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4 Very Smart & 1 Really Dumb Way to Pay for Your Wedding

Our goal is to help you make informed choices about how you pay for your wedding. Based on sound advice from financial counselors, we present this blog post!

Hey, John!

Natalie and I are getting married next spring at Ainsworth House & Gardens! We are so excited!

We’ve written up our budget. Now, we are wondering, where will the money come from to pay for all this? Could you tell us the financial tools we could use to pay for our wedding?


–Trevor in Tualatin, Oregon

How should you pay for wedding expenses?

four piles of coins
puzzled man surrounded by dollar signs

Hey, Trevor!

I am happy to help you! Here’s a quick list of sources to pay for your wedding:

  1. Your salaries
  2. Your savings accounts and CDs.
  3. Contributions from parents or  grandparents.
  4. A wedding loan (a personal loan) from a lender.
  5. Credit cards.

Let’s explore each of these.

  • Pay for your wedding expenses from your salaries: If you have money left over after paying your monthly bills, congratulations! Transfer those funds to a new, free checking account from which you will pay wedding expenses.
    • You both may want to add a side hustle like Door Dash or working as an independent contractor in your field to generate more income. This money can be used to pay wedding costs.
  • Savings accounts, CDs, IRAs, life insurance, and other accounts owned by you and/or your partner: When the CD matures, deposit the funds into your wedding account. IRAs will allow you to withdraw funds. (There might be a penalty.) Whole life insurance (not term life insurance) builds a cash value when you pay the premiums. You may be able to borrow from your policy and put that money into your wedding account. If you have squirreled money away under your mattress, in a safe deposit box, or a fireproof safe, now might be the time to access those funds.
  • Contributions from your loved ones: When you discuss your wedding budget with your loved ones to get their feedback, they might volunteer to pay for an item (e.g., the venue and catering) or they may donate a dollar amount. You can always hint…
  • Many financial institutions (e.g., PenFed) offer personal loans—money you can use for any purpose. You could use this personal loan to pay wedding expenses. You have to pay interest on a personal loan but that interest is often much lower than a credit card.

And one dumb way to pay for your wedding: credit cards. Many banks and similar institutions tempt you with offers of a new credit card or an increase in your credit limit if you just click that little button over there. Don’t do it unless it is absolutely necessary. Even though the credit card offers 0% interest for 6 months, 12 months, or longer, and then the interest rate bounces up to 18-27% based on your credit score. While you might tell yourself that you will pay off this credit card before the interest rate jumps up like a Jack-in-the-box, the reality is that you, like most Americans, won’t be able to do that. Then you get hit with large payments on your credit card/cards.

Let me know if you have more questions.

Your friend in the wedding business,

John Shyne

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horrified duck
3 stacks of coins