Sensible Ways to Raise Cash for a Wedding
Before I got married last year, I wrote a post ranting about how my wedding would cost more than my college education . There is no doubt that a wedding is an extremely expensive affair, and recently I read that many people are taking out loans to pay for their weddings. I also heard of an extremely egregious story of a woman who took nearly $200,000 out of the equity of her home to pay for her dream wedding in a castle in France. Since many of my friends are getting married this year, I felt that I should write an article about how to raise cash for a wedding if your parents are not footing the bill.
Start Saving and Planning Early - When my husband and I visited venues for our wedding, I overheard a couple say that they saved for six months to get enough cash for a deposit on the venue. Then they booked a wedding date two years in the future so that they could save for the rest. This is a venue that charged $1500 for a deposit and about $7000 for the entire event. I think this young couple definitely had the right idea. They knew that it took them six months to save $1500, and they could save the rest in two years and pay it off on their wedding date. They are also wise in booking their venue early because this year the venue they chose raised prices by 16%, but they were able to lock into the lower price last year.
Consider Asking for Cash Gifts - In a previous article about Chinese culture I mentioned that we prefer to give cash gifts. On our wedding invitations to friends and family we gave information for our gift registry and also said that red envelopes are welcome. As a result we received quite a good amount of cash gifts which we appreciated very much. Depending on the size of your wedding and the generosity of your guests, sometimes it is possible to fund an entire wedding just by cash gifts. In China most weddings are paid for upfront by a groom's family, but the hosts are generally able to recover their expenses from the guests they invite.
Get Corporate Sponsorship - I heard about this idea a couple years ago. Some brides and grooms are "selling out" their weddings to corporate sponsorship. For example, some brides have invitations sponsored by paper companies and indicate the company's names in the invitations. Others turned their wedding into a giant marketing event in a ballpark to reduce the costs. This may seem tacky, but you could have a large event on a small budget because many things are paid for by sponsors. It still takes time and effort to find willing sponsors if you are willing to go this route. It basically turns your special day into a giant marketing event.
The bottom line is that starting a married life together with wedding debt is probably not the best idea. It may take years to pay off a debt incurred in one day, and that may make that wedding day not such a sweet memory. If a big expensive wedding is absolutely necessary then there are sensible ways to save and raise money for the event besides taking out a loan or maxing out high interest credit cards. Of course, before you raise cash for your wedding, you should consider cutting down on your budget as much as possible. Here on Wise Bread we have quite a few great articles on how to have weddings on the cheap:
Congratulations to all of you who are tying the knot!