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Money matters: Financially-Fit Wedding Planning


Wedding bells can be one of the most exciting times in your life – but can also be one of the most expensive and stressful! Whether you’re having a long engagement with months of planning or preparing for the big day with very little time and resources, going into debt because of a wedding is not very romantic. No one is going to question your love for one another, whether you go all out or keep it small and simple.

Here are a few money tips to keep your finances and your stress level in check.

  • Create a budget. Start by figuring out exactly how much you can spend. This amount might depend on whether you have family helping with expenses or if you’re footing the bill on your own.
  • Determine what kind of wedding you want. You can’t stick to a budget if you don’t set one. Begin by making a list of all the items you want for your wedding and research pricing. Don’t be afraid to include big and small items on that list – at the end of this, you’ll be able to plug in the things that fit your budget.
  • Start saving. Now that you’ve assessed your financial situation, created your wedding budget and identified what items are on your wedding list, start putting the money aside.
  • Be aware of the big-ticket items. Some wedding expenses can eat up your “wedding nest egg” quickly. These items are often fresh flowers, the venue, photography, the wedding cake and the caterer, to name a few. There are lots of ways to cut these costs, often by taking non-traditional routes. Nail down your most essential items and start researching ways to cut those expenses. Google and Pinterest are great places to start.
  • Borrow and utilize thrifting. Upcycling is a hot trend, and your wedding is as good a time as any to take advantage of it. Maybe you have friends who got married recently and have items you can make your own. Thrifting is also a great way to find décor you can re-purpose for your big day.
  • Prepare for the unexpected. Even with a considerable budget and a diligent approach, there will still be unexpected costs. Having a buffer for this can reduce a lot of stress.

Most importantly is not getting so caught up in the “things” that you miss out on the joy of planning your special day. Big or small, your wedding day should be about your new life together!

Emily Mays is vice president/senior marketing director at Community Spirit Bank in Red Bay, working in finance for 14 years. She is an enthusiastic social media marketer, financial literacy advocate and go local supporter. She lives in East Franklin and has one daughter, Lola.