How to Get Married and Stay Debt-FreeAfter dating for some time, you decide it’s time to pop the big question: “Will you marry me”?

Tying the knot is wonderful, but the pre-wedding preparation process can be painful, especially when it comes to planning the budget.

You can choose to have a low-budget wedding – some couples are even getting married inside McDonald’s fast food restaurants for just £250 in Europe these days.

Yes, this includes your ceremony, reception, wedding cake and catering for about 100 guests, according to the Daily Mail. However, there is no special treatment such as jumping the queue to collect your Big Mac burger and fries because McDonald’s will operate as usual. Moreover, alcohol is banned inside the family-friendly restaurant chain.

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Most couples don’t have to resort to a fast food outlet and you can still have the perfect wedding with wine, gold rings, exotic food and a magical honeymoon without breaking the bank. Here are some tips for saving and planning so that you ensure you have a magical day whilst also keeping your HSBC current account in check.

The Big Day

Determine your approximate budget beforehand. Work out what you intend to spend on the venue, tuxedos for the bridegroom and yourself, dresses for your bride and bridesmaids, wedding rings, honeymoon and so on. Then think about how you can meet the expenses.

If you are someone who wants to plan ahead before your big day, map out a timeline to help you stay on target. Wedding planners told the Washington Post that planning should start immediately after the engagement.

If you do so and your wedding is several months (or years) out, you can work extra and cut out other expenses to save a large amount of money. Ensure that you maximize the interest by putting the money in a fixed deposit or a tax free ISA.

It is more likely that you stay debt-free if you are organized.  Develop a budget and make a plan – be proactive!

Don’t panic if you are leaving it until the last-minute, as there are a few alternative ways to finance your wedding. You can take a wedding loan from either of your families, relatives or friends.

Alternatively, you can use your credit card to pay for part of your wedding expenses and repay the balance and interest over time. Just be sure to think about how much you will realistically be able to pay back over time without causing a lot of marital distress about money in your first few years as Mr. and Mrs.!

Affordable Honeymoon Destinations (European Edition)

After several months of stress leading up to the wedding, you definitely need to relax and spend some romantic time with your new husband or wife.  However, this is another area to plan carefully so you don’t break the bank.

If you’re looking for clear blue waters and soft white beaches, the Indian Ocean is a perfect destination for pampering yourself and your other half. The island of Mauritius is rich in architecture and food; you can enjoy fine dining and beautiful beaches, watch the sunset and ride a horse on the beach.

For those who want to hide away from the world, the Maldives is a beautiful location to swim in the clear lagoons or play water sports.

Alternatively, Oman’s spectacular mountain scenery, deserts plus beach hotels, offer a calm and relaxing atmosphere where you can enjoy spa treatments and snorkeling along the coast. There are additionally a variety of water sports for those who are active.

If you are really struggling to finance your honeymoon, why not think about cheaper all-inclusive or package holidays somewhere closer to home, or ask your wedding guests for money towards your once-in-a-lifetime trip instead of gifts?

How do you manage your honeymoon expenses while you are away? If you have a current account with a bank and if you’re eligible, you will be issued with a visa debit card that provides instant access to your money while you’re overseas. You can use your card to pay for the hotel and food in the restaurant. You can also withdraw cash from cash machines worldwide, and linking the card to a special “honeymoon only” account will ensure you stay on track with your spending.

Of course, you probably won’t experience smooth sailing the entire way. You need to adjust your wedding budget and make allowances to account for unforeseeable expenses.

Most importantly, ensure that you don’t overspend on one day so that you have some savings left over for starting to build your new life together.

Jay Marcelo is a freelance writer who loves spending time with his new wife while traveling Europe (for cheap when possible).


About the author 


Dustin Riechmann created Engaged Marriage to help other married couples live a life they love (especially) when they feel too busy to make it happen. He has many passions, including sharing ways to enjoy an awesome marriage in 15 minutes a day, but his heart belongs with his wife Bethany and their three young kids.

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  1. I have been to a lot of weddings in my time and I can honestly say the most memorable were not the ones that were stage managed to perfection but the ones where the couple just wanted to get married and share their special moment with their friends, instead of showing that they could throw a more expensive party than their friends.

    Don’t get me wrong, some (not all) of those memorable weddings were expensive – it’s the sentiment behind the event that makes the difference and shines out like a beacon whatever the cost.

  2. Wow, I think I would rather have no guests at all than have my wedding in McDonalds! Thinking outside the box really helps when it comes to planning a wedding on a budget. Not doing what everybody else does, but going back somewhere that’s special to you, or recreating a special date. But then I guess McDonalds might be special to some couples!

  3. I agree completely with the goal of staying debt free from the planning process through the wedding. I think it provides such a solid and less stressful foundation for the marriage.
    I would add the following tips for a small, lovely, joyful and debt-free wedding, ones my daughter & her husband used a few years ago for their day. I apologize for the length of my comment. 🙂
    Set your budget based on what you have already saved.
    Spend only within your budget. No loans, no credit cards.
    Keep the guest list manageable.
    Choose a free/low cost venue. They used our backyard.
    Take family/friends up on their offer to help. Her cousin, a baker, made her cake as a gift.
    Make your own food or purchase it and bring it to the ceremony.
    Keep the decorations simple.
    Don’t take a honeymoon unless you have the cash. My daughter & her husband waited three years, until they were completely debt free and had saved the money, to take theirs.
    They say the peace of having no debt far outweighed any immediate gratification they would have gotten from taking a honeymoon right away.

  4. It would take me forever to explain it all in a comment, but I did JUST cover it on my blog!! It kind of made me giggle to see you were covering the same thing!

  5. Well, we definitely stayed debt free because we eloped and said our vows in a bar…
    It was a Thursday around noon and the dive bar down the street that didn’t open till the sky was twinkling with diamonds, gave us the keys to have our ceremony. Here was the scene: Wood paneling, velvet paintings, posters of Dolly, a jukebox, a pool table, vinyl seats and folding chairs, a chorus of mocking neighbors who didn’t believe we were the kind to make it (a single mom, a divorced man), a few good souls who had kindness in the heart and rooted for us anyway, and us, the lost ones, who finally glimpsed love was real.
    That said, I do dream of doing it all over again. Starting with the engagement. A thought-out engagement and wedding is about honoring love, right!? My husband and I look forward to that one day! Here is that story if you are interested in reading about a couple who though deeply in love, kinda messed up the first time around:

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