In case you haven’t heard (aka you don’t binge watch reality TV like us) there is currently a show on Netflix called “Marriage or Mortgage”. The basic premise is that couples have a chunk of change that they can either spend on a wedding or on a house. It’s a lighthearted and harmless show–but we have some strong opinions over here at Wedfuly. During an episode, you might find us screaming “STOP THAT NOW” while throwing a sandal at the TV. (For more thoughts on that, listen to Cass and Caroline’s hot takes here).
You Shouldn’t Have to Choose Between a House and a Wedding
The reason we have such a strong opinion about this show is that we feel that you shouldn’t have to choose between the two. A wedding and a down payment on a house are such important milestones, that one shouldn’t have to be sacrificed at the expense of the other. In this blog post we will look at the current reality of weddings and the housing market and give you some hacks to help you outsmart the system and be smart with your cash. We will show you how to save money for a wedding and a house all at the same time!
The Current Reality of Weddings and Home Ownership Today:
Anyone living in the current reality of our world can tell you that life just continues to get more and more expensive. In 2020, the average wedding cost was about $30,000 (not including honeymoon) …which is up 14k from 2007, according to Wedding Wire. In addition to that, the median home price just hit its’ highest point ever in 2020–according to Mortgage Reports. The average price of a home in the US is just right above $320,000. So let’s just say you were going to try to save for your $30,000 wedding in 12 months as well as your down payment. You would need to be saving about $4,583/month. Which is a TON of money! This makes it both unattainable and unrealistic. You are probably thinking it is impossible to save money for a wedding and a house! This show (although not the purpose) just shows how unattainable some of these staples of the American Dream have become. There’s got to be a better way…
How to Save Money for a Wedding AND a House:
Determine Your Priorities
Sit down with your partner and decide on what is most important to you in all of this. Are you ok with a smaller guest list? Are you willing to have the wedding in a backyard? What are non-negotiables when it comes to the house you want to buy? Could you opt to be a little bit further outside of the city? Getting on the same page about what is most important to you both will help guide every future decision.
Talk to Your People
Loop in your parents (anyone else that comes to mind) and get on the same page about whether they are willing to help financially or not. If they are–figure out the dollar amount and decide how you want to allocate that money. Some couples decide it is financially smarter to spend some of the money on the wedding and save the rest for a down payment.
This is where Wedfuly comes into the picture! By opting for a hybrid, micro or elopement wedding you can drastically reduce the cost of your wedding. You might only end up paying for 25 guests, rather than 125 guests–which could save you thousands. Additionally, you might be able to be creative with your venue (aka your backyard) which can save you money all around. By hosting an even on your own property you will dodge the many fees that come with a venue space + catering. Check out these former Wedfuly couples and how much money they saved by opting for a Wedfuly wedding. (The even cooler part–what they actually got to put that money towards!!)
Set a Realistic Budget
Let’s face it–it’s really easy to go over budget when planning for a wedding. Add in a few extra flower arrangements and you’ve racked up $3,000 more than you intended to spend. According to a survey that The Knot conducted, 45% of couples spent more than they had originally planned–by an average of $7,319. When you sit down to come up with your budget, it’s always going to be better to guess on the higher side and then end up having money left over. Check out this blog post for how to plan your wedding on a $5,000 budget. Additionally be realistic about what you can afford house-wise. Decide what features are non-negotiable and what are “would be nice to have”. While a fully remodeled kitchen would be nice, there are tons of routes for DIY home reno that can save you tons of money.
According to Experian, one of the most important things when saving for these two things is to establish two separate accounts. You will want to set one up for the wedding and one for the down payment. Next, set up your bank account in such a way that it automatically takes it from your paycheck and puts it into those accounts. This way you won’t be tempted to touch that money. Apps like Qapital are a great help when trying to save aggressively. The way this app works is you pick what you are saving for and set a money goal. Then, each paycheck it will pull money out and put it directly into that account. All you have to do is sit back and save!
Know the Facts
How many times have you thought back to your education and wondered…why the heck did I need to learn the Pythagorean Theorem? Why didn’t someone teach me about personal finances?? Rest easy, knowing you are not alone in that frustration. Making large decisions–such as buying a house or paying for a wedding can be really daunting. But as long as you have all of the information before you, you can make a smart choice. According to Summit Mortgage Corporation, if you can afford to buy a house with cash, that is great. If not, there are tons of loan programs available to first time home buyers. These require little to no down payment at all, which means you don’t have to have a huge chunk of money already set aside. However, you will ultimately still need some cash to close the deal. They recommend working with a loan officer to determine how much you will actually need to have.
Avoid Debt at All Costs
Additionally, when planning these two things in conjunction with each other, it is easy to think “oh I will just take out a loan/credit card to pay for this wedding”. According to Experian’s blog on how to save money for a wedding and a house, they recommend that you do not acquire any additional debt if possible. Debt will greatly affect your credit score, which could have lasting ramifications. They recommend that you pick a wedding and a house that are within your means, so that you don’t have to worry about paying off credit cards for years to come.
Break Free From the Pressures of Society
We live in such a social media saturated world, it’s hard to not feel the pressure to have the “instagram worthy” wedding. It’s really easy to see pictures of beautiful and lavish weddings on Facebook and to immediately think that you must have something exactly like that. However, while that is great for them…if it is going to put you and your future spouse in a bad position financially, it’s just not worth it. We urge you to really think outside the box and consider what is most important about your wedding day–your marriage. Then, make all of your decisions with that as the guiding force.
Think About What You Could Do With the Money Saved
One of the things that gets us most fired up is hearing what former Wedfuly couples have been able to afford with the money saved from their wedding. For an in depth look at several couples, check out this blog post. If you find yourself starting to get sad about not having a 500 person+ wedding, start daydreaming about what you could do with the money that you are saving. Is there a European adventure you are dying to go on with your future hubby? Maybe you want to put that money towards a hot tub in your backyard? The options are truly endless…
You CAN Save Money for a Wedding and a House
We think it’s time to reclaim the lies that the wedding industry has sold us. You DO NOT have to spend thousands and thousands of dollars to have a memorable wedding. Here at Wedfuly, we want to empower you to be savvy with your money and not have to choose between the two. If you plan wisely and budget smartly, you can afford both a wedding and a house. Take that Netflix!