Here comes the bride-here comes the cost

It’s celebrity weddings-plenty at the moment with England stars John Terry, Gary Neville, Steven Gerrard and Michael Carrick all tying the knot recently. With glamorous locations and celebrity guest lists a must, not even the richest footballers will find getting hitched a cheap affair.

Last summer Cheryl Tweedy of Girls Aloud and ‘Cashley’ Cole of Chelsea FC spent a reported £100,000 on the wedding of the year – not a problem for the likes of Cheryl and Ashley, particularly when OK! Magazine were footing the bill and paying them a reported £1 million for the photo rights.

But the average UK wedding still costs a hefty £19,500, and if OK! isn’t picking up your bill then you had better read on for MoneyExpert’s top wedding finance tips.

Pricey

Here are the major expenses of a wedding:

1. Reception: around £7,000
2. Rings: £2,500
3. Honeymoon: £2,000
4. Bridal dress, music, photography: £1,000 or more each

Save yourself hassle

The good news is that if you start planning your wedding well in advance then you should be able to accommodate these costs. A savings pot is going to be essential to affording the wedding you want – so start putting a percentage of your salary away each month as soon as you think you know the date of your wedding.

Opt for an ISA which will allow you to save £3000 tax free at rates as high as 5%, but still give you quick access to your cash when you need it. Halifax, Citibank, HSBC and Cahoot all offer account with rates been 5-6%. Check your savings rates here

Cover the cost with a loan

Another option is an unsecured loan. Many lenders will offer you an unsecured loan of up to £20,000 which should be enough to cover the cost of most weddings. It’ll also be cheaper than putting debt on credit cards as 0% deals run out after only a year, which doesn’t give you long to pay back the costs.

Alternatively you could take a smaller loan and use it to cover a part of your wedding such as the honeymoon of your dreams. Essentially an unsecured loan is your promise to repay a certain amount of money back to a lender every month. For a £10,000 loan with a rate of 6.9% over five years you’d only have to find £197 per month to pay it off.

Check out the table below for the best personal loan deals:

Based on borrowing £5,000 over 3 years

Provider Typical APR
Moneyback Bank 6.3%
yourpersonalloan.co.uk (homeownersonly) 6.3%
Alliance & Leicester 6.4%
Northern Rock 6.9%

Compare loans today

Dealing with disaster

You’ve got the wedding planned and the big day is upon you, but what happens if the bride has an accident or your reception venue burns down the night before? If disaster should strike and you have to call the wedding off, on top of the emotional nightmare the cost to you could be huge. A number of specialist companies such as Wedding Insurance and Wedding Plan Insurance will cover your big day for around £50. This could give you some peace of mind should things go wrong.

A wedding is one of the biggest expenses most of us will ever have to cough up for so it’s worth figuring out how you are going to pay for it. By combining your savings with a loan and putting a bit on the credit card you should just about be able to cover things. Be realistic about what you can afford, because unless OK! are picking up the tab you’ll end up paying even more than you thought…

Click through to MoneyExpert for more money saving ideas today

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