Should You Get a Wedding Loan in 2024?

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Updated: June 11, 2024

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A wedding is an important milestone, but it can be expensive. According to the Knot, the national average wedding cost in 2023 was $35,000. To afford such an event, some people turn to personal loans, which provide a lump sum of money to be repaid over time — anywhere from two to five years.

While a personal loan can help you realize the wedding of your dreams, it may not be practical to go into debt as you embark on a future of shared financial responsibility. By understanding how a wedding loan works, weighing its pros and cons and exploring some funding alternatives, you can decide how to make the most of your special day and the future ahead.

Key Takeaways

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A wedding loan is a personal loan taken to fund a wedding and cover any associated costs.

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A wedding loan lets you finance your wedding while protecting your savings and avoiding credit card debt.

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A wedding loan is a debt you need to repay. If left unchecked, it can lead to overspending and become a source of marital stress.

What Is a Wedding Loan?

A wedding loan is a personal loan taken to fund a wedding. You can get one from banks, credit unions or online lenders. Wedding loans provide a lump sum of money upfront, which can range from $1,000 to $100,000, depending on the lender. These loans usually have fixed interest rates and set repayment terms, making it easier to budget for monthly payments.

You can cover a wide range of expenses with a wedding loan, including the following:

Expense
Average Cost in 2023

Reception Venue

$12,800

Engagement Rings

$5,500

Wedding Dress

$2,000

Wedding Cake

$540

Wedding Planner

$2,100

Source: The Knot’s 2023 Real Weddings Study

It’s up to you whether you want to use a wedding loan to cover all or some of your wedding expenses, but it helps to calculate your costs first. You can start by categorizing your expenses and determining which requires the most funding. A wedding expense calculator can also help you understand how much you need to borrow.

Pros and Cons of Wedding Loans

Getting a personal loan for a wedding can help you afford an opulent ceremony. However, this means taking on debt at the start of your marriage, which can put a strain on you and your spouse. Weighing the benefits and drawbacks should help you determine if this option is practical for your needs and situation.

Takeaways

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PROS:

  • Immediate Funding: A wedding loan provides immediate funds to cover all wedding expenses.
  • Fixed Interest Rates: Most wedding loans have fixed interest rates, which make budgeting easier.
  • Flexible Use: You can use the loan for any wedding-related expense without restrictions.
  • Fixed Repayment Term: Knowing the repayment term helps you plan your finances better.
  • Protect Your Savings: A wedding loan helps you avoid dipping into your savings, preserving them for future needs.
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CONS:

  • Debt Burden: Taking out a wedding loan means starting your marriage with debt.
  • Source of Stress: Having debt may make financial management more complex, leading to marital stress.
  • Potential Fees: Some wedding loans come with origination fees or prepayment penalties, adding to your expenses.
  • Delayed Life Plans: Paying off a wedding loan can delay other financial goals, such as buying a home or starting a family.

Is a Wedding Loan Right for You?

A wedding loan is a significant financial commitment and may not be ideal for every couple. While it can be a good idea if you can afford the monthly payments, the financial obligation means there’s less money to put toward other financial goals.

Before you pursue a wedding loan, it's wise to ask yourself some important questions:

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    How much do you need to borrow?

    Calculate your total wedding costs and determine how much you need to cover them. Borrowing more than necessary can lead to higher interest payments.

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    Who will pay for the loan?

    Decide whether you or your partner will take on the loan or if you will share the responsibility. Clear agreement on this prevents future conflicts. Remember that jointly managing the debt requires good communication and financial planning.

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    How will the payments compare with your income?

    Assess your monthly income and expenses to see if you can afford the loan payments. If you think you will struggle to make monthly payments, it’s a good idea to cut back on certain wedding expenses where possible.

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    How long do you plan to pay off the loan?

    Consider the loan term and how long you'll be making payments. A longer term means lower monthly payments but more interest paid over time. Make sure to choose a term that balances affordability and total cost.

Steps to Getting a Wedding Loan

As with any personal loan, it’s best to shop around to find lenders that offer the terms and rates that best suit your situation.

1
Calculate How Much You Need

Estimate your total wedding expenses to determine how much you need to borrow. Tally all costs, including the venue, dress, catering and other essentials. This ensures you borrow the right amount without overextending yourself.

2
Determine Your Eligibility

Check your credit score and financial situation to see if you qualify for a wedding loan. Lenders look at your credit history, income and debt-to-income ratio. Knowing your eligibility helps you target the right lenders and loan products.

3
Get Prequalified

Many lenders offer prequalification, which gives you an idea of the loan amount and interest rate you might receive. This step involves a soft credit check and does not impact your credit score.

4
Compare Loan Offers

Research and compare loan offers from different lenders to find the best terms and interest rates. Look at the annual percentage rate (APR), fees and repayment terms. Doing so ensures you get the best deal for your financial situation.

5
Submit an Application

Once you choose a lender, complete the loan application process. This involves providing personal and financial information, including proof of income and employment. Submitting a complete and accurate application prevents delay and increases your chances of approval.

6
Receive Funds

If your loan is approved, the lender will disburse the funds to your bank account. Depending on the lender, this process can take a few days to a week. Once you receive the funds, you can use them to pay for your wedding expenses.

Alternatives to a Wedding Loan

A wedding loan isn’t the only option available to help you fund your special day. Some alternatives include:

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    Budget and Save

    Create a detailed wedding budget and start saving early to cover the costs. Setting aside money each month can help you avoid debt. This method also encourages financial discipline and planning.

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    Ask for Help From Family Members

    Consider asking family members for financial assistance as a gift or loan. This can reduce the amount you need to borrow and lower your overall debt. Ensure clear communication and agreements to avoid misunderstandings.

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    Defer Extra Costs

    Postpone nonessential wedding expenses until you have more funds. This can include extras like fancy decorations, premium photography packages or luxury honeymoon plans. Deferring costs helps you stay within your budget without sacrificing the core elements of your wedding.

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    Downsize the Celebration

    Scale down your wedding to fit your budget, focusing on the most meaningful aspects. Consider having a smaller guest list, simpler decor or a less expensive venue. Downsizing can significantly reduce costs while still creating a memorable event.

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    Use a 0% APR Credit Card

    If you have good credit, a 0% APR credit card can help you finance wedding expenses without paying interest for a promotional period. But make sure you can pay off the balance before the promotional period ends to avoid high interest rates.

FAQ About Wedding Loans

We answered some commonly asked questions to help you better understand how wedding loans work and determine whether taking one is the right step for you.

How do you qualify for a wedding loan?
What are the interest rates for wedding loans?
How long do you have to repay a wedding loan?
How quickly can you get a wedding loan?
What happens if you can't repay your wedding loan?
sources
Shield Insurance

The content on this page is accurate as of the posting/last updated date; however, some of the rates mentioned may have changed. We recommend visiting the lender's website for the most up-to-date information available.

Editorial Disclosure: Opinions, reviews, analyses and recommendations are the author’s alone and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any bank, lender or other entity. Learn more about our editorial policies and expert editorial team.