This article is an excerpt originally by Dave Ramsey is a personal money management expert, an extremely popular national radio personality and best-selling author of The Total Money Makeover.
From engagement parties to bridal showers to wedding dresses to photography and flowers, weddings can quickly spiral out of control when it comes to money. Today the average wedding costs more than $26,000, making it easily one of the costliest milestones a couple will encounter.
Too many couples get caught up with the “dream wedding” concept and end up thousands of dollars in debt. By starting your marriage off on the right financial foot, you will avoid a lot of heartaches and arguments.
If you’re one of the thousands of couples planning on getting married in the near future (or if you were recently married), here are a few tips on how to ease some of the financial stresses that a wedding and a marriage can bring….
1. Talk – No Secrets Allowed!
Discuss what each of you is bringing to the table in the financial arena. Be very open and honest with one another about your dollars. When it comes to money, never keep secrets. Your future spouse needs to know what kind of financial commitments you have.
2. Create a Budget
Once you have talked about where each of you stands financially, the next step is to create a budget. Sit down together and make two budgets, one for your wedding, and one for life after your wedding. Knowing where all your money is going will ease a lot of unnecessary stress and worry. Plus, this will unite the two of you because you will be setting goals together.
3. Set Limits – Practice Saying “No”
You must refuse to go into debt for your wedding; it’s just not worth it. The average cost of a wedding rises each year, so review your wedding budget often and practice saying “no” to the things that don’t work. You may have certain wants for your wedding, but always ask yourself if they are realistic for your budget. Allow yourself to dream about your wedding and then find ways to make those dreams a financial reality. If it doesn’t fit in the budget, then you have to say “No!”
4. Be Realistic
Just remember that you’re planning for a wedding – which is the beginning of your marriage. The wedding is not the “be all and end all” of your lives together, so you need to keep your priorities in check. Too often, couples anxiously await the wedding day and don’t put any thought into what comes after the wedding- the marriage! Plan ahead by getting on the same page with money and setting financial goals together. The wedding is great, but that’s only the beginning.
(5. Find a good photographer and ask for discounts)
Okay, so Dave did not make this last comment, but it’s true. No matter whether you choose us for your wedding/family photography needs, always be willing to barter and ask for a discount — even with us. Our prices are set to give you an a price point, but believe it or not, they are not set in stone. Be willing to ask for a discount — and with us, you will probably find one in there. We want your life experience to be the best it can be, for the price it can be. So go ahead, work with us and we will work with you.