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Till Debt Do Us Part - Starting wedded life on the best financial foot.


Firstly the information in this blog is general and in no way takes into account your circumstances. The figures and formulas I am using are, for example only. So please consider your position when planning your wedding and making financial decisions.

Before becoming a Marriage Celebrant and theatrical producer, I worked in retail banking for 14 years, primarily as a Bank manager and Home Lending Manager. Daily I would help my customers either buy a car, go on that holiday or purchase a home. Mostly always involving acquiring new debt or setting up a savings plan. On occasion, people would come to me to borrow money for a wedding. Now, I am not saying this is a bad thing, I mean, that is what credit is for right? Credit allows you to get stuff straight away instead of waiting.

But consider this.

Imagine starting your new life together without any new debt. Possibly even ahead.


The average cost of a wedding in Australia is $32,333* (*Source Easy Weddings Winter Report 2019) This includes everything from reception to dress, catering to cars. This figure is based on an average of 105 people attending a wedding.

The above is just an average. Some weddings cost less, and others can cost substantially more. Full disclosure, Laura and my wedding cost upwards of $50,000! Big Wog Family…

Now I don’t know about you, but I didn’t have $32k sitting in my account when I got engaged.

When you get engaged, you are absolutely floating. You are in a bubble of love and the world for that moment in time is full of possibilities and happiness.

Once your head starts to feel like usual, you begin the task of planning the big day.

Below are some suggestions to consider when planning your wedding. These tips will help you keep in control of your budget and make decisions that you feel comfortable making.

1. Understand your cash position - Before you start to look at any vendors or suppliers or even setting a date, you need to know how much money you have at your disposal. Including:

  1. Current individual savings between you and your fiancé,

  2. How much are your parents contributing,

  3. What are you able to save per week/fortnight/month to contribute to the wedding fund.

For example, The Groom has $5,000 in savings. The Bride has $5,000 in savings and Mum and Dad are going to contribute $15,000 Total $25,000.

2. Set a time frame - If you have a time of year that you want to be married, you can then work out how long you have to save additional funds to put towards your wedding.

For example: Together the Bride and groom can save $1200 per month (roughly $300 per week) towards the wedding. They are considering a wedding ten months away. $1200 x 10 months = $12,000.

This addition time brings the total funds position to $37,000. ( Current funds $25,000+ Additional Savings $12,000)

3. Make a budget - Whether you use Excel, Google Sheets or a pen and paper, take time to list all the vendors, services and elements that you want to include and what the expected cost will be. Try to think of everything from the venue to flowers, celebrant to cars, gifts, printing, attire .etc. Even have a contingency budget of 5% for things that pop up. Having a contingency stops you from frantically looking for funds at the last minute. Remember always to keep your budget in mind. If you put all the information in and you are on a budget, great! If you have gone over some things to consider are:


  1. Reduce the spend amount on items

  2. Take something off the list

  3. Push back your wedding date to allow more time to save

  4. Reduce the number of people at the wedding

  5. Choose an off-peak date or a mid-week option for your wedding to get a reduced venue rate.

  6. Ask the parents for more money. ;) but seriously… lol

All of these options remove the need for borrowing money. If you would like a free budget template, email me below.

4. Cost Vs Value - Choosing a vendor based only on price is never a good idea. The cost of the service doesn’t dictate the value you will receive.

Whether you spend a top dollar or get a bargain if the service is not to the standard you expect, you will not be happy, and the process will not be as enjoyable as it should be.

Planing wedding can be a stressful exercise, so you must choose suppliers who work with you, make you feel comfortable and secure in your decision and fit within the overall theme/vibe/spirit of your wedding. Check out reviews and what other couples have said. It will give you a good indication of how the entire transaction/process will go with the vendor.

HOT TIP: When looking for vendors, don’t just ask “how much do you cost”. Talk to them on the phone, meet with them either over video chat or face to face and make sure that you want to have them part of your day. Then once they have told you the price, make sure you can see the value in their service then make a decision.

5. Payment terms - Now that you have chosen all the elements you want to include in your special day and what it will cost, be sure to plan for the payment terms. Most suppliers will take a non-refundable deposit, and the remainder is payable about one week out from the wedding.


Use your budget to help track what you have paid and when things are due. By putting down holding deposits, this will allow you to hold the bulk of your funds in your own savings account or maybe a mortgage offset to get the most benefit out of your money through either earning or saving interest

As things come due, you can take the funds out of the one account and reconcile the amounts against your budget.

6. How to come out ahead? - If you stick to your budget or even spend less than expected, you will put yourself in a high position to start your first year of marriage on the front foot.

  1. If you have a wishing well, all that cash that has been gifted to you by your family and friends can 100% go to you starting your life together instead of paying off wedding debt.

  2. A credit card with a rewards points system and interest-free days allows the user to get points for purchases and no interest charged if paid off within the allocated time. If the wedding cost upwards of $25,000, this could amount to a lot of points to use in the future.

  3. Better spending habits. You have demonstrated to yourself and your partner that together you can work towards a goal without the use of credit and saving money week to week. You now have a skill that will help you throughout married life for things like buying a home, going on holiday, planning for children, new business opportunities and planning for retirement.


The above is not a Gospel on how to manage your financial position. It is merely a sharing of experience in the hope you can take something from it that might work for you and implement in your daily life. As mentioned above if you would like a template to a simple wedding budget, please contact me on info@jordanvassallocelebrant.com.au, and I would be more than happy to share it with you. Make it your own and choose to start your life together on the front foot.

If you require your financial circumstances considered or you would like some help, see an accredited financial planner or start by visiting your local bank manager.


Enjoy planning your wedding and when you are looking for a Celebrant or MC be sure to contact me :)


Dont forget to follow me on Instagram @jordanvassallocelebrant and like my Facebook page www.facebook.com/jordanvassallocelebrant


Enjoy planning your wedding and when you are looking for a Celebrant or MC be sure to contact me :)


Cheers

Jordan Vassallo

Celebrant



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PO Box 799 Stanhope Gardens NSW Australia 2768

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