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A wedding is one of the biggest costs you’re likely to face in your lifetime. It’s no surprise then that many people aren’t sure exactly how to pay for their big day, and are worried about the impact of a wedding on their personal finances.

Like many things though, the question of how to pay for a wedding is much easier if you break it down into steps.

In this article, we’ll show you how to create a wedding budget, before going into detail on the various options you have for funding your dream wedding.

If you’re looking for a flexible personal loan of £1,500-12,000 to help you pay for your wedding, you can take a look at our loan calculator or make an application at www.koyoloans.com. Representative APR 27%

If you want to find out a little more though, read on!

How to determine your wedding budget

Every wedding is different: one person’s dream wedding could take place in an uncle’s garden, with local catering and a friend DJing, whereas someone else might not settle for anything less than a country hotel with a rehearsal dinner and a live band.

So the first thing to do is to think about what you have in mind and start wedding planning. We’ve got a guide to the average cost of a wedding below, which should be helpful, and it’s easy to miss a few costs when planning your budget. Some important things to remember:

  • Venue hire
  • Food and drink for your guests
  • Design and printing of wedding invitations (although you could save money by writing them yourself)
  • Band/DJ hire
  • A wedding dress and suit
  • Flowers for the venue
  • Staffing of your wedding (e.g. waiters, bar staff) if not included in venue hire
  • Audio equipment hire
  • A wedding cake
The average costs of different parts of a wedding, to make planning wedding finance easier.

Source: data on average costs from www.weddingplanner.co.uk

When planning your budget, there are some extra things you might want to consider, too:

Honeymoon

Many people take a honeymoon immediately after their wedding day, although it’s becoming increasingly common to delay the honeymoon. Just like a wedding, a honeymoon can be done on a shoestring or can be extremely expensive. 

Traditionally though, many people will try to make their honeymoon a real once in a lifetime trip, sparing no expense. If that’s you, you’ll need to make sure you factor this in when costing out your wedding, as it will make a big difference to the bottom line. Couples often spend more than £4,000 on a honeymoon, according to Bride Magazine.

Stag/hen parties

Stag and hen parties (also known as bachelor/bachelorette parties) are traditionally taken by the bride and groom along with their closest friends before the wedding.

What started off as a night in the pub has grown over the decades and, for many people, a weekend in a European capital with ten or twenty friends or a pack of bridesmaids has become the norm before a couple ties the knot. Again, this can become very expensive, even if you’re only paying your part, so it’s worth also including this in your calculations. Figures from Metro put the estimated cost of a stag or hen party at around £200.

Insurance

One very clear learning from the coronavirus epidemic was the importance of preparing for unforeseen circumstances. Wedding insurance - particularly in uncertain times - can be a very good investment. There’s a large market out there, and even comparison sites specifically for wedding insurance which can help you to understand your options and find the best deal.

Who pays for a wedding?

Traditionally in the UK, the bride’s parents pay for the wedding, while the groom pays for the honeymoon. Today though, couples are very likely to come up with their own arrangement, and it’s not uncommon for the groom’s parents to chip in too, or for both sets of parents to make a contribution.

In some cases, couples will pay their own way, with no help from their parents, and others meet most of the cost themselves, with parents meeting the cost of some specific expenses.

One thing to consider here is that if someone else is paying for your wedding, they may also have ideas on how their money should be spent. For example, if your partner’s parents are footing the bill, they might want to decide who’s on the guest list and what kind of wedding you’ll have.

The important thing here is to speak to each other and your families and get some clarity. It’s essential to understand who’ll pay before you get carried away with planning.

4 ways to pay for a wedding

Now that you understand how much you’ll have to pay for your wedding, it’s time to think about how to fund it. In this section, we’ll cover the most common options - including wedding loans - with pros and cons for each.

Savings

If you can afford it, savings will almost always be the best way to pay for a wedding. Why? Borrowing money means you’ll be charged interest, whereas paying with cash you’ve saved up avoids that cost altogether. 

So if you can meet the costs from your savings account, this is likely to be a great idea - however, you should make sure that you keep some money set aside to meet emergency costs.

Asking family to pitch in

If you’re lucky enough to have family able and willing to meet the cost of some of your wedding, lucky you! The only drawback to be aware of is that if someone else is funding all or part of your wedding, you might end up having to give up some control.

Using a credit card

It’s possible to put a major chunk of wedding expenses on a credit card, putting off the cost to a later date. Is that a good idea?

Used well, credit cards can be a very powerful tool, allowing you to spread the cost of a major expense, but they come with a downside: if you fail to repay the balance in full at the end of the month, you’ll face high interest rate charges.

In general, you’ll want to spread the cost of a wedding over longer than a month, so you’ll need to factor that into your calculations.

One benefit to credit cards is known as Section 75 protection. This makes the credit card provider for goods and services that you buy on credit. So, for example, if you pay for a wedding venue or even an engagement ring using your credit card, but the supplier later goes bust and fails to deliver, you can make a claim through your card provider, who will get your money back for you.

One drawback to be aware of is that not all providers accept credit cards, and if you fail to pay off the balance in full each month, interest won’t be your only problem: you’ll also see a negative effect on your credit score.

Personal loan

An unsecured personal loan is a straightforward way to borrow a fixed amount, and pay it off in instalments.

Depending on your credit score, you may be able to borrow as much as £25,000, making a personal loan a good way to pay for a wedding if you don’t have enough savings to cover it.

You’ll have to pay interest and, in general, the best rates are available to borrowers with the best credit scores. It’s also worth considering an Open Banking loan if you don’t have a good credit rating but could comfortably afford repayments on a loan.

Open Banking lenders such as Koyo use secure technology to safely view your bank account data, allowing them to verify your income and outgoings. As a result, they’re able to make lending decisions based on real-world data, rather than what someone else says about you. We’ve also put together a full article on Open Banking: Open Banking explained.

For more information on how personal loans compare to credit cards, you can view our guide: personal loans vs. credit cards.

How to pay for a wedding: frequently asked questions

How do you pay for a wedding by yourself?

Paying for a wedding by yourself can be very difficult. Naturally, one way of making things easier is to reduce the cost of your wedding. You could do this by doing more of it yourself, inviting fewer guests, or choosing an “off-peak” wedding date (outside of the summer weekends). 

Ideally, you’ll pay for a wedding with savings, but if that’s not possible, it might be worth weighing up some of the credit options above.

How do you pay for a wedding with no money?

If you have no money available for a wedding and don’t want to go into debt, it might be worth dramatically downsizing your wedding. You could keep the cost of a wedding to a few hundred pounds if you make it a very small affair, perhaps by getting married at a civil registry and celebrating with drinks in a favourite bar with a couple of close friends and family members afterwards.

Do banks give loans for weddings?

Absolutely. Banks are one source of wedding loans, and you might also want to consider credit unions, personal loan companies such as Koyo, and credit card providers. When applying for a personal loan, lenders will usually ask you what you plan to use the money for - most will be comfortable with a wedding as a reason for borrowing. For more information on this, see our guide to reasons for a personal loan.

If you want more information on how to get approved more generally, take a look at our guide to how to get approved for a personal loan, as well as the best loans for a fair credit score.

Next steps

Hopefully, this article has given you all the information you need in order to understand your options.

If you’re ready to get started and are looking for a flexible personal loan of £1,500-12,000 to help you pay for your wedding, you can take a look at our loan calculator or make an application at www.koyoloans.com. Representative APR 27%

And if there are any questions we haven’t answered, let us know in the comments section below!

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