If you are planning to or have recently become engaged to marry, first off congratulations are in order. Next, if you are like many couples you are probably trying to figure out what kind of wedding you want to have, where you want to live, and how you’re going to pay for it all. With the average cost of a wedding at an all-time-high of over $35K, paying for a massive party while saving for a down payment on a home may sound like an insurmountable task, with a bit of planning, it can be done.
Big Wedding or New Home?
- Timing is everything - The first thing you need to discuss as a couple is timing. How soon do you want to get married and when do you want to buy a home. Interest rates and the housing market in your desired neighborhood should be taken into consideration. If rates and/or prices are on the rise you might be better off holding off on the big wedding and getting a low interest mortgage now while you can. Conversely, if a dip is on the horizon you could rent for a while and save up to buy the house. In many cases having a wedding and buying a house at the same time is a difficult task to pull off.
- Reconsider your registry - If you are both fairly well established in your lives already you might not need a registry list of towels, dishes, and barware. Cash registries are becoming more popular as couples can use gifts towards home purchases or travel.
- Talk to your parents - If your parents have offered financial help with wedding plans it is worth having a discussion about their wishes and how they feel about their money being used towards a home purchase to get you started in life. Some parents are actually happier helping out with a down payment than paying for an expensive wedding as the home is an investment in the future.
- Budget, budget, budget - Having a joint budget will help you to save for your goals together and it will keep you on track with your spending. Budgeting for a wedding is extremely important as costs can get away from you if you aren’t careful. Reducing the guest list is one of the easiest ways to cut costs. Decide what is most important to splurge on and cut expenses for everything else.