One of the most well-known traditions, no matter where you reside, is a wedding. Where two people in love promise a lifetime of commitment to one another, for better or worse. With that comes extravagant parties and ceremonies to celebrate this memorable occasion. While that seems like a perfect explanation, remember that this doesn’t happen for free. Quite the contrary, this ceremony can easily go into the five figures and beyond. People often wonder how they’re going to afford a wedding, but if there’s a market of money needs, you know lenders will step in.
Queue the wedding loans. Most recently, as the rising cost of education and disproportionate income generate has created a generation that are putting off weddings. To help Millennials afford their dream wedding, lenders have created a product called a wedding loan.
What Are Wedding Loans?
Wedding loans are a product designed to help people pay for their wedding. While the market is still new to marketing wedding loans, they are continuing to grow in popularity as many put off their wedding day due to costs. The product itself isn’t much different than a personal loan, but the one noticeable difference could be a slightly increase interest rate. These loans are most repaid with 5-years or less, and can range from the low to mid five figure range.
Proceeds of these personal loans can be used for anything, but they are geared towards funding the costs of weddings. This means you shouldn’t let spending take control because that money could be gone before you know it.
How Wedding Loans Work
How wedding loans work is fairly straightforward and shouldn’t bring any unknown surprises that are different than the traditional lending process. To begin the process, you can likely start online, but depending on the financial institution you may need to visit a physical location. It simply works by starting the application process as described. From there, you will need personal information such as address, social security number and proof of income. The proof for your income may vary, but typically you can count on at least your two most recent paystubs.
Unlike an auto loan or a mortgage, there is no collateral with a wedding loan. It’s an unsecured loan that is underwritten based on your creditworthiness and ability to repay the loan.
After everything has been reviewed and accepted, you will likely receive proceeds within 24-hours of completion. Unlike some loans, the process from start to finish can take a few days depending on information needs and timelines. Once funds are received you are free to do with the funds as you please. Keep in mind though, these loan proceeds are for your wedding and you wouldn’t want to be back at square one due to frivolous spending.
Average Cost of a Wedding in the United States
If you’ve made it this far, then you are likely wondering what exactly makes a wedding more expense. On the other hand, if you are the one looking to take out a wedding loan then you likely know the answer. The average cost of a wedding in the United States is around $30,000. To put that into perspective, that can be a down payment on a home or a generous start to your retirement nest egg.
Here is a breakdown of what a wedding may cost by expenditure:
- Church – $500
- Reception Site – $2,500
- Food – $50/plate x 125 = $6,250
- Photographer – $2,000
- DJ or Band – $1,500
- Flowers – $750
- Cake – $500
- Rings – $5,000
- Attire – $500
- Open bar – $3,500
- Bachelor party – $500
- Bachelorette party – $500
Now this is just a top-level list but think about how quickly the costs can add up. For example, many people spend more than $500 on tuxedos and wedding dresses. Also, the food can be a large variable in the equation, along with open bar. This is why wedding loans can be a potential financing option to see your wedding day come to fruition.
First up are the advantages of wedding loans. Beginning with, you can easily finance the wedding of your dreams. We all know the cost of weddings can be a bit much, but financing the what you are unable to cover can allow you to put on the wedding of your dreams. With competitive rates and manageable terms, wedding loans are an option to fulfill your wedding dreams.
Another advantage are the proceeds can be used however you see fit. They are not limited to wedding specific costs, which means if you need lodging or honeymoon money you can use it for that. However, don’t let the spending get out of hand because once that money is gone, it’s gone.
The final advantage is the term of the loans are typically under 5-years. This means you won’t be stuck paying on the loan for a lifetime. Realistically, you could have this loan paid down within a couple years. It’s a good feeling knowing you won’t have to sacrifice a lifetime of payments to finance part of your dream wedding.
One of the main disadvantages to contend with is this is debt. Starting a marriage with debt may not be the best option, as a majority of divorces are caused by money issues. If you are borrowing what you can’t afford, it can be a strain on your marriage, thus having adverse effects from what was originally intended.
Another disadvantage are the interest rates are not the lowest on the market. Essentially a personal loan, the rate will likely be north of 8%. However, wedding loans are unsecured and this means you won’t need to put up any collateral.
Lastly, taking out a wedding loan can be a source of overspending. If you have a budget of only $5,000, taking out a loan can cause you to overspend, putting financial stress around one of your biggest days. This means it’s up to you, the borrower to consider your financial needs before committing to a sizeable loan.
Overall, wedding loans can be an effective way to close the gap between your dreams and reality. However, you want to ensure you are borrowing responsibly, meaning you are only taking out what you need. While a wedding can easily move north of $10,000, that doesn’t mean you should spend that much.
Take inventory of what you need and proceeds accordingly. If it’s crunch time and you need a few thousand dollars then this is a wonderful option. While there interest rates are a bit higher than mortgages, it’s still likely to be cheaper than a credit card.