Here's How Long It Will Take You to Save for a Wedding

Many or all of the products here are from our partners that compensate us. It’s how we make money. But our editorial integrity ensures our experts’ opinions aren’t influenced by compensation. Terms may apply to offers listed on this page. APY = Annual Percentage Yield. APYs are subject to change at any time without notice.

KEY POINTS

  • The average cost of a wedding was $30,000 in 2022.
  • It can take a long time to save that much, but there are ways to reduce costs, including limiting the number of guests and being creative with your venue.

A bigger wedding is going to require larger monthly contributions or a longer deadline.

If you're tying the knot soon, you'll have to decide what to do about paying for your wedding. This could be a huge financial burden, since the average cost of a wedding was $30,000 in 2022, according to The Knot.

If you're eager to get down the aisle as soon as possible, here's what you need to know about how long it could take you to save up for this big expense.

How long will it take to save your wedding money?

The length of time it's going to take you to save for your wedding depends on two primary factors:

  • How much you'll have to spend out-of-pocket
  • The amount you can contribute to your wedding savings account each month

Often, when you are saving for large financial goals that are far down the line, you'd invest money in a brokerage account and buy stocks or bonds with it. This would (hopefully) allow you to earn a generous return on your investment that helps you more easily accomplish your goal.

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If you're saving for a wedding though, you probably aren't going to want to do that -- unless your wedding is a long time in the future. You generally should not invest money that you plan to use within the next five years or so because you could time things badly and end up having to sell at a loss during a market downturn. (With a longer time horizon, this is less of a risk since recoveries inevitably follow downturns, so you'd stand a good chance of making some money before you sell.)

If you can't count on much, if any, return to help you meet your savings goal, you should divide your target wedding fund amount by the amount you can contribute to savings each month.

Say you want to spend that $30,000 mentioned above and you have $500 a month to save for it. It would take you 60 months, or five years, to save for your wedding. If, on the other hand, you opted for a scaled-down wedding costing $20,000 and could save $1,000 a month, it would take you just 20 months, or a little over a year and a half.

How can you afford your wedding?

Ideally, you'll be happy with the timeline when you figure out how much to save for your wedding. But if you're planning a very expensive day and can't contribute much, you may find that the time it would take to save up enough isn't acceptable to you.

If that happens, you can either borrow to fund your big day or scale things down. Borrowing can create an obligation you go into your marriage with, which can add financial stress and potentially make it harder to afford other goals like starting a family. Research has also shown lower spending on a wedding is correlated with a reduced divorce risk, with couples who spend under $1,000 being less likely to dissolve their marriages than those who spend $20,000 or more.

Still, if you must borrow, there are options out there, including 0% APR credit cards (cards offering a 0% introductory rate on purchases) as well as personal loans, which often come with affordable rates. Cards can be a good option if you need to borrow for a short period of time and can pay off the amount you're charging before the 0% rate expires. Personal loans can provide you a longer time to repay your debt, and may also allow you to borrow more than the credit line on a card offers.

Scaling down your expectations may be a better bet if you don't want to add money tension to your marriage. You can get creative about finding a cheaper venue, trim your guest list, or try to incorporate some less-expensive DIY elements into your wedding to keep costs down.

Ultimately, it's up to you to decide how much you're comfortable spending and how much you can contribute each month to hit that goal on a timeline that works for you.

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4.00/5 Circle with letter I in it. Our ratings are based on a 5 star scale. 5 stars equals Best. 4 stars equals Excellent. 3 stars equals Good. 2 stars equals Fair. 1 star equals Poor. We want your money to work harder for you. Which is why our ratings are biased toward offers that deliver versatility while cutting out-of-pocket costs.
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APY: 4.25%

APY: 4.50%

Min. to earn APY: $1

Min. to earn APY: $0.01

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