With the Royal wedding day fast approaching, it's becoming increasingly difficult to ignore the national frenzy, especially if you are planning a wedding of your own. It's hard not to get whisked away by the idea of trying to be a Prince or Princess even if it is just for one day. But how do you pay for a wedding, even one that is not quite as grand as Harry and Meghan's?
According to Charlotte Nelson, finance expert at moneyfacts.co.uk, budgeting is probably the most important thing you can do, regardless of how you intend to pay for the wedding.
"Getting into the nitty-gritty of what each aspect is likely to cost and setting a maximum limit for each element should in theory keep you from overspending," she explains.
If the big day is a few years down the line, saving up in advance means you should avoid beginning married life in debt.
Aiming to save every month is a must, with a regular savings account an ideal starting point, as it encourages savers to stick to the savings habit and build up a sizeable pot. "Interest-wise, regular savings often beat their more flexible rivals, with the average regular savings account currently paying 2.08%, which dwarfs the 0.50% paid on the average easy access account," adds Charlotte.
If your savings are unlikely to cover the cost, an introductory purchase credit card is one way of spreading the cost of larger wedding expenses, particularly if you're intending to pay off the debt bit by bit each month. With up to 30 months' interest-free on offer, monthly repayments should be manageable. Importantly, however, borrowers must aim to pay off the balance in full before the deal period ends.
"Even if you are not planning on borrowing, a credit card may still be a good idea, as it can add some welcome protection to purchases, just in case something goes wrong," points out Charlotte. "Additionally, you may even be able to earn a little extra cash whilst spending if you choose a cashback card."
If you'd rather have a lump sum of money to hand, which would cover all your expenses in one go, a personal loan may be the way forward. Having one set monthly repayment to make keeps things nice and easy, although you should really only consider a loan if you do not have enough savings or cannot get an interest-free credit card with a big enough balance.
"Unlike with a credit card, you will not be able to repay as much as you can on your loan every month, with set payments arranged at the start," explains Charlotte. "Aside from this lack of flexibility, there's always going to be some interest on a personal loan, with no interest-free equivalent available, and there's no cashback option available either. Couples considering a loan should carefully consider their options and compare credit scores before applying for any type of credit together."
While everyone will hope their wedding will go without a hitch, this unfortunately won't always be the case. Even before the big day, the unexpected could happen, and this is where wedding insurance could come in, providing peace of mind that you are covered if anything goes wrong. Travel insurance when it comes to the honeymoon is also a must.
"Your wedding will be one of the best days of your life, but it is also likely to be one of the most expensive," concludes Charlotte. "The thought of paying for your wedding can strike fear into many couple's hearts. However, starting early, planning carefully and choosing the right way to pay can make it all a lot easier to cope with."