Wedding Financial Planning
As a parent, you may wonder how much money you’ll need to save for your child’s wedding. Gone are the days when the bride’s parents footed most of the bill. The bride and groom paying for the entire wedding is more common than you’d think; however, many parents do still wish to contribute some money to the wedding.
The first thing to do before developing a wedding savings plan is to talk with your spouse about how much you are willing to contribute. Some families choose to give the bride and groom a set dollar amount for them to use on whatever they’d like, while others choose to pay for specific things, such as the wedding dress, food at the reception, flowers, or invitations. You’ll also want to decide on how much to give each child. Regardless of what you plan to give, you and your spouse should be in agreement on the amount.
Saving for a wedding should be prioritized behind college savings and your personal retirement savings. Some parents end up dipping into their retirement savings or home equity to fund their child’s wedding. Instead, start early, and save a small amount regularly to have a good amount saved in advance for your child’s wedding.
The earlier you start, the more aggressive your savings vehicle can be. If you are starting well before your kids are teens, consider stocks or mutual funds. However, if you are saving close to the wedding date, a money market account may be more appropriate.
Once your child decides to get married, you and your spouse should sit down with your child and his or her fiancé to discuss how much you are prepared to give. Be open and honest in your communication so there is no confusion later. If you plan to pay for specific items, be prepared for these items to cost more than you may expect. Giving a set dollar amount is a good way to avoid variability.
Following these steps will ensure you enjoy your child’s wedding day–without financial stress or family disagreements.