While weddings are lovely, romantic occasions, they present a few logistical – and definitively unromantic – points of discussion, the most prolific of which is the matter of finances. Though it isn’t heralded as the “fun” part of getting engaged or planning the wedding, it is essential for the prosperity of your marriage. Your wedding is likely going to cost a decent chunk of change, and the first step to a healthy relationship is your ability to work through problems – such as expenses – effectively, and your nuptials might be the first large entity you and your beloved are contributing money toward.
In looking at modern statistics concerning couples, the team at LearnVest, a personal financial advice company, discovered a few key points:
- 38% of Americans don’t know how much money their partner spends in a week.
- 32% don’t know how much their partner makes (salary).
- 24% have ended a romantic relationship due to finances.
- 58% would elect to remain unattached than to get involved with a financially irresponsible partner.
In contemporary, heterosexual relationships, the survey found that men were more likely to talk about finances than women. However, the results also found that, in the year 2017, many couples have goals pertaining to the discussion of money amongst themselves:
- 51% want to talk about paying down their debt.
- 44% would like to discuss an emergency fund.
- 41% desire to make – and/or stick with – a budget.
- 36% plan to talk about a long-term financial plan.
Alexa von Tobel, founder and CEO of LearnVest, has some thoughts on how to broach the subject of wedding-related spending with your significant other:
When you're entering a marriage, you want to set yourself up for success, so being strategic about the way you approach your joint financial lives is key. Planning a wedding is an essential part of that journey. Weddings can be pricey, so setting a budget you and your spouse-to-be can agree on should be at the very top of your wedding planning checklist.
Start by setting up a separate savings account just for your wedding expenses. You can automate savings into that account on a monthly basis. That way you can build up the money you'll need over time, and you don't have to feel the financial pressure all at once. Planning for a wedding is a process – and so is building up the funds to cover it. Once you know what you're working with, set a clear (and fixed!) spending limit and let the fun begin!
Remember, wedding budgeting could set a precedent for how you’ll manage future finances with your partner, so it’s important to have a thoughtful conversation about what you're willing to spend and whether that realistically matches each of your visions for the big day. Use the planning process to get on the same page; be open and honest about your goals and priorities and work together to meet them.
Opening photo by Justin DeMutiis Photography