Getting married is an incredible lifetime achievement—congratulations!) Yet, as anyone who’s gotten married will tell you, weddings are expensive—and the potential financial minefields only get more prevalent as you build your future together.
We’re here to guide you around those minefields so you can avoid financial stress and focus on having fun at the reception, instead!
So You’re Engaged and Planning for the Future? Ask Your Partner These Questions
Before you tie the knot, it’s important that you’re on the same financial page as your partner. Asking your partner specific questions about their goals, budgeting experience, and even their outstanding debt is important. Not fun, but important.
The topic can feel taboo, but having these conversations can dispel a lot of tension and open the door to increased trust in your relationship. There’s even such a thing as financial intimacy, or the idea that being open about money can bring you and your partner closer together.
Here are a few questions to consider discussing with your future spouse:
What do your finances currently look like?
What are your financial goals? Do either of you have short- or long-term plans involving money, such as starting a business or saving for a house?
How proactive are you about saving or investing money?
How do you handle financial emergencies? Will it be a mutual priority to have an emergency fund?
Once you’ve made it through these conversations, you’ll be primed to tackle your first big financial test: your wedding.
Paying for Your Wedding: Not Exactly a Piece of Cake
Saved the date for your big day? Excellent! Time to start saving pennies, too.
Here’s a quick four-step roadmap to a financially-savvy celebration:
Realize how much weddings actually tend to cost: It’s more than you think.
In 2023, the average wedding costs nearly $30,000. Even if you plan on a low-cost celebration, hosting your loved ones will likely require unexpectedly significant funds. Do your research and then set your expectations.
Talk with your loved ones: Including your partner, your families, and anyone else with financial stakes in your wedding. Make sure you’re all clear upfront about who will be chipping in.
Make a budget: Based on the conversations you’ve had and the research you’ve done, decide on spending limits and promise yourself that you’ll stick to those numbers.
Figure out the best ways to save for your big day: For example, you could open separate savings accounts to keep your wedding fund distinct from your other assets. Your banking team can also help you set realistic savings goals or even walk you through your various personal loan options.
As you’re considering different methods for accumulating wedding savings, you’ll want to be able to trust the people giving you financial advice. That’s where a community bank can be indispensable. There, your bankers will treat you like a real person, give you their time and attention, and provide thoughtful advice tailored to your unique needs.
Planning for Your (Financial) Future Together: Here’s What to Consider
As beautiful as your wedding day will be, it’s important to think beyond your dream reception. Take some time with your future spouse to consider life after the honeymoon, which may involve the following financial considerations:
Whether you will be combining finances: One joint account, separate accounts, 50/50 split bills, or income-based expense sharing—there’s no wrong way to do it. That said, you do need to be honest about your expectations and committed to sticking with the plans you both make.
Big future goals you’d like to invest in: When you look at the future, what does it include? A house? Vacations every summer? A van full of cheerful children? A happy, easy retirement? These life chapters can feel far off now, but in reality, they’re just around the corner. Setting aside money for a down payment, college education, or retirement accounts now will pay off in spades later!
What your day-to-day will look like: When dating, getting used to a consistent stream of fun excursions and exciting milestones is easy. That doesn’t have to change when you get married, but having an honest heart-to-heart about how often things like vacations and nights out will happen can help make the transition to married life much easier.
Although these can be big discussions, they can also be exciting! Make a date night of it to celebrate making these decisions—it’s all part of building your future together.
When Life’s Important Moments Require Planning for the Future, We’re Here to Help
While examining your finances may not seem particularly celebratory, it’s a foundational activity that will make your wedding season—and the years to come—much more straightforward.
If you require any assistance with practical financial planning or savings tools geared to help you celebrate and plan for the future at the same time, BNC National Bank is here to help.
Schedule a meeting with our team! We’d love to hear your story and are excited to help you start your lives together on the best financial footing possible.
BNC National Bank, Member FDIC, Equal Housing Lender