With the Royal Wedding fast approaching, Standard Life has pulled together their guide on how to ensure you have a dream wedding to remember, without being left in the red after your honeymoon!
Recent research shows that the average cost of a British wedding is now £26,989 (and rising), meaning that any couples looking to get married will need to start saving for their big day long before they say I do.
Standard Life offers five tips on how to ensure you can have a wedding to remember, without being left in the red after your honeymoon.
Create a budget – and stick to it
There are two ways you can go about creating a budget. The first is to work out when you’d like to get married and work out how much you can save by then. Or you can work out roughly how much your wedding might cost, and calculate how long it will take you to save this amount.
Creating a budget - and sticking to it - is an essential step to take to save money before your big day. No matter which way you decide on a budget, once it’s finalised you can then allocate funds to each element of the wedding according to your own priorities – there are no rules, but remember, if you choose to spend a large proportion of the budget on the venue, it won’t leave much for other essentials like catering and entertainment.
Know your outgoings
Make a note of all your financial commitments that you need to keep paying no matter – like your rent, mortgage, council tax - and know the total of these commitments. Then take a long, hard look at your monthly spending over and above that. If you don’t already, pull together a budget spreadsheet and make yourself record everything that you spend money on for a couple of months – there’s plenty of online tools or apps to choose from, or Excel works too. You’ll soon start to identify any money black holes, whether it’s your daily coffee, takeaways, or trips to the pub, where you might be able to cut back and save for your wedding instead. Another good tip is to audit your monthly subscriptions – all those things that come off each month without you thinking about them such as your phone tariff or gym membership. Once you’ve identified all the savings that can be made, set up a new subscription - this time to your wedding savings.
Be savings savvy
Many couples get married long after announcing their engagement so have a fair amount of time to save for their wedding day. Setting up a specific savings account and contributing to it monthly is a good way to stay on track. If you are planning well ahead and have five years or more to save, then you may also want to consider investing in a Stocks and Shares –ISA, you can currently invest up to a maximum of £20,000 a year.
A stocks and shares ISA has good potential for returns but, as it’s an investment, there’s always risks attached and you can get back less than you put in.
Talk to your family
Having an honest and open discussion with close relatives could also help you work out financial arrangements, as well as making you feel more at ease about your big day. While many couples nowadays pay for their own wedding, some may receive financial help from parents, grandparents, or other relatives. It’s good advice not to assume anything though – you don’t want to count on money which your family don’t have to spare. Even if family members aren’t helping foot the bill, talking over your plans early will bring to light costs that you may not have considered and will give you time to work out where necessary funds can realistically come from.
Remember there is life after the wedding
Whilst your wedding day may seem all-consuming, remember that there is life after the wedding, and adapting to newly married life it can also be an expensive exercise if you don’t plan properly. You may even want to speak to a professional adviser to help get your joint finances in ship shape. There are a number of financial moves you can make to ensure you start your marriage on the best financial footing. For example, if one of you earns more than the other, then you may be able to make the most of tax benefits through the Marriage Tax Allowance, which could allow you to transfer £1,150 of your personal tax allowance to your partner.
Also remember that, when applying for a joint mortgage or loan as a married couple, the debt and credit history of your partner will have an impact.
Finally, if you’ve got into the savings habit planning for your wedding, do your best to keep it going and save and invest for your future together too.
For more information, visit www.standardlife.co.uk