December continues to be the most popular month of the year for engagements, with 24% of couples typically embarking on planning their weddings in the New Year. Considering, the average couple will spend €66 per guest, (a quarter will even spend €80), and will invite 159 of their nearest and dearest, going over-budget is definitely something couples want to avoid when looking at their nuptial financial planning.
However a huge 50% of couples admit to doing just this. 15% said they went over-budget by as much as €5,000. On average, couples are now spending over €24,400 on their wedding and honeymoon – an 8% increase year on year*. And with the cost of wedding venues, bands and photographers all on the rise, it’s likely that many couples will need some guidance along the way to keep their spending in check.
Denis Dillane, CEO of Listowel Credit Union says: “Wedding costs are up right across the board. Bands were up by 25%, venues by 9% and photographers by 8% in the last year, so it’s understandable that even with the best intentions in the world, couples can end up spending a lot more than planned. Indeed, it’s expected that around 17% of couples will have to borrow to cover the costs. Here at Listowel Credit Union if you need to borrow, we are encouraging all of our members, including those who not have used our services in a while, to drop in for a chat when planning their special day.”
Denis says there are some items that should be on every couples’ wedding checklist to help ensure they don’t get into unnecessary debt:
• Start with setting a budget – and ensure you do so before you
approach any venues, dress shops or wedding vendors. It won’t be
the most exciting part of your wedding plan, but it’s essential to
avoiding unnecessary stress. If parents or relatives are helping
out with covering some costs, ensure they are involved in this
budgeting process also and that you arrive at a budget that
everyone is comfortable with.
• It goes without saying, but do your research. Shop around and
compare prices, even if you have seen your dream dress or chosen
your honeymoon accommodation, take a look at what competitors
are offering before you sign the dotted line.
• Be up front with your wedding vendors. Let them know that you are
working to a budget and be honest with them about how much you
are willing to spend and if it’s not a good fit, move on.
• Ensure that you read all contracts thoroughly before signing. Be
aware of deposits, and when you have to pay the total amount,
which is often in advance of the wedding. Pay attention to any
additional fees or charges. If you are uncomfortable with any fee or
clause in the contract, question it before you sign.
Denis continued “We understand that there will be couples who may want to borrow in order to make their dream day a reality. At Listowel Credit Union, we will only propose wedding loans with realistic terms, which can be paid back in a way that works best for each couple. We offer our wedding loan at the fair and reasonable rate of 9.41% APR**, and we don’t have any hidden transaction fees or charges. Should any couple wish to pay back their loan early, they can easily do so without incurring any penalty or additional fees.”
*All findings; www.weddingsonline.ie 2017 Wedding Survey
** For a €10,000, 5 year variable interest rate loan with 260 weekly repayments of €47.77, an interest Rate of 9%, a representative APR of 9.41%, the total amount payable by the member is €12,417.63. Information correct as at 06/02/2018.