Firstly, many congratulations on getting engaged, while this can be a very exciting time for any couple, it can also cause a major financial strain on both partners. The average cost of a wedding (including a honeymoon) in Ireland costs €24,427 (Source: WeddingsOnline, Jan 2017). Here are some top tips from your local credit union to help get prepared for your big day and avoid some financial pitfalls.
Top tip #1 Prepared a wedding budget (and stick to it!)
The first thing you should do to prepare for your wedding is to discuss the wedding budget with your partner. A useful tool is the wedding budget planner on the Competition and Consumer Protection’s consumer website. It will help you calculate all costs, big and small. It will help you to prioritise your spending, helping you decide what is really important for you on the big day and what can be cut.
Top tip # 2 Keep saving (even after the wedding!)
Identify any current savings and decide on a regular amount that you can afford to put aside on a regular basis until your big day. Why not open a joint account in the credit union (if available in your credit union) and start saving. You should try and save as much of the wedding costs as you can in advance and minimise the amount you need to borrow. If you are lucky enough to receive cash gifts for your wedding, why not lodge them into the credit union also, a safe place your money, where you can access when you want.
Top tip #3 Clear debts
Try and clear as many debts as you can such as credit cards, overdrafts, personal loans etc before you start saving. Starting married life with debt can create a headache for both partners as additional costs such as mortgages, education or childcare may occur in the future.
Top tip #4 Keeping account of your wedding spending
Once you have set your budget and start to purchase items for your wedding, it is a good idea to keep track of your spending to ensure you stick with your budget. There are several wedding budget apps available online or alternatively use an Excel spreadsheet to keep a record.
Top tip #5 Borrow wisely
If you are borrowing for your wedding, compare rates from all the financial providers. Many credit unions offer specific wedding loan products with competitive rates. They may also offer short term bridging finance to cover costs until wedding cash gifts are received. Borrow as little as possible and don’t be tempted to spread the payments too far into the future. This will cost you more in interest and could have an impact on your future plans. Avoid putting wedding expenses on credit cards and overdrafts as the APR on this type of finance can be high. By borrowing from the credit union you benefit from free loan protection, no hidden fees or charges and flexible repayment terms. Your local credit union has your best interests at heart, so try and support them as much as possible. For information on credit unions locally see www.creditunion.ie.
Top tip #6: Insurance (of all types!)
Consider taking out wedding insurance as it offers you more security if something does go wrong -such as cancellation, or a trader failing to deliver a service. Many insurance providers offer wedding insurance so make sure you know what the policy covers and compare costs before you buy.
If you are planning a honeymoon of a lifetime, ensure that you have all the cover you need when it comes to travel insurance. The credit union in partnership with Coveru.ie can offer competitive travel insurance rates that are exclusive to our members and will make sure you have the right level of cover for your honeymoon.
Top tip #7: After the wedding
If you are changing address or moving house after the wedding, make sure to bring your new address identification into the credit union (a utility bill, bank statement, revenue document etc). If you wish to change the name on the account from maiden name to married name (bring in marriage certificate also) and photographic ID such as a passport or drivers licence.
For information on Wedding Loans
For information on opening a joint account here