The cameras are gone, the drinks have been drunk, the last slice of cake has been consumed, and everyone’s gone home…your wedding is over. The marriage, hopefully, lasts a lifetime.

But sometimes, it doesn’t, and while you’re thinking about that, consider this: Money-related arguments and financial stress are consistently reported as the top reasons for divorce.

It stands to reason if money problems can split up a once-happy couple, it’s not merely practical, but a potential marriage saver, to ditch the expensive wedding and focus those funds on building your future together.

According to wedding media company XO Group, the average wedding budget has soared to an all-time high of almost $30,000–and that’s not including the honeymoon. And, 1 in 8 couples spend more than $40,000 on their nuptuals.

Undoubtedly, weddings are fun and provide both the guests and couple with lifelong memories. But are those memories really worth starting out your married life deep in the red?

When you plan your wedding and your honeymoon, you need to determine a budget and stick to it. This should be as specific as assigning amounts to the cake, dress, reception hall and invitations. It is also important to realize that your budget is fluid. If you find the perfect dress, but it costs more than you planned on spending, you will need to cut that  from somewhere in your wedding budget. Many people will overspend in one category, then start spending like crazy, because they broke their budget. Be careful so that you do not fall into the same trap.

What Else Could Be Done with All That Money?

  • Pay off or make a sizable dent in your student loans
  • Pay off or make a sizable dent in your credit card debt
  • Put a down payment on a home
  • Furnish a new home
  • Invest for retirement, future children or simply to capitalize on compound growth
  • Buy a car (or two)
  • Create an emergency fund
  • Take a vacation

Look for areas to save money on your wedding. You may be able to save money by planning the wedding yourself instead of using a wedding planner. You can save money by shopping around for most of your services.

Additionally, you can save money by cutting back the number of people you invite. As you creatively consider your options you may be surprised at the amount of money you can save.

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