Weddings are like College....| Charlottesville Virginia Wedding Photographer Sarah Houston Photography

This title definitely applies in so many ways-the partying at the reception, seeing friends again and learning from your elders when they offer you wedding advice: like "never go to bed angry" or my favorite from uncle bob "the woman is always right". 

This post is actually about the similar the expenses really are & how to prepare yourself for the not-so-pretty price tag. The average wedding cost is a whopping $31,000 but can be even more-depending on how elaborate you go! That's almost as much as tuition to Harvard University without financial aid. Wow. A lot of couples are faced with this shock but if you plan ahead it can save you from passing out when your passed the bill.

Start saving. NOW. I know you just met Billy a week ago...but heck you never know and a few years from now you and Billy are on the way to marriage bliss. If you start saving NOW for the wedding of your dreams with a Savings account or even a Certificate of Deposit (these yield a higher interest rate) you could have enough money to foot the cost of your dream wedding no problem! Working in the financial industry has really helped me with preparing couples to financially take on new ventures in their life. If you take the money you would normally spend on Starbucks and place it into your wedding fund and make the coffee yourself-that's money towards your dream wedding! Instead of eating out-bring your lunch and put that money into your savings, Want that new Kate Spade Bag? go to the outlet and get it 60-70% off and take the money you saved & put it in savings! (because you know I'm not going to tell you NOT to buy it!!) There are so many things you can go without for a bit in order to SAVE MONEY. Putting it into an interest bearing account will put your money to work for you and you'll get paid for not spending it! Then when the time comes for your gorgeous'll be prepared to spare no expense on the soiree!

Like college you CAN get a personal loan or secured loan IF that's the route you want to take, paying it back in installments or long term may just be your thing! My best advice for this? if you own a home or some type of collateral (say your car, a boat or real estate) you can help lock in a great rate! Home Equity's (where you borrow against your home) can be paid back in the life of the loan-making the payments super manageable! This is the extreme I don't think anyone is too keen on taking out a loan to pay for their wedding....but it is an option!

With parent's not being able to contribute or not being able to win the lottery (a drawback to getting the wedding of your dreams) it's definitely a wise idea to  start planning way ahead. I've meet quite a few brides over the years who had a savings in place well before they even thought about getting married. Being prepared is a must especially if your dreaming of getting married at The Plaza in New York City. 

Interested in what options could work for you? reach out to your financial advisor at your local bank for a free never hurts to talk about what you can do to start saving now!