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Have a No-Debt Wedding! 5 Budget Secrets to Remember...

Hey girl, hey!

Love is in the air as Cupid’s little pampered butt shoots his arrows into the hearts of couples all over the country. But here’s the thing… did you know that according to a study done by The Knot, the average couple is spending over $33,000 on their wedding!

Thirty-three. Thousand. Dollars, girlfriend!

That’s equivalent to what some people earn for an entire year! I mean, you could also pay off a whole baby Benz with that amount of money.

It’s a lot. It’s cray.

But people are actually spending this kind of money, all the time, on an event that only last a couple of hours... when really the focus should be on what comes after the wedding, because isn’t that what’s most important?

When you think about getting married to the person you love... do you think of a lavish wedding, in an opulent venue, filled with hundreds of guests who have come to witness your union? Or are you the kind of person that wants to save as much money as you can, but still feel like you didn’t jip yourself on one of the most important days of your life? In all honesty, weddings are beautiful experiences, and we all want to make the most of our big day, but regardless of what side of the fence you fall on... I’ve got 5 secrets to share with you today that will hopefully keep you from spending a small fortune on your special day, so you don’t have to worry about the stresses of on-going wedding debt. Let’s chat!

​1. Plan Out Your Wedding Budget!

If you’re a regular reader, you’ll know that with me… everything begins and ends with a budget. So here’s my advice: Grab a piece of paper, sit down with your partner, and write down everything you think you’d want for your dream wedding. I’m talking everything... from the location, to the music, to the food and dranks! Everythang! Then determine how much “everythang” is going to cost you, item by item, and write it down. This may take some research on your part, but it’s better to do all this up front than to start spending money willy-nilly and end up broke as a joke before you even step foot down the aisle. So for example, let’s say your hypothetical dream wedding that you’ve written out is looking like it’s going to cost you about a cool twenty-five grand! And now that you’ve gotten the final number, from here you can do one of two things: 1). You can determine how much per month you need to set aside from your income to reach this amount. And depending on how long you extend your engagement period, time could be a major factor. So, hypothetically speaking, let’s say you’re planning a 12-month engagement with a $25,000 budget: $25,000 / 12 months = $2,083 set aside per month for your wedding alone. That’s some people’s home mortgage! However, if you have the means in your budget to achieve that goal, then by all means… do so. But if you’re not in a position like that… then girlfriend, see option #2. 2). You can identify that this amount of money is probably way more than you should be spending, review the list again, and cut out things that are not a priority. Like do you really need that $3,000 dress? Does the venue absolutely have to be $12,000? Is it really necessary to have $8,000 worth of food and an open bar? I think not.

​So when it comes to putting together a wedding, you must know your budget and how much things are going to cost you. Perhaps it may help you realize that every, single thing you thought you wanted may not be in the budget, but that’s okay, because in the long run… spending the extra money will most likely not even be worth it. So prioritize what you really want, focus on that and stick to the budget! And for the love of God… whatever you do, please do not (I repeat) DO NOT take out a loan to pay for your wedding. There’s nothing worse than still paying off wedding debt, two, three, or five years into the marriage. It’s not worth it, sis. It’s just not worth it.

2. Research, Research, Research.

When planning a wedding, it’s a must to compare prices. If you’re not dead set on your wedding being during a certain month, or on a certain day… it’s possible you can find packages from venues that are significantly lower than it would normally be during peak seasons and/or peak days. Plus, some venues may offer more amenities than others, which could really give you more bang for your buck. Or if standard venues are appearing to be a bit too pricey, you could get real creative when it comes to the details of your big day.

​Maybe borrowing the beautifully landscaped backyard of a friend or family member may suit your venue budget much better. Recently, as I was getting in some morning exercise, when I came across a wedding that was being held on the bridge of a local lake. It was beautiful, it was creative, and I would be willing to bet you… it was super cheap. But if a local wedding isn’t your thing, perhaps a destination wedding could be a better option. It’s not uncommon for a Caribbean wedding to cost less than $10,000 for 40 - 50 people with everything included (ceremony, the clergy person, food, drinks, decor, etc). Pers