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Laura Hunt

Romance & Money

Creatively Paying For Your Upcoming Wedding

Wedding plans? -- Financial considerations; where to start

Jill, Washington DC
"My fianc├ę and I just got engaged and are beginning to plan our wedding for next year. We don't want to ask our parents for money since they paid for our college educations. What financial considerations should we make, and where do we start?"

First, congratulations! Second, as a mother, I'd like to compliment you for the thoughtful regard of your parents' finances. Consideration like that is priceless.

"Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted."
- Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

Since your wedding is in the future, you have time to plan well. The planning for this expense will help you later in reaching long-term financial goals, such as buying a car or a house. The initial conversation about your wedding with your spouse should include an overview of your finances. Do you envision the same kind of event? Who will manage the finances and pay the bills? Bank accounts can be a conundrum for many couples; joint or separate? What are your spending profiles? How much can you afford for your wedding?

In creating a budget, you must figure out what your monthly spending needs and habits are. First, add up your monthly income. Then collect all your bills, credit cards statements, student loans, car loans, mortgage or rent, etc. If you don't save receipts for gas, groceries, and dry cleaning, get your check register, and add it all up.

Subtract the sum total of what goes out (spending) from what comes in (income). This is your cash flow. Is this number a plus or a minus? How much money do you actually have to apply towards your wedding?

Are you willing to go into debt for your wedding? If so, contact your credit card or finance company and get an estimate for a monthly payment on your agreed-upon budget. Be sure that this payment is in alignment with your other obligations and goals.

After you've discussed these very important issues, you can begin to develop a wedding budget that encompasses the reality of your situation. Remember that some wedding related items will be on a cash only basis, so be prepared for up front deposits with organizations that don't accept credit cards. And don't forget about tipping, taxes, church donations, and other wedding day costs.

Remember; try not to get so wrapped up in the details of budgeting and planning that you forget what you are doing in the first place: celebrating your love for one another.

Working on a common goal and understanding each other's expectations will be a great exercise for your future life together. It helps prevent arguments and keeps romance alive. Remember always to have time and money in your monthly budget for romance.

Additional information on this topic:

Read Earlier Articles
Editorial Calendar & Monthly Budget Worksheet
Important Financial Help Websites and Phone Numbers


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