Congratulations, you're engaged! This is an exciting time for you both. When the joy from the engagement settles, and you tell your family and friends, you'll quickly be hit with the reality that a wedding can be costly. However, with the proper financial planning, you can have your dream wedding and, most importantly, a successful marriage.
Cut Unnecessary Costs from Your Daily Life
Frugal living isn't for everyone, but it may be time to reduce your everyday spending. While you shouldn't go bankrupt on your special day, many expenses will creep up along the way. Make simple changes like eating out less, meeting up with friends for a walk or coffee rather than going to a bar, or buying fewer non-essential items like clothing or beauty products.
Set a Guest List
Your first step should be the guest list. Venues require an upfront headcount, even if they're not supplying the catering or alcohol. This is your special day, and your guests should be people you want to be there.
The reality is that everything will be cheaper with a smaller guest list. Be mindful of who you invite if you are on a strict budget. While you don't want to hurt people, being strict with your guest list is okay.
If your guest list is long and you don't want to cut it down, that's okay too. According to The Knot, the average wedding hosts 131 guests, and if that's a more reasonable number for you, then there are ways to accommodate it. If you're willing to do some work, you can stick to your budget without foregoing essential details.
Pick a Venue that Suits Your Needs
Consider a venue that allows you to rent the site but bring your decorations, catering, and alcohol. Typically, parks, farms, and barns will let you host your wedding there without forcing you into an expensive all-inclusive package. While this path is more work, you'll have a unique and individualized event.
Set Your Budget Early
Set your budget and stick to it. The wedding industry is lucrative for a reason, and if you're not careful, you'll spend money on things you don't care about. Assess with your partner the traditions and parts of the day that are important to you both and prioritize those.
A Wedding is One Day, A Marriage is a Lifetime
Remember, the wedding is only a part of getting married. You are committed to spending a lifetime together, and soon your special day will be a cherished but distant memory. Remain grounded and put your money towards things that guarantee your marriage's long-term success.
Too often, counseling or therapy is associated with issues in a relationship. Many people turn to counseling when their marriage is in trouble, which is far more beneficial than hoping your problems go away with time. If you two are serious about staying together, you should do everything possible to build a strong foundation.
Part of that process is premarital counseling, as couples that attend it are over 30% more likely to stay together, according to Verywell Health. You should want to go. It's a way of improving your communication skills, understanding one another's intentions, and connecting on a much deeper level.
Understand the Process of Combining Your Assets
Devote some of your financial preparations to understanding the value of your estates and the tax implications. It doesn't matter who makes the most money or has the most saved up anymore. You're now a unit. While an estate over $5,450,000 is subject to estate taxes, an estate over $10,680,000 for married couples is also subject to them.
Before you get married, make sure your finances are in order and that you're setting a realistic budget. Enjoy this special time and take the appropriate steps to build a solid foundation with your future spouse so that your marriage doesn't just start strong but lasts a lifetime.