How to Plan and Finance a Wedding

finance-weddingOutside of buying a new home, planning and financing a wedding can be one of the most expensive and stressful purchases that a couple will ever have to face. The average wedding in the United States includes 175-200 guests and can cost over $25,000. Even if you plan on having a smaller event, it can cost you a minimum of $5,000, depending on the number of guests you invite and the type of food you serve.

Tradition dictates that the bride’s parents usually take care of the wedding expenses. However, due to higher costs and many couples marrying at a later age, the traditional rules have changed. Many couples end up financing and paying for their own wedding, either from savings or by taking out a loan to cover the costs. While the ideal solution is to have a savings account already set up to pay for your big day, chances are you will need to look at other solutions.

Picking a Date
There are many different reasons why couples choose a specific date for their wedding. Some brides prefer to get married in the traditional month of June, while others might prefer a more colorful New England wedding in the fall. It can also be in your best interest to choose a date that is far enough in advance that you won’t have to totally stress out your finances and put yourself into debt just to pay for your wedding. In fact, many financial planners are now suggesting that couples wait about choosing a date until they have saved enough to pay for it cash outright.

Financial Planning
However, if you are unable to wait a year or more for your wedding and you need to get financial help now, your New Bedford credit union can help. One of the easiest ways to finance a wedding is to look into taking out a credit union loan. Credit union loans will give you an advantage over other types of short-term loans, giving credit union members better interest rates, payment programs and other opportunities. If you are ready to start making plans for your wedding today, speak with a local representative for more information about the various credit union loans available to help you get started.

Home Equity Loan
Do you own a home? Do you have equity in your home? A home equity loan might be just the thing you need to get your wedding plans ready to roll. You need to make sure that any loan you take out will be easy for you to pay on each month and pay off within a reasonable amount of time. If you miss a payment, you could risk losing your home. Of all the credit union loans available, a home equity loan has the potential to give you a good interest rate and help you to improve your credit at the same time. The interest on many home loans can be deductible, so make sure to ask your New Bedford credit union about all the options, advantages and opportunities available.

Set a Budget
Before you can even start thinking about taking out a home equity loan or using your savings at your New Bedford credit union, you need to think about how much money you will be spending on your wedding. To finance a wedding, you’ll need to consider every aspect of the event, from the attire – including the bridal gown and the groom’s tux – to the rings, the flowers, the hair, cosmetics, the reception, the cake, entertainment, photos and/or video, transportation and decorations. There are a lot of things to consider, but if you start shopping around for prices and begin pulling together a budget, you’ll be able to stay focused and get on track to smarter spending.

Another great way to save money is to make two lists – a “nice to have” and a “have to have” comparison of the things you want to have at your wedding. The things that would be nice to have at your wedding might include a special DJ or band that is a little out of your price range, while the things that you have to have would include a specific type of flower that represents your relationship. Weighing the costs between the two, and identifying which aspects of your wedding day are the most important, will help you when it comes time to set a budget and make plans to finance the wedding.

How to Get a Credit Union Loan
It is quite easy to get a credit union loan. If you are not a member of St. Anne Credit Union, the local New Bedford credit union, it is quite easy to become one if you live or work in Bristol or Plymouth county. Membership is started by opening up a Main Share Savings Account with a minimum of $25. Speak with a local representative to find out more about home equity loans, other types of credit union loans and other ways to finance a wedding.