From the day our daughter arrived into our family, I knew one day we would be planning and preparing for a wedding. And for us, that also meant paying for a wedding!
As parents, our daughter’s wedding planning started years before she actually became engaged to a wonderful man, as we began saving money for their Big Day. Now that her wedding is just around the corner, we are thrilled to be able to celebrate this momentous occasion. And I have seen firsthand by helping to pay for both my son’s and my daughter’s weddings that saving for such an affair can be done in many ways.
Here are several tips for funding for your child’s wedding:
1. Start early. My daughter’s wedding has always been in the back of my mind, so my husband and I tried to plan ahead. For us, that meant that over the years, anything “extra” we received, such as a tax refund or a work bonus, was tucked away for the Big Day.
2. Automate savings. With an Illinois National Bank “You Name It Savings” Account, you can set aside any amount of money that you want to save. You can also connect this account to your INB checking account and elect to have a certain amount automatically transferred to your savings account.
3. Create a budget, and don’t forget to take into account the unexpected expenses that may pop up. Research vendor options in your area and figure out what kind of costs you are looking at.
Our family has learned that it’s imperative to decide what your priorities are for the wedding day. Some couples are willing to pay more for the photographer they’ve been admiring for years, while other brides want to spend money on their dream wedding dress. For my daughter’s wedding, we chose to splurge a bit more on her gown, food and drink for our guests, and floral arrangements, in memory of my mother who loved her garden.
4. Sit down and have a frank talk about who is paying for what. Some parents will cover the entire cost of the wedding, while others will help share the responsibility by paying for certain items or a percentage of the overall cost. I grew up in a generation where the bride’s parents footed the bill and, traditionally, the groom’s parents hosted the rehearsal dinner. There are new situations now, and that might not always be the case, so it’s important for all involved to discuss what kind of financial role each person or family will have in the wedding.
5. Sacrifice other areas of your life leading up to the Big Day. This will affect you both financially as well as with your time, because if you’re not hiring a wedding planner, each detail of the day is completely up to you. My husband and I joke that we have done nothing extra in the last year… We have a group of friends who plans a big trip every other year, but this year, we had to decline because it’s “wedding year”!
Wedding planning isn’t limited only to what food will be served or what music will be played… it starts even before the engagement, with financial planning for the celebration. By starting early, creating a wedding budget and sticking to that budget based on your wedding priorities, you can have a dream wedding that will carry on to a wonderful marriage together.