One of the most common wedding mistakes is spending too much on the wedding party.
As I often tell my clients, “Plan for a wedding just like you plan for retirement.” A wedding is a big expense, and similar to retirement, if you don’t plan correctly you may find yourself broke in the future.
How can you justify having a gorgeous wedding if the next day you wake up broke?
Many happy marriages are built on the foundations of a modest wedding party. You don’t need to have a huge, fancy wedding, but if a big party is what you want, make sure you approach the financial aspect wisely.
In the same way that you prepare for retirement, when you prepare for a wedding you should:
- Start saving early.
- Save money regularly.
- Invest your money appropriately.
Many parents dream of sending their child to college and walking them down the aisle. In the same way that you put money aside for tuition bills, don’t let wedding expenses take you by surprise.
When saving for your child’s wedding, keep these points in mind to avoid making common wedding mistakes:
Don’t pay for the whole party
The bride and groom should pay a percentage of the wedding expenses, too. It is very easy to spend other people’s money, but as soon as the bride and groom feel their own pockets emptying out, they will think twice before adding additional expenses to the event.
Don’t take on debt for the wedding
In general, going into debt should be avoided at all costs. It is one thing to take on a 15-year mortgage to pay for a house, but to borrow money to pay for a party is fiscally irresponsible. It could take you years to pay back the debt from a wedding that only lasts one day.
Keep the wedding in perspective
Keep in mind that the wedding lasts for a day, but the marriage should last a lifetime. Decide where it is more important for you to invest — in the wedding day itself, or in the many years to come?
Are you still finalizing last-minute wedding preparations? Don’t forget to sign a pre-nuptial agreement.
Already married? Listen here to get inspired on the importance of financial communication in marriage.
Douglas Goldstein, co-author of Rich As A King: How the Wisdom of Chess Can Make You A Grandmaster of Investing, is an avid chess fan, international investment advisor and Certified Financial Planner (CFP®).