| August 27, 2012

Avoiding Money Arguments When You Are Planning a Wedding

Many couples may assume that arguments over money may follow after their nuptials and revolve around big topics such as how to save for retirement or when to purchase a home. However, a new study reveals that for many people, fights over their wedding day and how to fund it are common as well.

Global media company XO Group and Chase Card Services jointly released the results of the study “Why Couples Clash” and found that pre-wedding arguments are a common source of financial tension among those that are engaged. Americans have historically heard stories about couples racking up tens of thousands of dollars in credit card debt to pay for their dream weddings. The study’s authors say that this period in a relationship offers soon-to-be newlyweds the chance to discuss their financial priorities. According to the results, 55 percent of couples have arguments about spending to cover wedding costs.

“Most weddings today cost $40,000, and in middle America, that’s a down payment on a house,” Nick Stuller, president and CEO of Advice IQ, told Fox Business. “Couples need to think hard about that. If one half of the couple would rather scrap the wedding and keep the money, then this is the point where financial advisers often become couples therapists or even referees.”

Starting out a marriage in debt or with different money management goals can make it more challenging for partners to build a solid foundation and move forward with their finances. There are several strategies couples should consider to get on the same page about their futures. For example, enrolling in a credit counseling program together can create an open environment that allows them to work with a professional to air out differences and develop a joint plan.

It can also be helpful to draft a list of their priorities for their wedding day and center a budget around those particular desires. This may require couples to compromise on some of their wants to cut down on costs without forcing them to sacrifice their needs for their wedding. For example, if a bride is most concerned with her dress and the reception, she may consider getting the gown she wants, but cutting back on flowers, professional photography and other details to cover the costs of the after-party. Making these small compromises may help couples avoid arguments and debt, while still giving them the weddings they want.

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