Do you know the most popular date to get married in the year is October 10th? It’s true and nearly half of all engagements happen between November and January. Right now wedding planning is on the minds of many people and we are here to help you stay mindful of wedding finance so you won’t get burnt.
We sat down with PayPal, global leader in digital payments and The Knot, #1 multi-platform for wedding resources, to learn about the spending habits of engaged millennial couples and how to avoid spending more money on the wedding than you planned to spend. 76% of couples end up spending more money on their wedding than they planned. We took a look at the new Wedding Finance Survey by PayPal and The Knot. Here is a snapshot of what the survey found ( you can also see the infographic ):
- 50% of couples have difficult discussions about their wedding budget
- Brides now prefer to pay for their weddings electronically
- 44% of couples wish they were able to make all vendor payments using their smartphones
- Most millennial couples will need to borrow money
- 57% of couples borrow money from a credit card or financial institution to finance their wedding
- Millennial couples marry later in life than other generations and they are more financially savvy
To put it short, electronic and mobile payments are becoming the norm in all facets of life, especially for paying wedding vendors. We chatted with Kristen Maxwell Cooper, deputy editor of The Knot and Amanda Miller, PayPal’s wedding expert, to get some insight on how brides and couples alike can save money, effectively manage wedding planning stress and truly live out their wedding dreams. Why The Knot? We see The Knot as a source of inspiration for brides and couples for wedding planning advice and finding local wedding professionals. We know how hard it is for couples to find the right local vendors, products and services when they need to plan and book so many things for their big wedding. From there, they need flexibility in how they pay for their services. That’s where PayPal comes in to help millennial couples because the digital payment application allows couples to have the freedom to choose how they buy, pay, send money and manage their wedding expenses. Through PayPal, couples can send money and quickly make deposits to vendors right from their smartphones. To us, that’s amazing, especially for last-minute details on the wedding day.
Planning a wedding requires so many steps in paying multiple vendors in multiple ways. Or at least that was the traditional way of wedding planning, but PayPal now gives couples the advantage to manage their payments and finances from a secure digital wallet which includes products such as peer-to-peer payments and the PayPal Credit. That’s the beauty of the digital age.
Here is what we learned from interviewing Amanda Miller, PayPal’s wedding expert, on how to wedding plan without stress and benefit from electronic payments:
Briana Booker: What are the benefits of setting a wedding budget immediately after getting engaged?
Amanda Miller: Setting a budget right away allows you to have a clear picture of your wedding from the get-go. The study revealed only one-third (31%) of couples set their wedding budget immediately after getting engaged, which may be why many (68%) brides find themselves thinking about their wedding budget and finances all the time. By discussing what’s important to you and your partner early on, you’ll know what’s important to each of you, which will help you decide where you can cut costs and where you should splurge. Setting a budget early on will help you think about the long-term effects as well and how you can manage finances together along the way. Are you willing to go into debt to pay for the wedding, and, if so, how long will it take you to pay off that debt? Is it easiest to set up a joint account to pay for all expenses, or divide up certain expenses between the two of you? Having these conversations up front and making note of your plan moving forward will help you avoid awkward conversations and tough decisions along the way.
BB: What tips would you offer brides looking to manage the finances and budget of the wedding planning process?
AM: Making a dream wedding a reality can require a lot of work and juggling of many tasks, from making payments to the florist to ordering multiple bridesmaid dresses–often on the go. That’s where PayPal can give indispensable support to ease the stress and difficulty of the big day planning. Using PayPal for all of your payments also turns it into a ledger so you can see all incoming and outgoing expenses instead of trying to keep track of paper checks and multiple credit card statements. Wedding planners have told us that sending an electronic payment for a deposit can give you an edge in securing that hard-to-find venue or must-have photographer who books up far in advance. For brides, it’s a relief when you start to check those big items off the list. Finally, the survey revealed couples want to pay for their wedding electronically and on their smartphones, and with PayPal, there are so many tools to do that literally at your fingertips.
BB: Do you have any tips on effectively factoring in the honeymoon budget early in the wedding process?
AM: The survey found that 65% of couples do not factor in the honeymoon when determining the wedding budget. Take a look at travel costs early on in the wedding planning process to get an idea of airfare and hotel costs in your top honeymoon destinations, and be sure to factor these into your overall wedding budget. One other idea is to forgo a traditional wedding registry and suggest wedding attendees use PayPal.me to send funds safely and directly to one account for a honeymoon fund, and give that instead of a “traditional” gift.
BB: How can brides reduce their wedding financial stress?
Planning ahead will allow you to enjoy your wedding day. Work with vendors that accept PayPal so you don’t have to worry about having cash on hand or remembering to bring your checkbook. My makeup artist and hair stylist both accepted PayPal, so I was able to pay them on my wedding day from my mobile phone. It was so easy! Having an open line of communication with your fiancé about financial topics will really help. We were surprised to find in the study that only 29% of couples manage the finances together throughout the wedding process. Finally, embrace DIY! Everything doesn’t have to be top of the line. Adding DIY elements can add personalization to your big day and save you money.
BB: What are the advantages of using electronic payments for wedding planning?
AM: With electronic payments, there are no checks lost in the mail or waiting for them to be cashed and clear. Using PayPal, you can also set up your payments in advance so you don’t have to remember to bring checks on your wedding day. You’ll definitely have other things to think about! 48% of couples worry about remembering to pay vendors on their wedding day, but with PayPal, your checkbook is one less thing to worry about.
BB: Do you have any other tips or information brides should know?
AM: We know from this study that 57% percent of couples plan to borrow money from a financial institution to pay for their wedding. If your fiancé has his heart set on a pricey band or you decide you have to have that gorgeous veil, PayPal Credit, the simple, flexible credit line built-in to your PayPal account, is there for those unexpected expenses. It’s interest-free for six months, making it the least expensive way to use credit.
To learn more go to the article Wedding Planners dish on how digital payments make life easier for brides and grooms. As for minimizing wedding planning stress, we asked Kristen Maxwell Cooper, Deputy Editor of The Knot. Here’s her tips on wedding planning and stay within the budget:
Briana Booker: Are you noticing any honey-mooning habits from millennial couples when it comes to wedding planning and budgeting?
Kristen Maxwell Cooper: 65% of couples don’t factor in their honeymoon when creating their wedding budget, and from The Knot Real Weddings Study, 24% of couples opt out of the honeymoon when money is tight. That said, eight in 10 couples (77%) still take a honeymoon, and top destinations include the Caribbean, the Continental United States, Mexico, Hawaii and Europe.
BB: Are millennial couples going for small intimate weddings or larger events in the digital age?
KMC: Couples are inviting fewer guests to their weddings, but they’re spending more on the weekend overall. In 2014, the average guest count was 136, down from 149 in 2009. However, couples are hosting more events throughout their wedding weekends: a welcome reception, rehearsal dinner, wedding ceremony and reception, and morning-after brunch.
BB: What insider knowledge can you offer on managing wedding plans and budget?
KMC: When it comes to budgeting, have the conversation early. Sit down with everyone who is contributing to the wedding financially, and see how much they’re comfortable spending. That way, you know what you have to work with when you begin the search for your venue, wedding gown, cake, etc.
BB: We’ve heard of a honeymooning trend called ‘megamoon’ where couples go on a super-sized honeymoon which can last weeks, months or even a year traveling to different locations. How is electronic payment helping this popular trend? Do you have any recommendations on planning megamoons?
KMC: Just as weddings are becoming more personal, honeymoons are now custom-fit to the couple’s personality, style and budget. Some couples opt for the traditional route of a one-week vacation immediately following their wedding, while others will take a shorter trip followed by a longer vacation, or “megamoon,” months later. Electronic payments are always helpful when booking travel–whether it’s a weekend driving trip to Vermont or a month-long trek around Europe, couples want the flexibility to pay however is most convenient for them.
We know that 65% of couples do not factor in the cost of the honeymoon when budgeting for their weddings, which can cause couples to go over budget. Often, the honeymoon is the first place that couples cut back when they’re trying to save on their weddings overall.
Thank you Amanda and Kristen for all the helpful information. We know it will come in handy for brides and couples wedding planning!
Survey Methodology:The Knot leveraged its exclusive XO Club panel for sample. All panel recruitment has been commissioned by Research Solutions Inc. to execute and analyze wedding finances among women who are engaged to be married in the next six months. Sample size: 1,111.
About The Knot: The Knot is the nation’s leading wedding resource, reaching nearly every couple in America through the #1 wedding website,TheKnot.com; mobile apps; The Knot national and local wedding magazines; The Knot book series; and syndicated columns in newspapers nationwide. The Knot is the flagship brand of XO Group Inc., the premier consumer Internet and media company dedicated to helping people navigate and enjoy life’s biggest moments together—from getting married to having a baby. Follow The Knot on social media @TheKnot.
About PayPal: At PayPal, puts people at the center of everything they do. Founded in 1998, the company continues to be at the forefront of the digital payments revolution; last year they processed 4 billion payments, of which 1 billion were made on mobile devices. PayPal gives people better ways to connect to their money and to each other, helping them securely access and move their money and offering a choice of how they would like to pay or be paid. With their 169 million active customer accounts, they have created an open and secure payments ecosystem that people and businesses choose to securely transact with each other online, in stores and on mobile devices. PayPal is a truly global payments platform that is available to people in 203 markets, allowing customers to get paid in more than 100 currencies, withdraw funds to their bank accounts in 57 currencies and hold balances in their PayPal accounts in 26 currencies. For more information on PayPal, visit About.PayPal-Corp.com. For PYPL financial information, visit Investor.PayPal-Corp.com.