How you Shouldn’t Use your Credit Card to Fund your Wedding

Chelsy Meyer

Flower arrangements, venues, catering, drinks, rings, tuxes, and of course, the dress — the list goes on and on. Weddings aren’t the same for everyone, but they are generally not the cheapest expense. The average cost of a wedding was $35,329 in 2016, up from $32,641 in 2015. The wedding industry is booming and couples everywhere are finding ways to tie the knot in more extravagant and unique ways every day.

Even if your special day isn’t in the high, or even the average price range, chances are you don’t just have that much liquid cash lying around to pay for the many expenses involved with wedding planning. If you’re considering using your credit card for funding your big day, it’s best to understand how you shouldn’t use your credit card for wedding expenses in order to use it responsibly.

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The Positives of Having a Wedding Credit Card

Using a credit card to fund a wedding is a pretty common practice, and it’s not financially irresponsible in itself to utilize it for wedding expenses. You get yourself — and your credit score — into trouble when you start purchasing things for your wedding that you can’t actually afford. The way around this is to create a wedding budget that makes sense with your finances. However, it can still be confusing to blend your credit card with wedding spending because it can be hard to keep track of which expenses are for what. In order to remedy this issue, you may consider getting a credit card just for your wedding. This will help you stick to your budget and pay attention to your expenditures.

If you do choose to open a credit card for your wedding, choose one that is the best for your situation. Having a few different credit cards isn’t dangerous for your credit as long as you use them responsibly. You can budget a credit card to be paid off within one year, and open a credit card that has a 0 percent introductory rate for the first year. Alternatively, you can get a credit card that has rewards miles in order to help you travel for your honeymoon and lower those expenses at the same time.

The Dangers of Overspending

What you shouldn’t do with your wedding credit card, or your wedding purchases on your normal credit card, is spend frivolously. It’s easier to overspend on a credit card than it is to overspend from your savings or checking account. With so much going on in the planning process, it’s hard to keep track of how much you’ve spent, what you’ve paid off, and how much you really have left. “Put it on the card,” is an easy solution to surprise expenses. With continuous spending, and continuous payments on the card, it’s easy for things to get lost, and ultimately wind up blowing your budget.

Having multiple credit cards is okay, but each person’s situation is different. Taking out a wedding credit card and maxing it out may hurt your credit score due to the aspect of your credit affected by how much debt you’re carrying versus your total credit limit. It’s too difficult to generalize a rule, since everyone’s financial history is different, so be sure to talk to a banker about utilizing a credit card for these purchases. It’s important to note the dangers in overspending and how easy it is to do before committing to using your credit card as your main means of funding your wedding.

Knowing your Best Loan Options

If you’re concerned about the negatives associated with credit card use, you may be interested in looking at the loan options best for your situation. A loan option may be better if you’re concerned with the dangers of overspending associated with using a credit card. A loan may offer a lower interest rate as well, depending on your credit. Although, zero percent APR on a credit card is hard to beat — unless you can’t pay off the entirety of your credit card in that amount of time. With a wedding loan, you can take your time paying it off instead of worrying about the deadline associated with zero percent APR on a credit card. If you or your spouse has bad credit, you can use a family member as a co-signer to lower your interest as well.

Accumulating more Debt

When you’re planning your wedding, consider your budget in terms of how you and your spouse will financially enter your marriage. Not all debt is bad debt, but entering into your marriage and attempting to blend finances together is difficult as it is. When you’re blending finances and your first joint financial decision is to create more debt, that can lead to issues down the road.

If both of you are coming into your marriage with a lot of personal debt, it may be best to consider staying away from more credit card debt in order to have a wedding. Waiting, saving, and having a simple wedding that works within your financial means might be the perfect solution. The key is not to lose sight of what’s really important within your marriage and not lay all of your finances on the line for a wedding when a marriage also involves mortgages, children, and other large expenses.

When you’re considering how not to use a credit card to fund a wedding, it’s important to understand that the biggest concerns are with overspending and accumulating more debt within your new marriage. Of course, many choose to go that route if it’s right for them, and for you it may be. Credit cards that have no initial interest and airline perks might be perfect for your situation. For others a loan may be ideal, and some may prefer not to accumulate more debt with their wedding at all. If you are choosing a credit card for your wedding purchases, be sure to stay within your budget and away from accumulating too much more debt for the two of you.

What should you use your credit card for? Find out at our credit card resource center.

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