How to pay for your wedding

For many, a wedding will be one of the most memorable and magical days of their life. For most people, it will also be one of the most expensive. So it really pays to start planning as early as possible, and to give thought to how you plan to cover the expenses so you get the most for your money. Here are some things worth considering as you start to plan for that special day.

Couple searching how to pay for wedding

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) – should you cancel your wedding?

The current COVID-19 (coronavirus) situation is affecting wedding plans for many people. So if you’re planning your wedding, it’s important to be stay on top of government guidelines on social distancing, as they will be evolving over the coming months.

If your wedding date has already been affected, you can try to postpone to a future date. This would allow you to avoid losing your deposits. So reach out to suppliers and venues and try to agree on postponement. In some cases, this might mean having to replace venues or some suppliers to accommodate a new date. If you are considering delaying your wedding, try to pick a date that’s well into the future to avoid further issues related to the crisis.

If you’re looking for help managing financially during this crisis, you can visit Coronavirus help and support

Use your savings

For most people, using savings to pay for a wedding may be the cheapest option. This will allow you to avoid paying interest and fees associated with borrowing money.

If you don’t already have money set aside, the sooner you can start saving for your wedding, the more you can set aside. This will also allow you more time for booking venues and services.

If you are planning to save for the big day, a good place to start is a savings account or a joint current account that’s exclusively dedicated to your wedding. With a dedicated wedding account, you can set up automatic transfers on a monthly basis from your existing account. That way, you’ll be setting money aside without having to think about it.

You can find a range of practical money-saving advice on how to save for your wedding. You can also check out how to how to plan and stick to a budget. You’ll find lots of practical tips for managing money and creating a wedding budget so you reach your financial goal for that special day.

Taking out a loan

If you can’t save enough to cover the full cost of the special day, taking out a loan could be your best alternative. Personal loans aren’t the cheapest option. But they will allow you to repay your wedding tab in fixed monthly instalments over a set number of years. That way, you’ll be able to budget accordingly, and know exactly what’s owed.

If you are considering taking out a loan or getting a credit card to finance your wedding, this might be a good time to check your credit score. It’s free, easy to do, and could give you an idea of how much you might be able to borrow.

Get help from friends and family

Traditionally, the family of the bride paid for the nuptials. But times have changed, and couples usually have to cover some or all of their wedding. However, if you are fortunate enough to have family or friends who can help, you could avoid putting a significant dent in your own nest egg. These days, since so many couples are already living together when they marry, they accept cash gifts against their wedding in lieu of more traditional wedding presents. That could also help pay for the big event.

How to get the most from a credit card

Given the many and varied costs associated with a wedding, there can be some advantages to using a credit card – whether you’re planning to repay the spending immediately or over a longer period of time. All UK credit cards might offer purchase protection, so you may be able to get your money back if something goes wrong. Depending on the card, this could include protection in the event of damage, theft, defaults or cancellations.

Given the long lead times in planning a wedding, this could be a life-saver if a venue or supplier goes out of business.

Just make sure to read the fine print when you’re shopping for a credit card – so you know exactly what is protected and what isn’t.

Purchase credit card

If you choose a purchase credit card with a 0% interest offer, you can make purchases without paying any interest on the balance for a certain length of time. This is the introductory period, and can vary considerably.

Representative example

Representative APR
20.9% APR (variable)
Purchase rate
20.9% p.a. (variable)
Based on a
£1,200
credit limit
Annual Fee
No annual fee

The approval of your application depends on financial circumstances and borrowing history, so do the terms you may be offered. The balance transfer period and interest rates, may differ from those shown.

To avoid unhappy surprises and lingering credit card debt, make sure you understand how long the introductory period is, and exactly how much you’ll have to pay in interest once it expires. It’s important to remember that you’ll still have to make your monthly minimum payments and stay within your credit limit. You’ll only keep the 0% interest offer if you make at least the minimum repayments each month and keep within your credit limit.

Once the promotional period has finished, you’ll start being charged interest at the standard rate on any remaining balance. Getting a purchase credit card is of course subject to application, financial circumstances and borrowing history.

Rewards credit card

When it comes to spending for your own wedding, using a rewards credit card really can pay off. Typically, most rewards credit cards allow you to earn cash back on all your purchases. Some rewards credit cards also offer benefits for signing up. That can all add up when you consider the cost of many weddings.

Representative example

Representative APR
22.9% APR (variable)
Purchase rate
22.9% p.a. (variable)
Based on a
£1,200
credit limit
Annual Fee
No annual fee

The approval of your application depends on financial circumstances and borrowing history, so do the terms you may be offered. The balance transfer period and interest rates, may differ from those shown.

However, if you can’t afford to pay off the balance every month, your interest payments may wipe out the value of the rewards. So this card isn’t for everyone, and it’s important to seriously consider your budget when choosing the right credit card. Also keep in mind that they are subject to application, financial circumstances and borrowing history. To help you pick the right one, use our eligibility checker to find out which one you’re eligible for without affecting your credit score.

What's next?

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* Subject to individual eligibility criteria, suitability and terms and conditions. Interest in line with current rates will still be charged.