Is the Wedding Worth the Debt?

Physician's Money Digest, July 2007, Volume 14, Issue 7

With the average wedding costing $27,000, couples need to consider whether the cost of their special day is worth more than a secure financial future. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • What is your total debt? Add up all debts owed by you and your fiancé. Consider how the wedding costs are diverting funds from paying these debts. A debt-free future might not sound romantic, but it certainly diminishes one of the major issues that sink many marriages— money problems.
  • How's your credit? If you and your future spouse have had money problems, it's not a bad idea to focus on saving and conserving assets. You'll be in a much better position to borrow and invest once bad credit details are removed from your credit report.
  • Time the engagement to a savings goal. Put a budget and savings goal in place from the moment you get engaged. After checking basic prices, set a ballpark figure and then add on an extra amount for contingencies such as gratuities and unforeseen expenses.
  • Keep an open mind. Your reception doesn't have to be the fanciest event in town. Increasingly, couples are looking to alternate venues and creative but affordable choices for the ceremony.

Reprinted with permission from the Financial Planning Association (www.fpanet.org), the membership organization for the financial planning community.