The average cost of a wedding in the United States is about $26,000, which can make getting married feel more like a stressful and inconvenient event than a happy one. Getting a personal loan is an effective way to help cover the costs of your upcoming wedding, but it's a good idea to take steps that will help keep your loan manageable as your marriage plans unfold. Aside from eloping to Las Vegas and buying an inexpensive wedding package or simply heading to the justice of the peace, there are a few things you can do to ensure that your personal loan stays manageable while planning your dream wedding with friends and family at home. Consider using the following tips and tricks:
Get Your Loan Early
To ensure that you aren't financially stressed out when your big day comes around, it's a good idea to apply for your personal loan as early as possible. By getting your loan several months before the wedding, you'll have some extra time to start paying it off by the time you tie the knot. You may even be able to pay off enough of the loan that you can put your payments on hold during the weeks leading up to and after your wedding, which should take some pressure off of your financial situation so you can focus on enjoying the event at hand.
Make Weekly Payments
In addition to the payments you're scheduled to make on your personal loan, consider making weekly payments based on how much extra money you have left over after taking care of your other financial needs. Even if you pay an extra five dollars a week toward your loan, it will get paid back quicker and help reduce financial stress as you plan and execute your wedding. Place a large jar by your front door to put loose change in and use that to make your extra weekly payments. You may be surprised at how quickly your extra payments add up at the end of a given month.
Employ Money-Saving Options
One of the best ways to keep your personal loan manageable is to borrow as little as possible and ensure that you don't have to borrow more as your wedding plans progress. An excellent way to do this is to sit down and decide how you can employ money-saving options in your wedding plans that will drive down your bottom line and minimize your overall loan needs. Here are a few options to consider implementing:
- Host a potluck for the reception, so you don't have to buy most of the food.
- Ask talented family, friends, and community members to provide some entertainment at the reception, so you don't have to hire an expensive professional.
- Borrow high-end cars from friends and family, and use them for the wedding party as opposed to renting a limousine.
- Be flexible when it comes to the wedding venue and choose a location last-minute based on cancellations so you can get a discount.
- Make your own table settings and wedding favors.
- Have someone close to you get themselves ordained as a minister so they can marry you for free.
Sit down with anyone who will be a part of the wedding-planning and preparation process, and make a list of everything that can be done to save money without sacrificing the integrity of your festivities.
These tips and tricks should make it easier to manage your personal loan as you plan your marriage, experience the event, and take your honeymoon. You'll enjoy less stress and a more solid financial base to start with as a newlywed.