managing wedding debt

Social pressure for 'Instagram perfect' weddings is leading many Australian couples to begin their married lives deep in debt. Overspending on the big day can have consequences many years down the line if you don't plan and budget carefully, especially if you're already struggling to pay off a mortgage, credit cards or other consumer debt.

According to the latest Choosi Cost of Love Report 2018 that interviewed married couples across Australia, 90.7 percent of brides and grooms think the cost of a wedding is too high. Nearly all were concerned with keeping costs down for the event, and staying within budget was the number one stressor on the big day, often spoiling what should be a happy and memorable occasion.

How much does a wedding cost?

There's no consensus on the average cost of a wedding in Australia, with estimates ranging from just over $20,000 to as high as $90,000.

Wedding costs can escalate quickly without careful planning, especially as many couples admit to being influenced by what they see on social media and want their own events to be just as impressive. From the rings and the dress to hiring the venue, catering, flowers, photography and bridal makeovers, it's easy to see how costs can get out of control.

Breaking down these individual costs and thinking about what you really want is the first step to bringing your wedding within your means.

How to keep wedding costs down

Wedding planning can be stressful, and not everyone has the time, but organising the big day yourself will save you from paying a professional wedding planner to do it for you. Other ways to save money on your wedding include:

  • Have a smaller wedding – downsizing your wedding doesn't only save on catering, but also on venue hire, transport and other costs. According to the Choosi survey, 82% of Australians now think a big wedding is a waste of money.
  • Hire a non-traditional venue – hiring a less well-known venue or even going abroad can be cheaper than hiring a lavish venue, especially if you can combine a destination wedding with your honeymoon.
  • Have a phone free ceremony – a growing number of couples are combating Instagram pressure and living in the moment by banning phones and other devices from weddings altogether. As many as 56.5% of couples said they had a phone-free ceremony.

Should I take out a wedding loan?

Even if you've economised your wedding as much as possible, you might find that you still need to borrow to afford the event you want. Putting the bill on your credit card may be convenient, but you could also risk penalties and high interest payments if you miss a repayment in the future. Personal loans can be a safer option.

With a personal loan, you might still have to pay penalties if you miss a repayment, but fees and interest rates are usually lower, especially when you choose an unsecured loan so you won't have to face losing collateral. To avoid penalties and other problems, make sure you compare loans from different providers, always check the terms of the loan, and consider talking to a financial advisor who can help you find the right loan to suit your circumstances.

If you need some financial help, talk to Debt Fix's experts for a confidential, no-obligation consultation. Call our friendly team today on 1300 332 834.