Weddings are expensive and many a bride and groom have wished for a wedding finance company to help them achieve their dream wedding. Thankfully, now there is just such a plan. Learn how you can take advantage of it in this interview with the owner of Wedding Payment Plan, LLC, Scott Almedia.
Advice About Financing Your Dream Wedding
What is the cost of the average wedding?
Depending on which industry reports you read, it can range from over $20,000 to around $17,000. However, there are large variations from these averages based on the area of the country a couple lives in and the type of wedding they want.
How are weddings traditionally paid for?
Weddings have traditionally been paid for by the parents of the bride. However, that has changed dramatically over the last 20 years. Today, both sets of parents typically contribute to the cost either directly or with "gifts," and the couple typically picks up what is not covered by the parents.
In addition, many couples are opting to pay for the event themselves because they may be more established and their parents already paid for college and perhaps a secondary degree. Today's brides and grooms are not the brides and grooms of 20 years ago.
About Wedding Payment Plans
How does your Wedding Payment Plan work?
Wedding Payment Plan is a loan product that allows brides/grooms/families to pay for their wedding over time. Currently, Wedding Payment Plan pays for the wedding venue or caterer and anything that is included with each of those. Clients apply for the loan and the payment is made directly to the venue or caterer.
Is it wise to use a wedding finance company?
Each person's situation is different so to answer absolutely "yes" or "no" would be wrong. Some people would never borrow money to purchase a car; others would never put groceries or clothes on a credit card. For those people, financing a wedding probably doesn't work.
Other people are more comfortable with credit so it may make more sense. I would advise people against depleting their savings to an unsafe level to pay for a wedding because they may put their overall financial health at risk. If someone was comfortable borrowing for a wedding, I would suggest that they do it in the smartest possible way, which may not be credit cards because the rates are adjustable and the fees can be very high. I would probably advise against a 401k loan because there are studies that show the negative long term effects of that on your retirement savings can be dramatic.
A better option may be a fixed-rate, fixed-term personal loan at a reasonable rate. Most things in life are best done in moderation, so if someone is thinking about the best way to pay for the big day they may want to contemplate a nice balance of savings and loans, but it is best to keep in mind what works for them today as well as after the wedding day!
Is getting approval difficult?
Wedding Payment Plan focuses solely on wedding loans so our program and product is made for this event. As such, we make the process very easy for our clients. The approval process typically can be completed in as quickly as a few hours to as long as a day depending on our daily volumes. Our clients typically have good credit which allows us to offer such competitive interest rates (7.90 percent to 11.90 percent depending on the term of the loan).
How long is a wedding financed for?
We find that people typically like the financial flexibility offered by the longer terms (48 to 60 months) because with our product there is no prepayment penalty.
Saving on Your Wedding
How can couples save on their wedding?
The easiest way for couples to reduce the cost of their wedding is to cut back on their guest list, because the size of their guest list has the greatest impact on the overall cost. Although this can also be the hardest place to cut because there are so many outside factors that tend to influence the guest list; not the least is parents on both sides!
Couples can get a big break by getting married at a time other than Saturday night. Try to pick an "off" day; a Friday night or Sunday can save couples greatly on the cost of the venue they choose. If you choose a time of year that is traditionally slow for venues you may be able to get preferred pricing. In the northeast some venues offer winter wedding discounts. Another way to save is to move the wedding to the suburbs rather than downtown because the suburbs tend to be less expensive.
Just like any other product you purchase, shop around and don't be afraid to ask for discounted prices. I think if I told a bride I would give her $200 for 30 seconds of discomfort she would sign-up immediately but when you tell that same bride to ask for discounts from wedding vendors, they don't necessarily think of it the same way. Just asking can save hundreds of dollars.
Finally, talk to your vendors about what you want and how much you want to spend. The vendors may have some creative ways to help you get what you want, even if it means not working together. Your vendors value their time and if you don't value it the same as they do, you probably shouldn't work together. Certain photographers have one price if you want to hire them and a lower price if you will work with one of their employees that they have trained. That way you get the firm and style you want but a price that works for you.
What are the costliest components of the average wedding?
The largest single cost of a wedding tends to be the venue/catering. That's because it is the one cost driven by the number of guests. There are some exceptions, but that is the general rule.
Money Saving Tips
What tips can you share for couples who want to save money while they plan their wedding?
The best way to save money while you plan for your wedding is to sit down and come up with a realistic budget. You need to take into account how much you spend on monthly expenses and look at how much you make each month. The hardest part of this is to be completely, 100 percent realistic so that you have a true picture of how much you can save.
Couples need to keep in mind not only the surprise negatives--unexpected auto bills, increases in insurance premiums and rent--but also those nice surprise positives like tax refunds, bonus checks, or gifts. Once all the information is down on paper, they will have a much easier time figuring out exactly how they can save.
What else would you like to share?
Keep in mind throughout the process that this an important day for you and your family and friends. Most importantly, figure out what exactly is important to you and focus on those aspects the most. By doing that, the things that are important to you will shine and those aspects that are not quite as important will not be the focus.
If you love flowers as centerpieces but don't really care about as much about the music that is played then maybe move your budget to the centerpieces and find a way to cut on the music. As long as you focus on what is important to you, the day will be perfect!
Learn More About Wedding Financing
To learn more about using a wedding finance company, visit Wedding Payment Plan. Then, if you feel financing your wedding is right for you, fill out the application and get ready to have your dream wedding.