6 Redditors Weigh in On Whether One Can Afford to Get Married

Big days don’t have to put a big dent in your finances – unless you want them to.

Carole Hodorowicz 28 June, 2023 | 3:53AM
Facebook Twitter LinkedIn

Wedding 1

On a scale of cult to party of the year, how do you view weddings? No matter where you fall, there’s something everyone can agree on: Weddings can be expensive. Even the most special of days can be a burdensome one for your wallet—and it doesn’t matter if you’re the one saying, “I do” or just hearing someone else say it.

Take Redditor u/RCtastrophee, for example. They cut to the chase in their post on r/personalfinance: “Should we cancel our wedding due to financial burden/risk of debt?”

This Redditor isn’t the first and only person to have this thought cross their mind. Debt is scary, and depending on how much of it you have, it can follow you for a long time.

(For the wedding planners out there, this subreddit might be useful, too.)

So How Much Should You Spend on a Wedding? However Much You Want To

Like a lot of things in personal finance, this question may seem to be about ‘finance’ but the answer depends almost entirely on the ‘personal’. There’s no one-size-fits-all answer because it really does depend on you, your situation, and your goals. Here are some of the top comments that offer solutions, comfort, and some needed laughs.

Wedding 2

  1. “Wedding photographer here! I hear constantly from clients that they wish they would have done a close-relations only ceremony and just had a laid back booze/party reception. Lowest stress, highest meaning, best budget option... Downsizing doesn't mean you don't get the emotional experiences you want :)" u/char-tipped_lips
  2. “The only things you should go into debt for are a house and car. And maybe student loans. That's it. Do NOT go into debt to have your "dream" wedding. It'll be your biggest regret.” u/freestevenandbrendan
  3. “I told my fiance it was either big wedding or house. She picked house.” u/duracell5
  4. “I think from a financial standpoint, the default answer is to spend the least amount possible on a party. And I wouldn't recommend going into debt for a party. Why not get married in a small ceremony now, and save up for a larger party down the road? Have it be a first year anniversary party or something.” u/sephiroth3650
  5. “Find a free/very cheap venue like a public park. Get a close friend, one you both admire and respect for your own reasons, ordained to officiate. It's like $100 to become a minister at billy bobs non denomination church of all spirits. Trim your guest list way down. See if someone will volunteer to be grill master. Do dogs and wings or something. Have the after party be a bar crawl. Trust me, grandma doesnt care if she sees cousin frank do the worm while 6 beers deep.” u/gammaradiation2
  6. “Whatever you decide, make sure it's what you and your future spouse want. And that you're not making choices because you're worried about what others might think, or choose, or expect from you.” u/ Prestigious_Big_8743

In a way, the comment from u/Prestigious_Big_8743 sums up how we should approach our finances, too. Your budget, portfolio, and most importantly your goals are for YOU, no one else. Figure out how these elements fit into your life so you can be happy and financially secure.

Wedding 3

How to Set Financial Goals?

First things first: don’t compare. Everyone’s financial journey and goals will look different. But no matter where you’re headed, these steps from Morningstar’s Director of Personal Finance Christine Benz should get you started in the right direction:

  1. Document your goals. Write it down and set a date.
  2. Quantify your goals. In other words, try to estimate how much these goals will cost.
  3. Prioritize your goals. Follow your heart and your logic.

How to Make a Budget?

Now time for the exciting part: making a budget.

I know, I know. This is the hardest—and least fun—part. Instead of approaching your budget with a “wants versus needs” mindset, behavioral researcher Sarah Newcomb recommends reframing to a “needs versus strategies” mindset. Here’s how that works:

  1. Identify your needs. Newcomb bases it off Maslow’s hierarchy: survival, security, love and belonging, esteem, and meaning.
  2. Meet your needs with an effective, affordable strategy.

Before start divvying up your dollars, you’ll also want to make sure you’re tracking those dollars, too. Tracking your expenses will help you find out how much your strategies are—and if they’re actually meeting your needs.

How to Pay Down Debt?

There are two common methods to tackling debt: the debt avalanche and the debt snowball.

Here’s how the debt avalanche works:

  1. Make minimum payments on all debts.
  2. Put extra money toward the debt with the highest interest rate.
  3. Pay it off, then move on to the next-highest interest rate debt.

And here’s how the debt snowball works:

  1. Make minimum payments on all debts.
  2. Put extra money toward the smallest debt.
  3. Pay it off, then move on to the next one.

Figure out which method works best for you and your situation.



Facebook Twitter LinkedIn

About Author

Carole Hodorowicz  Carole.Hodorowicz is an Audience Engagement Associate at Morningstar.com

© Copyright 2024 Morningstar, Inc. All rights reserved.

Terms of Use        Privacy Policy       Disclosures        Accessibility