Should You Save Your Wedding Budget for the Honeymoon or a House?

A person adds coins to a wedding savings jar

A wedding budget is up to each inpidual couple. The same goes when it comes to just how you spend that wedding budget. A large budget leaves some to wonder if maybe they should be putting it away in savings towards a down payment for a house or a rainy day fund. You may even think about cutting the budget and saving for a big honeymoon. We have a few things for you to think about while you make this decision.

The Wedding

I was one of those little girls that dreamed of a big wedding for as long as I could remember. I had no clue what weddings cost and I didn’t care. But when it came time to plan my wedding, it was a rude awakening. I was given a pretty nice sum of money and was told I could do whatever I wanted with it. We chose to spend it on a big wedding and paid for our honeymoon out of our own pockets. Personally it was the best choice for us. Weddings add up, and a $20,000 wedding is almost considered inexpensive these days.

A newlywed couple embracing

While it was worth it to us, it also depends on how you’ve saved your money before your wedding and what you want for your immediate future. The reality is that each couple makes their own wedding budget. Some pay for it out of their own pockets. Some are given a certain amount of money and told to stick to that budget. You can have a backyard wedding with all your own clothing, catering, and vendors for a few hundred dollars if you want to really stretch your budget. You could also have an over-the-top fairytale wedding for a million if you have an extremely large budget.

Most couples fall somewhere in the middle. If you want to take away all the stress of a big time budget and put it towards something else in your future, you can go down to the Justice of the Peace and seal the deal for much less. Take a moment and decide what’s important to you. Do you want beautiful wedding memories of that one special day or would you rather have honeymoon memories of an amazing vacation with your new spouse? Do you want to put money towards your forever home where you will make memories on a daily basis?

A couple sits in a meadow together

The Honeymoon

A honeymoon doesn’t have to cost thousands of dollars. In fact, your honeymoon could just be a little chunk out of your bigger wedding budget. You can go local or stay in the same state. Not everyone gets on a flight to Bora Bora and plans to spend $10,000. Yes, you can go really big on a honeymoon just the same as you can go really small.

We thought we were being smart by choosing an all inclusive package to the Bahamas. We forked over about $6,000 for the package and our flights. It felt like a pretty large amount of money, but your honeymoon is once in a lifetime. The problem many people forget is that souvenirs, forgotten items, and anything extra adds up on your vacation. Spending a few hundred more is easy. Whether you’re spending your wedding budget or digging in your pockets from another account, remember extras add up. Yes, a honeymoon is something you will remember forever and tell stories about your romantic first vacation as a married couple. However, you will probably go on some really neat vacations together in your lifetime. A trip to Disney World ten years after you get married with the kids might trump your tropical vacation memories.

A honeymoon is a vacation together celebrating the first days of being man and wife so you can make it what you want. You can even honeymoon on your couch shutting out the real world if you choose.

A couple looking at a representation of their future home

The House

A house down payment is probably much more than your wedding budget. If you want to make a dent in your home’s down payment savings fund by placing your wedding budget in it, go for it, but it might not make a huge difference depending on where you want to live. That is, unless your wedding budget is over $100,000 or you plan on buying a less expensive home.

There are some factors to think about when considering this option. You may already own a home together before you get married so it’s not even in the cards. You may be combining your households and selling one so you have a leftover fund. You also could be renting a home or living with your parents and are looking toward the future of home ownership. If you have no savings and no house fund set up in either of your names, your wedding budget may come in handy.

You will need somewhere to live, that’s a given. Your parents on either side probably don’t want you shacking up with them for a few years. Many people call a couple’s first home a starter home, meaning you might not be there forever. This means you don’t have to spend as much on it as you look towards the future and save for your true forever home. This is all up to each inpidual couple and their living situation.

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