A wedding is one of life’s most precious and memorable moments. But while the day itself is one of joy and new beginnings, paying for the wedding of your dreams can be a tall order. As well as the expense of a dress, the cake, the cars and the flowers, you may also want a lavish honeymoon. And when you factor in all the smaller details of the big day – including favours, suits, food and entertainment – the bill can be substantial. Whether you are planning your own wedding or that of your children, there are 10 very inventive ways of financing a day to remember.
1. Release some equity in your home
The difference between what you owe on your home and its current market value is your equity. Some banks will consider lending you money based on the market valuation, but you will need to secure your home against it. You may just be sitting on enough hidden value in your property to realise your dreams of a lavish wedding.
2. Unsecured loans
While the cost of personal loans is relatively high, they can be useful if you are in need of quick finance to pay for wedding expenses in a hurry, including the hiring of a Church, paying for the wedding cars or putting down a deposit at the reception venue – all of which can be time sensitive.
3. Cash gifts from friends and family
Perhaps the simplest and cheapest way to secure finances for your wedding is through cash gifts. Your friends and family can provide you with up to £3,000 in tax-free gifts, which may be part of a future inheritance or in lieu of a gift on the day. And to make the process easier, there are some innovative online services that make giving cash donations simple and quick.
It seems that crowdfunding is being used to fund just about anything these days, including lavish weddings. Whether you target friends and family through popular crowdfunding sites or offer invitations to the big day in return for donations, this could be a great way of securing the finance you need without getting yourself into debt.
5. Peer to peer loans
Whether you want your wedding finances in a hurry or you’re looking for a more favourable interest rate than that you have been offered by traditional banks, a peer to peer lender may be able to provide you with a low cost loan for the big day. Unlike most standard personal loans, you have the option of paying down your debt early in order to save on interest, and there are no early redemption penalties to worry about. Some lenders are offering loans of up to £15,000, which could be the difference between making compromises and having the wedding you have always dreamed about.
6. Endorse your chosen suppliers
If you are open to the possibility of companies advertising during your big day, you may be able to secure extra funding or discounts. For instance, allowing your photographer to erect some advertising signage could shave off several hundred pounds from your final bill. Or agreeing to having your wedding filmed by the reception venue for future promotional activity could also bring down the cost.
7. Pay as you go
A lot of people make the mistake of taking out high-interest loans to pay for a wedding, which usually results in the total cost of their big day being significantly increased. However, if you are prepared to take your time looking for bargains, paying for aspects of the wedding in instalments and compromising on certain areas of your big day, paying as you go could make your money go further.
8. Alternative investments
If you are prepared to put up with the increased level of risk that comes with many alternative investments, you could grow your capital significantly in just a few years. Investing in a venture capital trust, diamonds, gold or emerging business opportunities could give you the extra money you need to create a wedding day to remember.
9. Haggle for the best deal
Times are hard for businesses these days, and the increasingly competitive nature of wedding planning may work in your favour. Don’t be afraid to negotiate over price, and threaten to take your business elsewhere when it is appropriate – you might be surprised at just how much suppliers will shave off their original quotes.
10. Get away from it all
A great way to cut costs is to book a wedding abroad on an all-inclusive basis. Not only will this add an exotic dimension to your big day, it will save you the cost of a honeymoon. Your guest list will be smaller, but many tour operators offer will offer subsidised deals on travel and accommodation for friends and family.
Whether you go down the road of wedding loans or innovative investment opportunities, some careful planning and sound financial management will guarantee a wedding day that will never be forgotten.