Planning a Post-Pandemic Wedding? Here's What to Know Before Borrowing to Pay for It

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Will your wedding loan pay for a magical day or leave you with regrets -- or both?

The COVID-19 pandemic made it very difficult, if not impossible, for people to hold public weddings for much of 2020. Now, however, with vaccines widely available and lockdowns being lifted across the country, marriage celebrations are back on.

If you're planning a post-pandemic wedding, you may be thinking about taking out a loan to finance it. But before you decide to go ahead with borrowing, there are a few things that you should take into account first.

Weddings can be very expensive

According to The Ascent's research, the average cost of a wedding in 2019 was $33,900. That's a lot of money -- enough to buy a new car. If you don't have a lot of cash saved for your wedding, going all out could mean borrowing a hefty sum -- and one that could be a challenge to repay.

Before you decide to borrow, get an idea of what your total costs will be by setting a detailed wedding budget. Then, to figure out how much personal loan you can afford, research the cost of borrowing to see how much your monthly payments will be for the loan and how much interest you could end up paying over time.

Once you understand the full picture of how much a loan will cost you, including the interest paid over the life of the loan, you'll be able to decide just how much money you are comfortable spending for a grand celebration.

There are different borrowing options available

Many people default to getting "wedding loans" when they borrow for their marriage. These are a specific type of personal loan that's marketed toward couples who are tying the knot. But there's no reason to apply only for a wedding loan. Any personal loan should work to cover your costs, since lenders allow you to use the money for anything you'd like.

You could also look into other borrowing alternatives as well. For example, if you plan to borrow a smaller amount and pay it off within a year or so, you may want to use a 0% APR credit card instead. This gives you a chance to charge your wedding items and pay them off while the 0% rate is in effect so you don't end up owing any interest.

Be sure to compare all of the different sources of wedding financing available so you can pick the most affordable loan given your situation.

Loans can affect other financial goals

Finally, it's important to look at what your monthly payments will be after the wedding and to think about how your personal finances could be affected. Marriage is just the start of a shared life with your significant other. You may want to buy a house together or start a family -- both of which can be expensive.

If your wedding loan payments will affect your ability to do other things, then you may decide to borrow less, even if doing so means having a smaller wedding. You could set yourself up for much more success when moving forward as a couple if you make sure you don't borrow more than you can comfortably afford.

Our picks for the best personal loans

Our team of independent experts pored over the fine print to find the select personal loans that offer competitive rates and low fees. Get started by reviewing our picks for the best personal loans.

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