Five Tips for Charging Your Wedding Expenses

For many people their wedding will be one of the most expensive events in their life. Chances are, you may not have the cash on hand to pay for it all up front. If you do end up having to charge parts (or even, all) of your wedding, we have some tips on how to do it the smart way.

Pick Your Card Wisely

It’s easier to use a card that you already have rather than opening up a new one. Look at your cards and weigh out which ones have the highest limits. You may not use your entire credit line, but it’s good to have the cushioning of a high limit. If your cards don’t have limits as high as you’d like, go ahead and call your credit card company and ask for your limit to be raised. As long as you’re in good standing, there really shouldn’t be a big issue. You can even mention that you’re getting married soon and have lots of expenses coming up. If you do plan on opening a new card, shop what’s out there. It’s easiest to pick cards that don’t have annual fees, so you don’t get extra charges just to spend your money.

Know Your Extras

When you’re picking out your card, know what the card’s benefits are. Most cards have some form of rewards or cash back programs associated with them. If you play these rewards right, you can use your rewards for fun things (like a honeymoon!). For example, some cards do a higher cash back percentage when you spend money on gas than it does on groceries. If you use one specific card to pay for all your gas (or even offer to pay for gas as your cut for your bachelorette party), you can use those rewards later. There are lots of travel-based cards that offer great rewards that are redeemable on hotel stays and airfare. Just don’t get caught up charging everything because you get a percentage back- remember you’re not saving money by spending it. Before you pick a card to match with an expense, do some research on your card’s website to make sure your purchases will qualify for the most rewards possible. Some cash back rewards extras may also cut off after a certain amount (i.e., 5% cashback up to $1000 in purchases), so keep that in mind in your budget.

Be Realistic

Once you’ve shopped around for your wedding, you’ll probably have a ballpark idea of how much you’ll end up spending. With this budget in mind, realistically figure out how long it will take for you to pay off. By realistically, we mean give yourself some leeway in case you can’t always pay off as much as you’d like. If you have these numbers in mind you may be able to haggle with your bank for a better interest rate. Banks are most concerned with getting their money back, and if you are able to present a plan of action to get them paid, they will be more likely to help you out too (author’s note: by presenting a plan to my bank I was able to get my interest rates lowered before I put school charges on my credit card!).

Know What To Charge

Even if you have a high credit limit, try not to be tempted to max it out. Ideally, you want your credit utilization to be around 10-30% (if you have a credit card with $100 limit, you want to keep your spending on that card to $10-$30). That’s a safe range that won’t hurt your credit score. Plan what you will be paying for with plastic before you checkout. Stick to only charging the expenses that you planned on (and not that 2nd sugar-free energy drink of the day or spontaneous snack- all those charges really add up!) to keep your spending and payments on track.

Pay As You Go

If you can afford to pay off your credit cards a little more than you anticipated- go for it! If you plan on paying off $800 a month but have an extra few dollars lying around, put it towards the cause. You can even do little side projects to help pay off your credit cards, like selling your old clothes to consignment stores or old furniture on craigslist. Even small amounts like recycling cans can add up and over time take a serious chunk out of your credit card debt.


Five Budget Friendly Wedding Ideas

Who doesn’t love to save money? Even brides with mega-sized budgets want to save cash in one place so they can spend more in another. Budget simply means getting more bang for your buck! Bridal Hot List has narrowed down five of the most practical and classy budget friendly wedding ideas to use in planning for your big day!


1. Limit your bar to beer, wine, & champagne only. The majority of guests will have more than just one drink during the celebration, so offering a nice array of beers, red, and white wine will satisfy these folks throughout the meal and reception. It is also difficult to plan for hard alcohol drinks with all the different brand choices and mixer preferences that might be ordered. The hard liquor drinkers will either choose an alternative beverage, or hit a bar on the way home. Eliminating hard liquor from the reception also reduces the chances of possible over consumption and resulting horror stories courtesy of your guests!

2. Enlist a talented friend or family member for beauty services. Here’s why: licensed professionals charge more because they bring their own make up & fresh applicators, plus the cost of advertising and opportunity cost for not being available to other clients all day. They also charge brides extra because they see dollar signs! There’s a good chance that out of all the women (& men) you or your friends and family know, somebody has a knack for applying make-up and/or styling hair. Ask around and start contacting these people for a trial. They don’t have to be professionals or have a portfolio, but you do have to love their work and feel comfortable with them. You already have make up that works for you, and plenty of it. Your bridesmaids do too. Why not use what you already have & work it?

3. Cut your floral costs. There are a few things you can do to keep your floral costs low. The first is to choose a floral scheme that only includes blooms that are in season. This not only makes sense financially, but will tie your wedding in with the season it takes place. Second, talk to your florist about incorporating greens to ‘fill out’ arrangements. Fronds from palms and ferns add an exotic and dramatic touch to centerpieces and décor. Lastly, have your florist set up sturdy vases with water at your table and where your bridal party will sit. Your bouquets will have a special place to go, instead of lying on the table looking all sad & wilted!

4. Order plain invitations & add fancy details yourself. Unless you absolutely hate doing crafts, this idea will please your wallet as well as your creative side. You can glue on lace, feathers, decals, add monogrammed stickers, tie on a ribbon….whatever you like! But, don’t over-do it! Be sure to order extra invitations to practice on and have someone you trust give you honest feedback. Also, factor in postage. Extra large, heavy, or awkward envelope shapes may need extra stamps. You’re well on your way to expensive looking invitations that you can take pride in!

5. Choose a Friday or a Sunday for your wedding day. Saturday is typically the most expensive day to book a venue for your wedding, because it is the most popular! Most people don’t mind taking Friday off work and enjoying a long weekend for the sake of attending your lovely wedding. If you have it on a Sunday, a daytime wedding is equally delightful, and gives your guests plenty of time to travel to your venue the night before and check into their hotel room. Extra party points if you invite your guests out to drinks after the rehearsal dinner!

Budget saving ideas are actually really all about incorporating creativity into your wedding and affording you freedom to splurge on the things you want. If you find yourself fretting about money as you plan your trip down the aisle, one or all of these ideas will slash costs without sacrificing quality.