Rolling in at around $20,000 or more, weddings rate as one of the top life expenses, ranking up there with a new car, a college loan, or a down-payment on a home. But it is important to keep a healthy financial perspective, and there are ways to put your wedding on a diet and still achieve your dream wedding. Here are a few signs that you may be in a financial danger zone and should re-think what you really need to have a great wedding.
1. You have anxiety attacks or nightmares. If those butterflies in your tummy are over the amount of money your wedding is costing, it just isn”t worth it. If what you decide to cut is personal – like which dress you choose or two tiers instead of three on your cake – then know that you are choosing a healthy financial life instead of satisfying a materialistic nature. But if what you cut is the guest list or buffet, do not let others guilt trip you. This is your life and you alone are responsible for how you spend your money.
2. You have creditors calling. If you cannot afford to pay your regular bills because you are spending so much on your wedding, it is time to do a reality check. The best way to pay for anything, your wedding included, is with cash, but while that is not always possible, do not finance it with money that is for paying bills.
3. You are donating blood, selling everything you own on Craigslist, and have stopped living today. Yes, there is something to be said for tightening up the budget in order to save for something important, but there is a limit. If you don”t give yourself a little room to have some fun while planning your wedding, or if you are frantically scouring your couch cushions for loose change, not only will you drive yourself crazy, but it may be an indication that what you have in mind for your wedding is really an unrealistic fantasy.
4. You go shopping for one thing, and buy five others – usually the most expensive items in the store. Yes, the white doves, pure silk isle runner, expensive champagne, and chocolate fountain are fantastic, but you don”t need them and they are not worth breaking the bank over.
The best way to have the wedding of your dreams is to figure out the important things you are willing to splurge on, go cheaper on the rest, develop a plan for how to pay for everything without going over budget, and stick to it. In the mean time, don”t forget to enjoy this time, and always keep in mind the big picture: You are getting married! Congratulations! 🙂