Whether your engagement was a long time coming or a bona fide surprise, there’s plenty of excitement to go around once wedding bells are mentioned. At the height of this bustle, you’re trying to plan a major event and that comes with a lot of decisions — and potentially a lot of expenses. Getting on the same page with your partner about how (and how much) to save for your wedding is an important step in the process and it can help make the day go off without a hitch.
Wondering where to start? Our guide can help you and your partner get prepared.
Decide on your wedding budget
It’s no secret that planning your big day can be an expensive affair. And while the average cost of a wedding in the U.S. is just under $30,000, the final price tag can vary big time. Things like the guest list, venue and type of wedding will all factor into the cost.
When setting a budget for your nuptials, it’s all about priorities. Some common major expenses include venue, catering, flowers, decor, attire, photographer, cake, bar, invitations and party favors. (Is your head spinning yet?)
First things first: You can mix and match where you want to splurge or save based on your preferences as a couple. For example, maybe you’d prefer to make your own epic playlist on Spotify rather than spring for a DJ or band. Or if you’re foodies you may decide to go simple on flowers in favor of a gourmet menu.
What’s most important is that you and your spouse-to-be approach budgeting for your wedding as a united team. As a married couple, you’ll have to navigate countless financial decisions together, and saving and budgeting for your wedding shouldn’t be an exception.
Pro tip: Get a jump-start tackling finances as a team. Start with our budgeting templates for couples to help find a strategy that works best for you and your sweetheart.
Consider your financial future
As you and your betrothed plan your wedding and your future, finances will likely be in the picture. If you haven’t already had the money talk, starting early can open conversations that will help you approach your financial future (including saving for goals like your wedding) as a team.
It all starts with a conversation, ask your partner what they want, and share your preferences. Do you both want to keep separate accounts? Combine everything? Keep some separate and open another joint account? Put it all on the table.
Find an approach that works for you as a couple. Remember, there’s no right or wrong way to combine your finances (or not). Make the process more fun by trying out some financial-themed date night challenges. Most importantly, open communication and compromise are essential elements when you manage your finances together (and will also serve you well throughout your wedding planning).
Reduce monthly expenses
The fastest route to swifter saving is cutting costs where you can. Start by taking a close look at your monthly budget. Try to identify areas where you may be able to cut back (maybe take a break from a few subscriptions or limit dining out). Pre-wedding planning is also a great time to brush up on your negotiating skills. With a little strategy, you might be able to negotiate your way to a few lower monthly bills like cable or Wi-Fi – or even haggle a few prices down for the big day itself.
If you’re ready to kick things up a notch, start utilizing the “power of two” by splitting costs with your fiancé. If there are living expenses you can share, such as subscriptions, a phone plan or rent (if you’re ready and able to move in together before the big day), thinking through where it makes sense to share costs can make a big impact over the course of those wedding planning months.
Pro tip: If the very thought of cutting costs and saving stresses you out, start small with microsaving. With this simple strategy, you can save amounts as small as a few dollars at a time allowing you to gradually build up a big nest egg for your big day.
Learn how and when to invest
As you and your fiancé start to look toward your future, don’t forget to start investing in it (literally). If part of your plan is to build wealth as a couple, starting early is key.
First, educate yourself about the basics of investing — start with securities and portfolio management and build from there. Like most things in life, investing is not one size fits all. Maybe a cost-efficient robo-advisor is the right choice for you, or perhaps you prefer the thrill of gamifying your investments. Whatever you choose, remember that like marriage, investing is a marathon, not a sprint.
Investing and building a strong portfolio together can help you pursue your shared financial goals together — from buying a home to living out your retirement dreams. And (thanks to the power of compounding returns) the sooner you can get started, the better.
Keep your wedding savings in the right place
While saving for your wedding, don’t overlook the importance of where you store those funds. A savings account like the Ally Bank Online Savings Account not only offers security, but other helpful booster features to help you save more like recurring transfers, Round Ups and Surprise Savings. This account can even help you save smarter with its buckets savings tool feature, that can help you easily and automatically dedicate parts of your savings to specific wedding goals (like that live band or photo booth rental). Buckets can also help you save for other goals at the same time (like a honeymoon fund or a down payment for a home).
Pro tip: If you’re ready to step up your savings, consider a high-yield certificate of deposit (CD) to make your money work for you.
Plan your shared future
Your wedding day is just the beginning of your journey as a couple. Start strong by approaching your big-day budget as a team. By saving together you can stay on the same page down the aisle and beyond.
Build a strong foundation for your financial future.
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