Getting engaged is a big milestone for any couple. You may envision lavish plans for your wedding day—a massive booze-filled celebration with loved ones—along with your future life together. While things may change as the big day approaches, you may not have been prepared for this year’s curveball: the coronavirus pandemic.
According to a recent LendingTree survey, 63% of engaged couples postponed their wedding due to the coronavirus pandemic, and 56% of postponed couples have lost money in the process. Whether you have already moved the date—or you are beginning the process—here are some new things to plan for.
According to The Knot’s 2019 Real Weddings Study, the average couple spends a whopping $33,900 on their wedding—and that doesn’t include the honeymoon. While postponing your wedding may be a big disappointment, it could be a unique opportunity to save more money for the event.
Because of the pandemic, Joel Kahn, Lifehacker’s
Senior Video Producer, postponed his 200-person wedding in upstate New York. Although the Brooklyn-based couple was looking forward to a fall wedding,
pushing it to June has been a good move for their wallets.
If your jobs haven’t been impacted by the pandemic, postponing could offer the chance to save more—which could mean borrowing less. Kahn said t
started watching their budget as soon as the pandemic began,
and cutting back on their travel, clothing, and dinners have paid off. “We’ve been saving so much that in the five months we’ve been staying home, we’ve saved enough to pay for the entire wedding next year,” he said.
Moving your wedding by six months—or even a year—could have a big impact on your total wedding budget. “Push it as long as you can and think of every paycheck that comes in as money you can be saving towards it later,” Kahn recommends.
G/O Media may get a commission
One of the downsides of moving your wedding is some vendors may be less flexible. LendingTree’s survey says the average postponed couple has lost $3,320.50 in nonrefundable deposits, payments, and fees, but many couples have been able to keep their original venue, cake baker, and photographer.
Not all vendors will charge you for the move, though. Kahn says they have managed to avoid paying a fee for all but one of their vendors. He says vendors may be thinking about the future—including referrals and online reviews—which may stop them from keeping deposits. “All of our vendors seem very understanding, and it never hurts to ask,” he adds.
Another benefit of the longer timeline is more time to save for your honeymoon, or build up more travel rewards to pay for the cost of your future trip. “Our goal over the next year is to rack up as many points as we can just by spending normally and perhaps charging some wedding stuff,” says Kahn. Once the pandemic dies down—and it’s safe to travel internationally—they play to spend the points they have accrued on honeymoon travel.
Unfortunately, the coronavirus pandemic has impacted many weddings, but it doesn’t have to ruin your future plans. As you’re rebooking the date and vendors, try to stay flexible. Depending on the day or season you choose, you may even score some discounts. Also, some older or immunocompromised guests may not attend. “We consider that a trade-off because of course we want them there—but for every person that doesn’t come, we will save money because we don’t have to feed t