Your guide to post-wedding financial recovery.
There’s the common pieces of advice that loved ones give you before your wedding: Never go to bed angry. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Always put the seat down. And the list goes on. But chances are nobody took you aside to talk about coping with the costs of your big day. Unfortunately, the fiscal burden of getting married is something most couples have to deal with. Recent studies1 have shown that three quarters of newlyweds face debt from their wedding. It helps to know that it’s not a rare phenomenon, and with a little planning and guidance, you can get over the hump and start your life together on a strong financial path.
From vows to spreadsheets
The first step to recovering from wedding costs is acknowledging your wedding costs—along with all the costs you’re bringing into your partnership. Most likely there are education loans, credit cards, and other financial commitments between the two of you. Put it all out there. Make a plan to sit down with your spouse to get aligned on all the costs you need to tackle, and decide who’s responsible for what. You can even do it on a date night over pizza and wine. Maybe opt for the not-too-expensive varietal.
If you can cut it, cut it
Find practical ways that you and your spouse can save. Maybe that means a few more meals at home and less time in restaurants. Making your own coffee instead of opting for the takeaway latte from your local barista is a simple example. For example, spending $3 or $4 on coffee each morning adds up to $100 every month—per person. Small things like using the carpooling mode on a shared ride service make a difference. Oh, and you’re technically a family now, which means you can take advantage of those coveted family plans. Health and auto insurance policies, cell phone accounts, even movie and music streaming services. These are all opportunities to cut costs by combining forces.
"You’re technically a family now, which means you can take advantage of those coveted family plans."
Some wedding gifts are more helpful than others
Sure, that 18-piece cookware from Aunt Ethel is great, but sadly, you can’t use it to pay off your wedding. Monetary gifts, on the other hand, can go a long way. Instead of investing your wedding day dough in unnecessary home goods or excursions, set a portion aside to help pay back the costs of throwing your event.
Debt now shouldn’t hold up dreams later
Just because you're cutting costs now doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be thinking of future financial commitments. When you sit down to talk with your spouse, use that time to set long-term financial goals and discuss what’s most important. Is it buying a home? Starting a family? Launching your own business? Talk openly and make a joint plan that feels right for both of you. It’s important to balance investing for the future with tackling costs now.
The truth is, there’s a reason we spend so much on the big day: it’s one of life’s key moments you’ll remember forever—and one of the few occasions truly worthy of the financial commitment. But with a little planning, you can make sure the cost of your wedding isn’t the lasting memory in your marriage.