Get Out of Wedding Debt

The average American wedding costs $27,000 and the days of “daddy” footing the entire bill are numbered. 70% of U.S. couples make a contribution or pay the entire cost of their wedding. The more individuals contributing to your wedding finances, the more confusing and difficult the budgeting and bookkeeping will end up being.

Kathleen Murray, deputy editor of The Knot and TheKnot.com, came on today to tell us how to stay out of wedding debt.

Try following these wedding budgeting tips from financial advisor David Bach.

Tip #1: Determine your budget
Figure out how much money you and your fiancé can spend.
— Calculate how much money (if any) you have saved, and how much of that you are willing to use if you stick to a rigid saving plan.
Schedule a sit down with all parties, and be mindful of economic differences.
— Meet with everyone who is contributing to the cost of your wedding, to talk about the expenses.
— Two separate meetings might be a good idea if those contributing come from different economic backgrounds in order to avoid potentially awkward and uncomfortable moments.
Pick your priorities.
— Try using an online budgeter (like the one on TheKnot.com) to breakdown your budget item by item.
— Decide what is most important to you and then dedicate your budget accordingly.
Be upfront with your vendors.
— Always approach your vendors with the budget you have allocated the service they will be providing you.
— Have them create a proposal for you within that budget.
— You might want to account 10% your budget for extras and upgrades.

Tip #2: Manage your funds
Open a bank account devoted specifically to your wedding so you can track your spending.
— Make sure you don’t agree to frivolous upgrades without recognizing the economic impact.
Devise a secondary savings plan.
— After deciding on a wedding budget, and figuring out how much of your savings you would like to contribute to this budget, open your “Wedding Bank Account.”
— Once you have transferred money into this account, create an additional savings plan.
— Creating an automatic monthly transfer from your checking account to your “wedding account” will help to manage the wedding budget and spending.
Reap great rewards: Sign up for a credit card with a rewards program.
— Make your wedding costs work for you! Sign up for a new credit card with a rewards program, allowing you to earn points each time you spend.
— You know you are going to be spending — make it work to your advantage.
— American Express has even announced the launch of a new credit card that is designed especially for engaged couples.
Maximize your savings through investments.
— By putting some of the money you already have in a bank certificate-of-deposit (CD) or short-term mutual fund you can make the most of your money.
— You will earn much more interest putting your money into investments than if you left your money in a regular savings account.

The Bridal Budget Breakdown:

Reception: 50%
Attire: 10%
Photo and Video: 10%
Flowers and Décor: 10%
Music & Entertainment: 10%
Invitations & Gifts: 10%

For more information you can log onto my website at www.hillfriends.com

E.D. Hill anchors 'FOX News Live' weekdays from 11 a.m. to noon ET.