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Planning the perfect wedding takes more than just creativity, organization and true love. It requires plenty of savings, a generous family and/or a working couple with a realistic budget and the ability to save.

According to Grouplend, in 2014, the average cost of a wedding in Canada was $31,685. Let’s put that number into perspective for a moment… A $31,685 budget means putting away $2,640.42 every month for one year (ouch)… A $30,000 budget means saving $625 per month for four years… Either way, if you’re going to tie the knot, you don’t just need to plan your wedding. You need to plan your wedding budget too.

The truth is that many of us are terrible at realistically predicting about our wants and needs. Staff at The Ring have talked to numerous couples over the past 10 years who have ended up literally doubling their original wedding budgets. How?? Not in one big crazy gigantic splurge, but little by little, over the course of thousands of wedding planning decisions and details. And since high interest credit cards are often the vehicle for this type of wedding debt, couples can end up with mortgage-sized credit card payments to kick off their new lives together.

Grouplend says many of their loan clients are past brides and grooms who have come to them in the wake of this predicament. “The wedding is a year gone-by, yet the credit card balance remains, accruing interest at 20%, amounting to worry, stress, and dollars wasted.” GroupLend says it’s about financing the right way, with the right rates, that can make the difference.

What you want to know…

• A $20,000 balance on a credit card at a typical rate of 20% can cost you as much as $9,600 in interest by the time the card has been paid off.

• Every time you use your credit card, repay it right away. Doing so is good for your finances, your peace of mind and for building a killer credit score!

• According to Grouplend, in 2014, the average cost of a wedding in Canada was $31,685 

• For a $30,000 budget, both the bride and groom would need to save $1,250 per month for one year.

• For a $15,000 budget, each would save $625 per month for one year.

• Plan to save: The Ring’s Savings Spreadsheet can help you determine how much you have to put away, for how long.

• Many couples forget that their wedding is a once in a lifetime event – keep your plans realistic.

• Master your cash flow – this will help you make sure you have the amount you need, when you need it, so that all your expenses are covered leading up to your wedding date.

• One way to cover the costs without breaking the bank is with a wedding loan. Loans can offer the financial flexibility to plan a realistic wedding budget without the need for a four year wedding savings plan.

• Grouplend allows brides and grooms to borrow anywhere from $1,000 to $30,000 for expenses related to the wedding, with financing that starts at 6.3% APR.

• Loans from Grouplend come with no fees, down payments or early repayment penalties.

• Grouplend says that borrowers are funded within 24 hours of filling out a quick 2-3 minute application for a quote and that applications will not affect your credit score – super important!

Key budget tools

• NEW! The Ring’s Wedding Savings Spreadsheet shows you how much you need to save, in how many months, to reach your wedding budget in time for your wedding date!• The Ring’s Wedding Budget Spreadsheet tells you what you’ll need to pay for everything from bridal gowns to beautiful bouquets.weddingbudgetsavingsplan-screencap

• NEW! Grouplend’s Wedding Loan Rate Checker gives you an idea about whether a loan is the best option for you or not (won’t affect credit score).

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