Weddings are freaking expensive.  The average wedding costs close to $40,000. So what’s a newly engaged couple with their heart set on a fantastic wedding supposed to do?  While weddings at the ranch are way less expensive than the national average, it’s still not so cheap that you probably have the cost of the wedding hanging around in your bank account.

We’ll start with a few of the so-so, bad and downright awful ideas and then the really good ones.

Wedding loans

Wedding loans are becoming more and more popular and a lot of the interest rates are reasonable.  They’re not the worst idea in the world (I list that later), but starting your married life in debt isn’t fantastic either.  If you’re considering taking out a loan, take out as little as possible.  Don’t think to yourself that since you now have all this extra ‘free’ money you should increase your budget.

Remember that loans aren’t about borrowing more money than you have.  They are borrowing against the future money that you will have.  Never borrow more money than is reasonable for you to pay off and pay off as quickly as possible.

A wedding loan can be a fantastic way to get your wedding off the ground, but consider some of our other strategies first.  Here’s a few wedding loan companies for you to check out:

Credit cards

A credit card is very similar to a wedding loan, but I personally would probably go for a loan first.  Most credit cards, especially nowadays, will have a higher interest rate (although there are exceptions for sure).  Just like a loan, credit cards aren’t extra money.  Credit cards and loans are your future money that you won’t have to spend later.  According to a 2015 survey from The Knot, 32% of couples believe having access to credit and/or loans will allow them to spend beyond their budget. No! No no no!  Don’t do that.  Use your loaned money to stay within your budget and just meet the gap between what you’ve saved and what you originally planned on saving.  That’s the only smart way to do this.

Number one tip, find a credit card with zero percent interest. They do still exist.

Refinancing your home

Don’t do this.  I repeat don’t do this.  Again DON’T DO THIS.  I don’t care if the interest rate is lower than a credit card or loan– DON’T DO IT.  I would rather you don’t get married at our venue than find out you refinanced your home for one of our barn weddings.  Your home is far more important than a party, even an important party like a wedding.

Remember when the crap of life hits the fan, you could file bankruptcy and have loans and credit cards forgiven.  But you won’t keep your house if you owe the bank money and can’t afford to pay them.  Please don’t do this.

Ask friends and family for help

If you have supportive friends and family, ask them to help pay for the wedding instead of getting you a wedding gift.  That can cut out a significant chunk of the wedding cost.  We often suggest that you ask a different friend to purchase some alcohol for you each month leading up to your wedding.  It’s not a huge expense for each friend, but it could end up saving you a bundle!

Cut wedding costs

Probably one of the best strategies.  Want a wedding at our venue but can’t afford it?  Maybe get a cheaper dress, less fancy of a cake, don’t do an expensive boquet, and do your guests really need all those little favors they’re going to toss out anyways?  There’s all sorts of corners you can cut and still have an awesome wedding.

Read: Adorable and Useful $5 Wedding Deals You Can Get on Fiverr

Save up and Push your wedding date back

While you’re at it, there’s many other costs in your life you can cut back on so that you can save up money for your wedding.  Do you need that second or third car?  Do you need the biggest tv channel package?  Do you actually need that fancy phone or is it just for fun?  Figure out what you really need and where you want your priorities to lie.  You’d be amazed at how much money you can save when you stop spending all of it!  (Been there don’t that).

Also, it’s really trendy right now to schedule your wedding for about 6 months away.  Why stress yourselves out like that?  Schedule it a year or even two years in advance (assuming the venue lets you and as of now, we do).  The same price wedding package becomes very cheap when you have lots of time to make the payments.

Get on our payment plan

The nice thing about Flip Flop is that we offer a monthly payment plan to make paying for your wedding way easier.  A lot of venues require payments in thirds or even 50% up front!  Who has that kind of money?  Monthly payments distributes the cost of the wedding and makes it more reasonable.  Our all inclusive packages help keep your budget in check as well since they include just about everything you’ll need for your wedding.

Your best option is to save up enough money for the wedding (with the date a reasonable distance in the future) and then get on our payment plan. At the end of the day (or year), you’ll end up being able to save much more money than you would have guessed and have an even better wedding than you’d have thought possible without worrying about debt.  Again a wedding loan is ok to take out.  There’s nothing wrong with doing it, but make sure you only take out a reasonable amount and that you’re doing everything else right-saving, scheduling and booking with us 😉

Photo by Beyond Artistic Photography

How did you pay for your wedding?