The Bridal Elephant in the Room

The Bridal Elephant in the Room

Hi friends, thanks again for checking out my blog here, I have just over 200+ articles that provide money saving tips, tricks and secrets to having the best wedding possible in SWVA and beyond.

So, the elephant in the room and no I’m not talking about the bride herself, it’s your pocketbook, money. SO many couples want to spend large amount of money on the wedding day in order to have her dreams become reality. Many times, parents will step in and pay for things, sometimes the couple gets a wedding loan, or they save up over time, but regardless where the funding comes from, it’s money spent on the wedding day.

Here in our region of Virginia, couples spent nearly $52 million dollars on weddings and wedding related items and that’s a LOT of money. What couples don’t realize is that it takes a LOT of funding for a company to operate within the wedding industry, let alone make a profit. In fact, most companies that get into the business fail within the first couple years and those that make it beyond that initial hurdle don’t see any profit or returns until the first 5 years or so.

But getting back to the funding, today I want to share with the sources of money you can pull from, my take on them and my advice on what you really should be doing with regards to spending money for the wedding and NO, it’s not about hiring me for a wedding film, although you should, lol.

Saving Money

If you’re getting married and you want to have a great wedding, this is by far the BEST way to have the wedding. Time is on your side friends, sure I know that you don’t really want to hear that, but truth be told, time here is your friend.

My personal advice is to get a side hustle or second job and save as much as you can before starting your wedding planning process. On average in Roanoke and the Roanoke Valley, couples are spending about $25,300 for their wedding and that’s basically a new car.

Get a job delivering newspapers or pizza, start a side gig or if you’re already living together, cut expenses for a while and help trim the fat so to speak. While most couples in our region take about 16 months to plan, prep and get their wedding all figured out, it’s a good time to bust that savings to help pay for the wedding day.

Sure, it might be hard for a while but that’s what marriage is all about, being able to get through things together, for better or worse.

Unsecured Loans

Many times, called wedding loans, they’re basically unsecured loans from places like Prosper.com. Honestly, I wouldn’t go this route unless you plan to pay off the loan just before or after the wedding. Many times, these unsecured loans have large interest rates, many times higher than a credit card.

I only recommend going this route if you’re planning on paying off the loan sooner than what you signed up for, otherwise you’ll be paying big interest on money and it will take a long time to pay it off, 3 to 5 years in many cases. Stay away from these if you plan to stick out payments longer than the time it takes you to get married. The only benefit to these is that you have the money up front to pay the vendors in full and that can be a good thing.

Credit Cards

Ah yes, credit cards. Most people have them the most people have large amounts of debt on them in 2019.

Listen, whatever you do, do NOT use a credit card to pay for your wedding. I don’t care if it’s 0% interest for the first x number of months, don’t do it.

When I was 19, I got my first credit card and it had a small $300 limit. I thought to myself, cool, a credit card, I’m somebody now. Well, needless to say I racked up that $300 in 1997 by purchasing a DVD player and two DVD’s. (DVD was brand new at the time and super expensive.) Well, it took me 8 years to pay off the card and all the while the credit card company kept increasing my limit and allowing me to make more purchases. As time went on and I kept making the minimum payments, I had nearly $20,000 in credit debt and of course most of that was just wasted.

I had to get a second full time job delivering newspapers for the Roanoke Times, 7 days a week. It sucked.

Just do yourself a favor and don’t use credit cards, it’s an endless cycle that you’ll never get out of and you’ll be paying on the wedding years from it.

Asking Family

Many times, couples will ask family to help pay for a portion of the wedding, usually a couple of vendors like the venue, catering or the photos and video.

Asking for family to help is a hard thing to do when it comes to your pride but is can be helpful too. If you don’t ask, you’ll never get the answer to the question.

I’d recommend that if you do plan to ask for help, don’t ask for the kitchen sink. Simply ask if they can help with a vendor or two. My recommendation is never ask for more than 15% of your entire wedding budget.

Sometimes family can’t help financially and that’s okay too, there are many other ways that you can help cover the cost of the wedding, like asking for checks rather than gifts at the wedding itself. I’d consider asking for help before you look at loans and credit cards but I’d also have a plan in process where you can show that you’re working extra to help pull your own weight with the wedding costs too. Showing family that you’re doing your part when you ask for help will generally score better than if you just ask and your sitting on your butt.

Making Payments

Finally, there are some companies within the wedding industry that allow you to make payments over time or they offer 0% financing. Here at Roanoke Wedding Video, I offer both as an alternative to the traditional 50%/50% plans that many have.

Take a wedding video price tag of $1,500 for example.  You can either fork out $750 now and the rest at the wedding or you can fork out $300 up front and make up to 10 monthly payments of just $120 a month.

Which is easier for you? 9 times out of 10 it’s going to be the smaller chunks of money and that’s because it’s how we operate as a society. We make payment son houses, cars and those pesky credit cards too.

I recommend that you look for companies that allow you to make payments over time if you can, it will help spread out that huge mountain of cash instead of paying it upfront in a lump sum. Not everyone that is a wedding vendor offers this service, but it doesn’t hurt to ask about it. For more information on my 0% in-house financing plan, click here.

My Final Thoughts

Paying for your wedding day can be either ran easy process or it can be a difficult one where you’re forking out monthly payments for years to credit card companies or loan houses. I recommend that by the time you have the wedding everything is paid for or paid for a few months after the fact.

You don’t want to be paying on your wedding cake two or three years from now, might seem like a great idea, but be smart about your wedding planning and how you spend your money.