Wedding Costs on Credit

Interest charges are the real ball and chain.

So the video above broke down each cost and what it ends up totaling if you charge it to a credit card with 15% APR and make only minimum payments. Now let’s look at total cost.

  1. Let’s say you charge ALL of a $30,000 wedding and reception to that credit card.
  2. Using a debt calculator you can see that making minimum payments only on a standard 2% payment schedule mean you end up paying more in interest charges than the original $30,000 price tag of the ceremony
    1. It would take over 47 years to pay the balance off in full
    2. You’d pay $49,184.34 in interest charges
    3. For a total price tag of $79,184.34
  3. Even if you paid $1,000 every month – which is a huge burden for most people’s budgets – it would still take 38 months to pay off and you’d spend $7,835.66 in interest charges.

That’s the real problem with running up high balances on credit cards. The higher your balances go, the more interest charges eat up the majority of every payment you make, so you barely make a dent in the debt even though you pay on time as required month after month. And no one wants to just finish paying off their wedding as they approach their 50-year anniversary.

Finding ways to avoid charging your dream wedding

Ideally, you and your spouse-to-be (and one or both sets of parents if they’re helping foot the bill) should all start saving and mapping out costs right after the engagement. According to The Knot, the average length of an engagement is 14 months, so you have a little over a year to plan, cut costs and find ways to save.

Once you’re engaged – or if you’re the one proposing you can even start earlier – you should allocate a portion of each paycheck into a wedding fund. Then together you can start planning the ceremony and here is where you need to start being discerning. Not everyone cares if they arrive to their ceremony in a limo, and people have some pretty bad horror stories of waiting for premium transportation that never arrives and being late to their own ceremony. Or maybe you have a cousin who’s a DJ who will give you a good discount on music.

The moral is that if you get creative and start looking for ways to cut costs early, you’re less likely to end up charging the bulk of your wedding to a high interest credit card. Spread out big costs, so buy our dress early and reserve the location even earlier. This will allow you to use that wedding fund you allocated to pay in cash instead of charging everything.

You can also look into things like in-store credit and payment plans with vendors. Wedding shops often offer better credit on wedding clothes than what you’d get with a high interest credit card, so compare store credit and layaway options to your credit cards to decide on the best way to pay. With service providers like flower arrangements or caterers, see if you can set up a payment plan with them directly; this may help you avoid paying interest charges entirely.