It’s supposed to be the biggest, most magical day of your life. It’s supposed to bring unique joy to two families, and an untold number of guests. And it’s supposed to be something you can afford, so you don’t start your new life with new debt.
There are varying theories on how much a couple should spend on their wedding. According to MoneySuperMarket, ‘for every £2.14 that the average couple earns in the year in which they are going to be married, they will be spending £1 on their wedding.’ But according to FinancialSamurai, couples should spend no more than 10% of [their] newly combined household income’ on their wedding. So obviously there’s no hard and fast rule.
The important thing is that your wedding brings you joy without bringing you financial problems, and that threshold will vary depending on your income. But no matter where that line is, it’s important to budget wisely for your wedding.
In this article, we’ll cover saving for a wedding, as well as the topics below:
- Why Start Saving For a Wedding
- How Much Should You Save For A Wedding?
- How to Start Saving for a Wedding
- Where to Save Money For a Wedding
- 10 Tips For Saving For A Wedding
Why Start Saving For a Wedding
Your wedding is (hopefully!) going to be a once-in-a-lifetime event. It’s unlike anything else you’ll ever spend money on. So it pays to save up for it.
Like most anything else in life, weddings often come with their fair share of unexpected expenses. These include extra guests you didn’t account for at first, tipping the staff, transportation, unforseen venue extras, dry cleaning, and many other things.
This is why it’s helpful to build a ‘buffer’ into your wedding budget.
Start Saving Early
Ideally, you should start saving for your wedding as soon as you get engaged. That way, by the time the special day arrives, you’ll have as much money as possible to cover all the expenses.
If you wait too long to start saving, you might find yourself in a pinch when all the bills come due. And to cover them, you might even have to take on debt, which is an unfortunate way to start your new life together.
Weddings are expensive
According to Hitched, the average wedding in the UK cost £17,300 in 2021.
Of course you might want to spend less or more than that, depending on your income. But no matter how much you end up spending, chances are the final tally will not be cheap. So it’s important to start saving as soon as you can.
It can take a long time to save up for a wedding, especially if you have other financial goals you’re saving up for, like buying a house or a car, or starting a business. Not to mention the cost of the honeymoon!
Overall, starting to save for your wedding as soon as you get engaged can help you stay on track financially and avoid going into debt.
How Much Should You Save For A Wedding?
The amount you should save for a wedding really depends on your personal financial circumstances. If you have a sizable income and can afford to splurge on your wedding, you might not need to save as much as a couple with a smaller income.
When you’re deciding how much to spend on your wedding, you’ll need to account for the essentials, at the very least. These include the venue, catering, decorations, transportation, size and location of the ceremony and reception, number of guests, and the music and any other entertainment.
Once you tally those costs up, you’ll have a fair idea of how much you and your partner need to save up.
Remember, a wedding is just one day, so don't go into debt just to have a lavish ceremony. When all is said and done, what matters most is that you're married to the person you love.
How to Start Saving for a Wedding
To properly save for a wedding, you need to do a little more than simply put aside a few pounds every week. If you have a good game plan that you can (at least mostly) stick to, you’ll be all set when the big day comes.
Start by setting a budget for your Wedding
First you’ll need to set a budget. As we mentioned above, start by totalling up all your essentials, then add your ‘nice-to-haves’. There are bound to be unforeseen costs, but this figure will at least give you a general idea of your target.
Pro tip: Try to pay for as much as possible with cash so you don't have to worry about debt.
Put Money Aside Each Month
After you’ve set a date, count the number of months you have before then, and divide your target by that number. Now you know roughly how much money you’ll need to set aside each month.
Start planning your Wedding Early
Another good tip is to start planning and saving for your wedding as far in advance as you possibly can. That way, it will be easier for you to hit your target amount, and you’ll also get early bird discounts on many of the things you’ll need to buy or rent.
Where to Save Money For a Wedding
It almost goes without saying that you’re not going to want to save money for your wedding in a piggy bank or under a mattress. Fortunately, there are many better, easily accessible options. One great option for saving up money for your wedding is to use a financial app.
The HyperJar app, for example, lets you transfer money into different ‘Jars’ for safekeeping. You could have one Jar for ‘Venue’, another for ‘Catering’, another for ‘Honeymoon’, and on and on.
You can spend from the Jars on the HyperJar Mastercard, and tell the card to draw from a particular Jar before you buy something. That way it’s much simpler to save — and organise — your wedding funds.
Another good place to store your wedding savings is a savings account. You could build your savings in the account, then transfer them to an app like HyperJar to stay organised when it’s time to make your purchases.
Sites like MoneySavingExpert will help you find an account that gives you the best interest rate.
Money Market Account or Certificate of Deposit (CD)
Money market accounts and Certificates of Deposit typically have higher interest rates than savings accounts, but they may have restrictions on how often you can access your money.
Whatever type of account you choose, be sure to shop around and compare interest rates to find the best deal.
10 Tips For Saving For A Wedding
Here are some more tips for saving for your wedding.
1. Start saving early: The earlier you start saving for your wedding, the less you'll need to save each month.
2. Make a budget: Figure out how much you need to save for your wedding and stick to it.
3. Cut costs where you can: Look for ways to save money on your wedding costs.
4. Save automatically: Set up a savings account specifically for your wedding and have a certain amount automatically transferred from your checking account each month.
5. Invest in a wedding fund: Investing in a wedding fund can help you reach your savings goals faster.
6. Use coupons and discounts: Use coupons and discounts when possible to save money on your wedding expenses.
7. Have a garage sale: Have a garage sale and use the money you make to help pay for your wedding.
8. Get creative: Get creative with your wedding and look for ways to save money.
9. Borrow items: Borrow items for your wedding instead of buying them.
10. Ask for help: Ask family and friends to help you with your wedding expenses.
Remember, as important as your wedding is — to both you and your partner, and your families — you have an entire life to spend together after this one day.
So don’t sacrifice years of stability for a few hours of fun. Try to keep your focus on the long-term, and make smart financial decisions for your wedding. Your marriage will thank you for it.