Planning a wedding during COVID is no easy feat.
Changes creep up in an instant, restrictions demand simplicity and saving proves more difficult. Financially, it’s a tough time for many. Yet it doesn’t mean you can’t tie the knot this year.
It might not be the extravaganza you hoped for. But the pandemic is encouraging couples to hit the reset button and change their wedding celebrations by focusing on what’s important. Your wedding will be more personal and meaningful if you budget and take the necessary precautions.
If you’re wondering how to navigate your finances, here are a few ways to prepare for your big day.
1. How Much Does it Cost to Get Married?
First, you need to set realistic expectations. Weddings don’t come cheap. But you can minimise expenses with careful planning to ease the financial strain.
The average cost of an Australian wedding is $36,000. It all adds up. From the venue and catering to outfits, photography, entertainment and accommodation.
2. Budget for Flexibility and Costs
Whether you choose to save, borrow or take out a wedding loan, your big day shouldn’t be one that causes financial stress.
Prepare your finances through smart budgeting. You’ll also want to allow room for flexibility in your savings and plans.
Now isn’t the time to be hung up on one non-negotiable date, venue or supplier. Look around at your options and choose something you can afford. Remember, many desirable dates and venues are likely to be busy, now last year’s wedding season is being crammed into 2021.
Cut costs by:
- Choosing flexible vendors and suppliers that permit postponements (without penalties)
- Reviewing venue options (this is one of the biggest costs)
- Committing to the right sacrifices
- Making your own decorations
- Borrowing instead of buying
- Shortening the guest list
- Carefully reviewing supplier/venue terms and conditions and contracts
- Comparing and finding specials to work into your budget
- Having the budget talk with your partner and determining your wedding style
- Booking based on the minimum guest count (it’s easier to upgrade packages than downgrade)
3. Take Out a Wedding Loan
Wedding loans are a flexible personal loan that allows you to pay for wedding-related expenses.
Like wedding plans, no two loans are the same. So it’s important to choose a wedding loan that fits with your unique needs, savings and budget.
How much you can borrow depends on:
- You and your partner’s credit score
- What lender you choose
- Joint income and debts
Depending on your financial situation, it can make sense to get a wedding loan if you have a good credit score and are able to pay the money back. Ultimately, it should only be there to help, not to create debt you can’t afford. Give yourself the best chance by comparing lenders, checking your credit score and seeking prequalification first.
Tip: Don’t forget to open a honeymoon fund. You could use part of your wedding loan or start saving early once you know where you want to go. Alternatively, instead of asking for gifts for your wedding, get guests to pitch in for your honeymoon travels and adventures.
4. Consider Insurance
In these uncertain times, securing insurance for your wedding is a good idea. Although not all insurers will have a pandemic clause, it’ll assist in protecting some of the investments of your big day.
Some venues include their own coverage. If they don’t, you’ll need to source your own. Read the terms and conditions of insurance policies and have honest conversations with your vendors and suppliers. How would they handle a postponement or cancellation if your wedding is affected by uncontrollable circumstances? Make sure these details are included in the contract and understand any COVID clauses before signing.
5. Have a Contingency Plan (and fall in love with it)
Have a backup plan for your backup plan!
Maybe it’s a small ceremony on the original date, with a larger party next year. Or a backyard wedding with an outdoor ceremony and fancy dinner party. Whatever your contingency plan is, make sure you love it.
There are many benefits to a micro wedding. Small, intimate and memorable for the right reasons may just provide the perfect time to say “I do”.
This article is written by Jayde Walker – a Perth copywriter who’s been married for almost two years and been writing in the lifestyle industry for over 10.