Getting married should be one of the most special times of your life, but it can also be one of the most stressful. Brides and grooms alike suggest two things when planning the big day – communicate and pay in cash. Here are some first steps that will reduce the stress and increase the joy of this happy time.
First, set up a separate savings account and name it “honeymoon.”
Set up automatic transfers into this account so the money builds up while you are taking care of other wedding details. Decide on a reasonable amount that doesn’t break the bank, but does send you on a paid-for honeymoon thanks to automatic transfers. Whatever you save in that account removes the pressure of choosing between Yellowstone Park and Bora Bora.
Next, before you start shopping make a wish list.
Put everything on that list you might possibly want for your wedding and prioritize the list so things you must have are at the top, and the more optional items are towards the bottom. Start to price those items and put a dollar amount next to each one. You now have a budget, also known as a wish list. Make it a goal to stick to your budget. As these numbers add up, consider options that might include brunch or cocktail reception instead of dinner, roses from Costco, wedding dress off of eBay, or purchasing items (like linens) that you can resell later. When you have a “budget” (which is really a wish list) you find that you get creative with your spending. You also find that you become a better negotiator. For example, you ask your venue questions like is there a day of the week, time of the day, or alternate menu that might be less expensive for us? You feel good because you are making better choices. You also realize this is a lot of work, so let’s add one more step. Each time you meet or come in under budget, celebrate. This is a small celebration, like a reasonable bottle of champagne or couples massage. This will motivate you to reach the next goal.
Talking about money before you get married is actually something that builds communication and trust as a couple. It also establishes a good habit of sharing financial information, expectations and worries. When it’s time to create your joint accounts, remember that Idaho Central Credit Union is the perfect place.