with your S.S. number and records of your financial behavior, will not be negatively affected.

Knowing your own money personality and your partner's is essential for open communication about financial matters and avoiding common money mistakes.
Knowing your own money personality and your partner’s is essential for open communication about financial matters and avoiding common money mistakes.

However, in most states (those that operate under common law), spouses are jointly responsible for debts incurred after marriage.

Even after a marriage, each spouse is responsible for his or her own debts, with the exception of shared expenses like those for children, a home, and food.

It is important to remember that nine states treat all assets and liabilities acquired after marriage as community property. This group includes the states of Arizona, California, Nevada, Idaho, Washington, New Mexico, Texas, Louisiana, and Wisconsin.

In states with community property laws, neither spouse is responsible for the other’s debts from before the marriage, but the couple is expected to equally contribute to any debts accumulated after the nuptials.

Ignoring individual differences

The way people talk and act regarding money is heavily influenced by their personalities. The age-old struggle between spenders and savers can manifest itself in a variety of ways, even when both partners have no outstanding debt.

Knowing your own money personality and your partner’s is essential for open communication about financial matters.

Some people tend to preserve money and are therefore labeled as cheap or risk-averse. Some people enjoy shopping and buying as a hobby, while others enjoy making a statement through their spending habits.

While some people incur debt recklessly, others are born investors who put off gratification in favor of financial security in the long run.

While we humans can exhibit traits from multiple categories at once, we often settle into one dominant personality style.

Regardless of which couple type best describes you and your partner, it is important to acknowledge negative tendencies, discuss them, and practice moderation for the sake of your relationship.

Not acknowledging power dynamics

There are four common power dynamics in a relationship:

When one or more of these circumstances apply, the person who earns or has more money can fall into the pitfall of imposing their will on the couple’s financial decisions.

There is probably some logic to this behavior, but it is vital that both partners keep in mind that they are a team. Especially if they are starting a family.

There are many factors to consider, including money, when deciding whether or not to start a family. There is a large list of costs associated with raising a child, including food, clothing, shelter, Little League, ballet, designer jeans, prom dresses, minivans, and college tuition.

Not to mention the costs associated with supporting grown children. Assuming, of course, that they do eventually fly the coop. Others never do.

The national average price tag for bringing a kid up to age 18 in America is $233,610. According to the Brookings Institution, the cost jumps to $310,605 for families in the middle class.

The financial burden of raising a family is only one consideration. Couples should discuss the impact on their relationship, expectations for retirement, and other aspects of their lives if one partner reduces their hours, works from home, or leaves a career to raise children.

It can be particularly challenging for spouses to successfully co-manage their finances while also accommodating their respective long-term family objectives, requirements, and expectations.

His family might use a new vehicle. The brother is struggling to pay the rent. The husband of his sister had to leave his work. Now one partner is writing a check, while the other is wondering why they were not utilized to take care of household issues or pay for a trip for “us.”

The strain can be unbearable when a catastrophic event, such as a significant sickness, extensive storm damage, or an untimely death, occurs.

The dynamics of family finances also function in reverse. He will be flown home by his mum for the holidays, on the house.

Since she currently drives a Honda rather than a Lexus, her mother has decided to pay for a replacement vehicle. His mother cannot afford to outdo her in lavish gift-giving to the grandchildren, as does hers.

The financial strains of having a large family are often overlooked.

How do you deal with money issues in a marriage?

If you have gotten this far, you probably are not surprised to learn that open dialogue about each partner’s hopes, fears, and expectations is the best method to deal with marital stress.

Couples should also be empathetic toward one another, mature enough to put their egos in check, and let go of any need for control.

That is true; it is much simpler to say than to do. And unfortunately, there is not a quick fix.

Even if some people are doomed to perpetual failure, they can nevertheless find relief by using various strategies. Here are some concerns and some solutions.

It’s all about communication

You and your significant other must share a similar financial outlook. Discuss your respective spending habits, financial goals, and any worries you may have about your shared financial situation openly.

And be receptive to your partner’s perspective. Perhaps one partner enjoys going out to restaurants three times a week while the other is concerned about the financial impact.

Or a wife complains about the cold because her husband keeps turning down the thermostat to save money. The way you feel about money affects many facets of your life.

You need a budget, and it has to be one you can settle on for the foreseeable future. Where do you hope to go, exactly? It is important for a couple to work out a plan for the future together.

Money matters will likely dominate that conversation. Priorities need to be planned for and agreed upon, whether they include having children, purchasing a home, investing for a decent retirement, or all of the above.

Pay off debt

Debt is often the first major issue for newlyweds to tackle. If you know the situation you are walking into, you can better decide how to handle it.

As a result, before getting married, both parties should have an open and frank talk regarding any financial obligations one has accrued prior to the marriage.

Each party should be completely honest about any negative personal or financial behaviors the other party should be aware of, as well as any personal or family difficulties that may impact future expenditures.

Couples should also take an accurate financial inventory and discuss their debt management strategies. Common debt reduction tactics include tackling the largest debts first (the debt snowball method) or starting with the smallest debts (the debt avalanche method).

Prepare a prenup or postnup

If you are having trouble agreeing on anything but getting married anyhow, a prenuptial agreement might be worth considering. Keep in mind that your spouse may take offense to this.

Money is a touchy subject for many people, and it may be especially so if it is a source of tension in a couple's relationship. For instance, which is better for a married couple: separate or joint accounts?
Money is a touchy subject for many people, and it may be especially so if it is a source of tension in a couple’s relationship.

If one partner is considering a prenup because of financial concerns, it is best to discuss those concerns openly first. It is possible that both parents bring assets into the marriage, especially if this is their second time around.

If you have already said “I do,” but you are concerned that you need more legal protection than your vows provide, you may want to consider drawing out a postnuptial agreement, often known as a marriage contract.

This marriage contract can be a powerful symbol of your commitment to one another, but it must be utilized carefully and presented in the correct context to avoid damaging your relationship.

A postnuptial agreement, on the other hand, can salvage a marriage after a crisis that has damaged confidence has occurred.

Learn your own money habits

As was previously mentioned, your personality will have a significant impact on your ability to save money and your level of marital satisfaction.

It is important to focus on the present while dating and to be truthful about your background and upbringing. Sharing your thoughts and feelings might help reduce tensions and prepare both parties for what lies ahead.

Work together

Power struggle problems might soon become dangerous if left unaddressed. Making someone feel inadequate is a certain way to get on their bad side.

Spending decisions with increased resources should be presented with care. Even in happy marriages, financial difficulties can cause strain and conflict if you are not prepared for them. When people put off marriage until later in life, this topic arises more often.

Researchers have found that those in positions of authority tend to be less empathetic, more self-centered, and more inclined to act on impulse or aggression.

Every married person needs to evaluate whether or not their actions contribute to making their partnership more loving, appreciative, and fair.

One tried-and-true strategy is for the higher earner to let the lower earner handle all financial choices. It takes a certain kind of individual to give up control, yet doing so could be the best way to bring about lasting peace.

Deal with family issues

Anna Karenina author Leo Tolstoy said it best: “All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.”

Managing your emotions while interacting with your extended family can be difficult, and there is no one piece of advice that will work in every circumstance.

Even if you end up on the winning side of a dispute, the other party may still be able to extract an unacceptable cost from you. An unhappy marriage is the result of one partner’s constant resentment, anger, and frustration.

The best way to avoid conflict is to have ground rules established in advance. And if you just assume good faith, you can get beyond any minor hiccups.

According to a poll conducted by GoBankingRates, 47% of married couples have arguments about money at least occasionally.

Teach your children money

If you plan on having kids someday, now is the time to start instilling financial literacy in them. By teaching children to be self-sufficient with money, you can lessen the chance that they will drain your savings in adulthood.

Teach your kids the value of hard work, saving, and spending wisely with the help of allowances and milestones. Inquire about investing with your elders.

Despite the difficulties, there are significant financial benefits to getting married. It is a fantastic method for increasing your earnings by 100% with no increase in your overhead.

You can do far more in a shorter amount of time if you work together toward a common objective.

Keep in mind that even if you are right 99% of the time, disagreements about money will still arise occasionally.

Have money talks

Money is a touchy subject for many people, and it may be especially so if it is a source of tension in a couple’s relationship. For instance, which is better for a married couple: separate or joint accounts?

Some authorities recommend that married people open joint checking and even joint credit card accounts.

Having a joint account encourages more open and honest spending habits because the household’s income and spends are no longer “his” or “hers,” but “ours.” Keeping finances apart can encourage secrecy and egotism.

Talking about such topics can go a long way in preventing any unnecessary conflict.

Financial infidelity is one of the biggest things couples overlook in a relationship. It is possible to deceive your partner in methods other than an extramarital affair.

Opening a secret bank account is an example of financial adultery because it might hurt a partner’s feelings. It could be a cover for debts or a costly vice. Perhaps it has hidden a fortune somewhere.

All of these actions speak to a fundamental problem in the relationship: a lack of trust and confidence. That person has something to hide, and it is probably not pretty.

Having open (and often painfully honest) conversations about money concerns, habits, and expectations before and after getting married can help ease the impact of any financial setbacks that may arise.

You owe it to your partner to have this conversation if you are planning to enter what you both hope will be a lasting partnership.

Final thoughts

Many conflicts in a marriage can be traced back to a breakdown in communication. If left untreated, financial worries, like many health issues, can balloon into far larger problems with more challenging solutions.

Regular, open, and nonjudgmental discussions about money are the greatest approach to make sure you and your partner are on the same page regarding your shared financial situation. Do not do it after a night of drinking wine or margaritas, when you are angry or exhausted.

Monthly, quarterly, or yearly check-ins on progress toward short- and long-term objectives can be useful for many couples. Avoiding the awkwardness and staying on track with your financial goals thanks to an annual plan and regular check-ins.

If you want objective guidance, you might choose to consult a financial planner or advisor.

Even if you’re just starting out with your wedding, all this should be considered too. Planning a wedding on a budget can be challenging, but with the right strategies and mindset, it’s possible to create a beautiful and memorable wedding without breaking the bank.

Remember, your wedding day is about celebrating your love and commitment to each other. Focus on what truly matters and don’t get caught up in the pressure to have a picture-perfect event.

Staying true to yourselves and making informed decisions can make a wedding that is both magical and budget-friendly.

Setting a realistic budget, prioritizing your spending, and being strategic in your choices, you can have not only the wedding of your dreams, but the marriage of a lifetime without unnecessary financial stress.

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