By Rose Smith
June is the peak of wedding season and takes a heavy toll on many wallets. Although a lot of traditions still hold true, like bouquet tosses and first dances, the financials of weddings have changed. Last year the average cost of weddings hit the $30,000 dollar mark, according to an annual survey by TheKnot.com. The site began tracking these numbers in 2007, and this is the highest number yet.
Coupled with the rising cost of goods and guest expectations for the wedding experience, something else has changed —who pays for the wedding. In the past, the parents of the bride footed the bill. While this is still true in some cases, more couples have to come up with the funds themselves. Some argue this is because the average marrying age is increasing. Others point to the state of the economy, and dwindling savings and retirement funds that would have otherwise been used on paying for a daughter’s wedding. Whatever the reason, this is a reality for many and creativity is the key to affordable wedding planning.
Many brides have a very specific vision for their wedding and are willing to scrimp and save to achieve it. Others take the route of personal loans and credit card debt. But let us open our vision to a subject that perhaps is not immediately associated with weddings—annuities. Many people are unaware of the options they have for this money. Whether the annuity was passed down from a relative or received in the form of a structured settlement from a court case, these extra funds could be the answer to your wedding time woes. Generally this money is collected through monthly or annual fixed installments—but there are other options. These payments can be sold for their future cash value in the form of a lump sum. In other words, you can turn those monthly increments into one large cash surplus to pay for your dream wedding.
Although this option is not available for all brides and grooms, it is food for thought. There are ways out there to avoid incurring a mountain of debt just for your one special day. With the DYI movement becoming more and popular, brides are able to cut costs by making and creating a lot themselves. Here are just a few sites to visit when looking to be inspired as well as thrifty:
Remember, keep your spending in control and let creativity run free.