Getting Married

Congratulations! You’re planning to get married or you recently did. Welcome to the world of merged finances—where spouses may have joint debts and household expenses, bills and investment decisions, and income tax returns. They also may have value conflicts. The key to financial harmony: planning and communication. The checklist on on the left will get you started.

Your wedding is a special day. Don’t let it get too special.

Ready for your first financial decision as a couple? Planning your wedding and reception. Your goal: have the wedding of your dreams without crippling yourselves financially.

Reduce the cost of getting married by taking aim at what is generally the largest expense—the reception. Consider holding it at a less-expensive location or in the late fall instead of the summer. The timing of a wedding reception and honeymoon can have a big impact on the costs.

Use “The Rule of Three” to compare at least three providers of every wedding product or service (gown, gifts for the wedding party, photographer, reception hall, honeymoon). Attend bridal shows to efficiently shop around.

Try not to put wedding expenses on a credit card unless you plan to repay the balance quickly. Otherwise, you’ll be paying for your wedding for decades.

For example, if you incur $10,000 in expenses and make 2 percent (of the outstanding balance) minimum payments on an 18 percent credit card, it will take more than 50 years to repay this debt and cost more than $28,000 in interest charges.


© 2005 National Endowment for Financial Education


Plan Your WeddingPrepare FinanciallyReview Your InsuranceEstablish a BudgetBuild a Financial Safety NetManage Your CreditKnow What to do if You RemarryConsider Your Taxes
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