With the average wedding now costing over £20,000 in the UK, many couples are still paying their wedding loans some 6 years after their big day. To avoid financial problems, here’s a look at how to better budget for your wedding day.
Legal & General recently held its fourth #MoneyHangout on “Marriage and Money”, in partnership with Google.
Peta Hunt, editor-at-large at You & Your Wedding magazine was the host of the Hangout. Peta was joined by independent experts Jo Edwards, family lawyer and chair at the members’ body, Resolution, and Laura Whitcombe, deputy editor at Moneywise.
As covered in this session, here’s a look at five top tips about marriage and money:
- Work out a realistic wedding budget and then stick to it.
You just need to pay a few hundred pounds to register your marriage and get a certificate. They’re your mandatory costs, everything else is up to you.
So, work out your budget, prioritise what’s important and find opportunities to cut costs.
If you can, do some shopping in the sales or have a look in charity shops, you may well be surprised at what bargains you can get.
Consider the day and the time of year you get married as both can make a real difference in venue hire fees.
If you’ve got a friend that’s a photographer or perhaps baker, go ahead and ask if they will help you out. They may well be delighted to offer you a good deal.
- Financial transparency is the key to any relationship.
Once you’re married, you become responsible for each other’s financial behaviour. Quite simply, if one of you runs up a debt or misses a payment in a joint account, then you become jointly liable.
Make sure you talk to each other about your financial matters (and other matters of course!), address any elephants in the room and know what you’re getting into.
- Pre-nups aren’t for just for the ultra-wealthy, they can be for everyone.
According to the latest ONS report, the average marriage lasts about 11 years in the UK. Whilst you hope that you will not fall in and be part of these statistics, it’s prudent to be prepared just in case.
A pre-nuptial agreement can be a good option for many people. Remember though that if you want a pre-nup to be upheld, you need to have it signed at least 4 weeks before you get married. That means you need to working with a lawyer some 2-3 months in advance of your wedding to make sure it’s ready in time.
- If you’ve got children from a previous marriage, or are getting re-married, consider whether you need professional advice.
If you have financial obligations from a previous relationship, or example if you’re a stepfather and get divorced, it may be worth seeking advice about whether you might still be financially responsible for your step-children.
If you have concerns you may find the Child Maintenance Service website a useful of guidance.
- The fact is you marriage will either end through separation or death and so you need to prepare accordingly.
Getting a will may feel an unnecessary piece of work and cost but it is worth it in the long term, especially if you have a family.
Making a will doesn’t need to be expensive but you should seek legal advice to ensure your wishes will be upheld.
If you’re looking to cut costs, in November each year some solicitors will waive the will-writing fee in return for a small donation to charity. Visit the Will Aid website to find a participating solicitor near you.