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Using Your Long Engagement to Financially Prepare for Your Wedding

Updated: Mar 20

man putting engagement ring on woman

Credit: Unsplash

As the costs of weddings start to shoot up, more couples are saying ‘I do’ to longer engagements. While the length of an engagement can vary, The Knot’s Real Weddings Study revealed that the average has increased from 14 months in 2019 to 16 months in 2021. The Knot pointed out that these longer engagements are beneficial for couples who want to save up for wedding expenses, especially now that weddings can cost an average of $34,000.

Longer engagements might mean a longer wait, but most couples see that as a worthy sacrifice for the wedding of their dreams. To make the big day extra special, here are some financial tips for long engagements that can help you achieve your target wedding budget:

Cut down your personal expenses

Learning to budget for your wedding is good practice for married life.

Unfortunately, professor Elizabeth Dunn from the University of British Columbia points out that people have the tendency to overspend due to their stress and baggage around money. So if you want to financially prepare yourselves for your big day, it’s important to track your spending and identify which expenses are worth keeping and which ones need to be cut. By rethinking your spending habits, you and your partner can reduce unnecessary expenses and save towards shared goals like a wedding fund.

Get the help of your loved ones

two women putting together floral bouquets

Credit: Pexels

Parents are traditionally expected to pay for their children’s weddings. However, you can also boost your wedding budget by asking your relatives and friends for help. You can copy newlyweds Kiara and Joel Brokenbrough who spent only $500 on their wedding day by asking for gifts from family and friends. In lieu of gifts, their loved ones either covered the payment or volunteered for the floral arrangements, wedding cake, and aisle runner role. Likewise, you can also ask for the help of your family and friends to cut down costs and increase your budget. Learn how to invest your money If you don’t want to compromise your personal budget or ask your loved ones for help, it’s worth giving investments a try. Many investments are fit for the long term, but there are a few that can help you hit shorter-term goals. Among all the popular investment products, Maryville University explains that cryptocurrencies can be popular because of their volatility. Products like Ethereum can lose and gain thousands in value within a few months, which can be great for couples who aren't risk-averse. Meanwhile, company stock investments can also plunge due to different factors, but total losses are uncommon—making them a practical option for more conservative budgets. Try to look for products that meet your risk appetite and time horizon and that can help you hit your target profit before you pay your wedding vendors.

Use your free time for a second job

Got lots of time on your hands? You can try to take on a part-time job or even a second job to add to your wedding budget. CBS News points out that two jobs are starting to become the norm among Americans. People are starting to work more than 70 hours a week to cover their needs and their wants, and that can include wedding prep. Getting an extra job is a big sacrifice, but it can help you achieve your target budget faster and build up your savings for after the wedding. Sometimes, saving up for a wedding isn't enough, even with a long engagement. Try to make the most of your extra time to prepare, and take on opportunities that can help you increase your finances and get the wedding you've always dreamed of.

Article written by Alicia Wilkins

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