Getting married can be a wonderful thing if you’ve got rich or generous parents and an unlimited budget to fulfill your wildest wedding dreams. But if you’re like most people, the cost of getting married can unfortunately detract from the happiness of what should otherwise be your special day.
According to The Knot’s 2014 Real Weddings survey, the average cost of a wedding is now a whopping $31,213, not including the cost of the honeymoon. Furthermore, according to the survey, roughly 45% of couples exceed their wedding budgets in the process of getting hitched. The problem is that starting off with a wad of wedding debt is generally a bad idea, and here’s why:
Money Problems Can Lead to Divorce
It’s an unfortunate fact that a significant percentage of marriages end in divorce these days, and all too often, money is a major contributing factor. Money, or lack thereof, can be a huge source of stress for a newly married couple. After all, it’s hard to work on building a life together when you’re constantly pinching pennies and worrying about a nagging credit card balance. Furthermore, if the push to overspend on a wedding is really one-sided, it could lead to long-term resentment if that decision causes you financial stress down the line.
When newly married couples get into debt, they will have to post-pone buying a house, starting a family, and other things they want to do to build a life together. Often they resort to racking up credit card debt and even taking out car title loans. “We see it happen all the time,” says a representative of Title Loans San Diego.
Debt Can Wreck the Newlywed Stage
For many people, the first year of marriage is a fun, carefree time. You’re getting to know each other as a married couple and aren’t necessarily ready to build a family, which means you’re free to spend time together, do fun things, and enjoy each other’s company. The problem with taking on too much wedding debt is that it can impede your ability to live it up as a couple during those first blissful 12 months. Or, to put it another way, spending too much on your wedding could mean sacrificing the ability to enjoy travel, nightlife, and other such things people tend to do before kids come into the picture.
Wedding Debt Can Impact You Long-Term
Taking on a load of debt to finance your dream wedding can do more than just put a damper on the newlywed phase; it can also impact your long-term financial picture as a couple. If you’re carrying a large amount of debt from your wedding, it could limit your options for getting a mortgage or car loan. Wedding debt can also impact your family building plans. If you’re saddled with debt, it could lead you to put off having children, or make affording them much more difficult.
It’s not crazy to want a big, beautiful wedding complete with every detail you’ve always dreamed of. But it’s also important to be realistic. Yes, your wedding is an important day, but it’s also just a few hours long. Before you jump in and take on a load of debt, ask yourself whether a single afternoon of perfection is really worth years of sacrifice after the fact. Finally, remember that you always have the option to compromise. Pick the aspects of your wedding that are most important to you, spend some money on those, and go simple with the remaining details. At the end of the day, if you have the right attitude, your wedding will be the fun, fabulous affair you want it to be.