Every couple wants a perfect wedding or at least one that goes without a hitch. But getting to that point is far from easy. A study of 500 newlyweds and engaged couples showed that 96% felt stressed out during wedding planning.
Who can blame them?
A wedding comes with so much pressure. You must think of costs, guests, location, and even the occasional ego-driven misunderstanding with relatives. But don’t just throw caution to the wind or settle for less. With a few key considerations, the only tears you’ll be shedding on your wedding are happy ones!
1. List your non-negotiables
For 35% of respondents in the earlier survey, a big source of stress was nitpicking over details. Too many options and too many opinions can cause frustration and excessive spending. Sure, it’s nice to share the experience—but not at your expense, literally and figuratively. Sit down as a couple and list down your individual priorities. Is it a portable bar for him and a cake for you? Should you give away gift cards, tokens, or add a personal touch with custom color gift boxes? Maybe you both prefer a band over a DJ? Compare each other’s lists and go over them multiple times. See where you overlap and reassess if individual preferences are absolute musts.
2. Set a realistic budget
Now that you have your priorities listed out, set a cap on how much to spend for each. Remember to compare how much you are willing to spend and how much you can. Keep in mind that there are many factors behind wedding expenses. For example, even the time you choose can affect venue costs. On average, venues cost around $10,500, flowers cost $2,000, while guest gifts and party favors can cost $30-$100 per unit. Trimming wedding inclusions down can be hard. But try listing out all the costs next to these services and see if you still think they’re worth the price. Doing this may be surprisingly sobering for you.
3. Find effective savings options
The average wedding in 2021 costs around $22,500, so you might want to consider ways to safeguard your funds before the big day. Luckily, there are many options to help you save. You can grow your wedding funds risk-free by putting them in a high-yield savings account. These days, internet-only banks let you put money in HYSAs, which pay interest rates that are 20 to 25 times higher than that of traditional savings accounts.
You can also place your money in a certificate of deposit, which is a kind of savings account that lets you deposit money for a fixed term. As long as you don’t withdraw your money before the term’s maturity date, a CD can give you a small but substantial interest rate on your deposit. You can even use a CD calculator to determine how much you’ll net in interest. For example, after a one-year fixed term, during which you can plan your wedding, a $22,500 deposit will yield approximately $242, which might be enough to squeeze a couple more friends on your guest list for the wedding.
4. Choose when to buy and when to DIY
Here’s where you can hit two birds with one stone: lots of couples save money by DIYing certain aspects of their wedding. If you go down this route, you can even use this as a bonding opportunity for the wedding party. For instance, the groomsmen could make the signages and place cards. Meanwhile, the bridal party could do the floral arrangements and boutonnieres.
On the flip side, there are certain services that can benefit from the help of a professional. For instance, Greetabl can help you personalize party favors. You can choose from a wide variety of gift box designs, then pick a meaningful trinket to express your thanks, such as a photo frame or a keychain. You can even include gift certificates to give your guests the opportunity to shop at your favorite store.
5. Expect competition
The victims of last year’s mass cancellations are overcrowding the 2021 social calendar. Expect a lot of competition for venues, photographers, and vendors. According to a survey by wedding vendor Zola, about a third of wedding vendors claim to be fully booked or overbooked for 2021. If you’re limited to a specific set of dates, you need to keep looking for options outside your first choice venue. Otherwise, expect to push the event a little later into the year, or even further.
Remember, there is no wrong or right wedding. But there are better and less stressful ways to work around it. When reminiscing about your wedding day, it should be filled with joy, not regret.
Angela Rivers is a freelance writer in the finance space. Through her writing, she aims to help people take control of her personal finances, covering topics from debt to savings to taxes.