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Should You Take Out a Wedding Loan?

My wedding day was the most important day of my adult life. I felt as if I had been waiting for that moment forever. At the time, my now husband and I had been dating for over five years, so when it happened, everyone went, “finally.”

Not to boast, but my wedding was a glitzy, glamorous, over-250-guests affair. My husband and I come from large families, so there simply was no way to keep the guest count below 200. And I figured if that many people were coming, why not have a super-duper Disney princess-style wedding? Afterwards, everyone gushed about how beautiful the decorations were and how amazing the reception was. Yes, it was gorgeous. But what everyone didn’t notice was how much my husband and I had spent on it.

How Much Is the Most Important Day of Your Life Worth?

When we got married, my husband and I had just gotten our graduate degrees and started on our first full-time, professional jobs. We had massive student debt, and we were thinking about taking out a mortgage to start our new life together. Needless to say, neither of us had giant savings accounts to pay for a glam wedding.

However, we figured that as this was probably the most important thing we were going to do before having children, we might as well spend some money on it. I have to admit, we were both giddy at the prospect and wanted to impress our prissy relatives. I wanted a designer wedding cake and he wanted to book a huge seafront estate as the venue. We were grown up enough to know that these were beyond our budget. Nevertheless, we decided to borrow the money to cover it.

Who Even Provides A Wedding Loan?

There are no banks that give couples a “wedding loan”. Legitimate financial institutions are not stupid. Instead, people take out personal loans (like we did) or credit cards to cover wedding costs. Most people don’t realize that personal loans have sky-high interest rates, far worse than for mortgages. We got our “wedding loan” from a personal lender, not a financial institution, at a monthly interest rate that we didn’t know was going to go up to triple digits as an APR. We thought because we had jobs now we would be able to pay it off in a matter of months. Nope, we ended up paying it off for five years.

Do I Regret My Decision?

I don’t regret having an amazing wedding, but I certainly do regret taking out a personal loan to cover the costs. Our wedding loan pushed us deeper into debt, and crushed our dreams of owning a home before we turned 40. I realize now that we should have thought more about this decision, and perhaps taken advice from our families first.

Are There Any Alternatives?

Now that I’ve seen some of my friends getting married, I know there are plenty of alternatives to taking out personal loans to have an amazing wedding. You can always save money in advance, or sell old things for some extra cash. A friend of mine worked a second job just to book Hilton Miami for her wedding. Then there’s the option to just ask trusted family or friends for money.

If you two love each other, it’s possible to have a great wedding even with a hundred bucks. Don’t try to impress relatives like my husband and I did, and have a wedding that makes you two happy.

Would you ever take out a wedding loan?

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Erin Thompson

Erin Thompson spent years managing her own blog about budgeting and debt. Because of that, she has great insights not only about managing spending and borrowing but also about running websites profitably. When she's not writing articles for us, she's traveling and looking for new types of wines to try.
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