After the initial bliss of getting engaged wears off and reality sets in, the first thought about your upcoming nuptials may be “How are we going to afford the wedding?”

If you can’t afford to spend thousands on a wedding, that’s perfectly fine. There are many options that can help you enjoy your special day without accumulating debt. And, there are ways to use credit to fund your wedding expenses to your advantage. The key is balancing cash and credit to your advantage with the goal in mind of remaining debt free after you’ve said your I do’s.

Determine What’s Important
After the engagement, it’s easy to get caught up in the frenzy of planning a wedding. After all, this is, and will be, a seminal event in your life. You want it to be perfect, and to that end, a conversation should happen with you and your partner. What’s important? What would be ideal? What would be nice? Above all, what does your budget look like and what can you reasonably afford without going into debt?

Going to the justice of the peace or eloping are both options that might save you time and cash. These options allow you to save money by eliminating the costs associated with inviting people to share your special day.

Destination Wedding
Some couples opt for a “destination wedding,” which means marrying at a fun or exotic location at least 100 miles from where the bride lives. This, of course, makes the options endless. It could be a romantic trip for just the two of you, or you can invite your family and friends. Depending on how you manage it, this option can cost a little more than the price of a vacation.

Traditional Wedding
A traditional wedding and reception can come with a long list of items you’ll have to pay for. The good news is that with a little ingenuity, you can save money on just about everything. Opt for renting your dress from a company or purchase a gently worn dress – both have the potential for reducing the cost of a wedding dress.

As you and your partner put your plastic to the test, this is a good opportunity to check in with one another to make sure you’re both on the same financial page. Consider balancing your wants and needs with the reality of what you can afford. Your credit card and your bank account will be thankful.

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