Newly engaged and considering how to save for your wedding? Start with understanding the current costs of weddings and planning your budget strategy.

The average cost of a wedding in the United Sates was $34,000 in 2020 – including the wedding ring but excluding the cost of a honeymoon. Finding the funds to finance a wedding may feel daunting, but with a little flexibility and some planning, you may find that reaching your wedding budget goal is more attainable than you thought. To help get you started, here is a guide to saving for your big day.

Budgeting for your wedding

Start planning by asking this question: What will be my biggest wedding expenses? Identify with your partner which wedding costs are most important to you and which ones will chip away at your hard-earned savings the fastest.

You and your partner may find it helpful to pick your top three “non-negotiable” costs. These should be at the top of your budget and serve as a starting point as you research vendors and make your plans. Some flexible factors that impact your expenses include number of guests invited, season of the wedding and overall event formality.

Once you’ve determined your all-in budget and where you’ll allocate funds, it’s time to strategize how you’ll save for the big day.

Monthly savings leading up to the wedding

Based on your overall estimated wedding budget, determine how much you’ll need to save on a monthly basis to reach your cost estimates. Remember that there may be vendor or service deposits that need to be made in advance of the wedding day. Mark those important deposit deadlines down in your calendar so you can save and plan accordingly.

Reverse budgeting

If you’re planning a wedding on a tight budget, try reversing your thinking and assess how many months you’ll have to save money leading up to the wedding. Then, based on what you’re able to realistically put away for the wedding each month, add up each of those totals to discover what your budget should be based on that number. Do this and you’ll set yourself up for realistic and attainable wedding goals.

Slimming your spending

If you’re trying to find a way to increase your monthly savings to accommodate your budgeting goals, look through your current expenses to discover areas of spending that you could do without. For example, review your monthly subscription services, your takeout budget or your other flexible spending habits. Making small changes can have a big impact on your savings account.

Keep wedding savings separate

You and your partner should also discuss opening a joint checking or savings account to easily save and make payments from a single account where you can keep a watchful eye on your spending.

A little bit of money saved every day can pile up faster than you think. With a little creativity, flexibility and determination, you may be surprised at how much you can save for your big day can be.

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