Kimye, politics, tech and debt all matter to your big day
Sticking to the topic of love, I assume your Valentines Day went well? Now I wouldn’t want to plant the seed, however, the topic of marriage amongst millennials is re-surfacing as wedding planning for the summer is underway. Nonetheless, according to the ‘Gods’ at Goldman Sachs, millennials have been putting off significant milestones like marriage and children as of late. The median marriage age was 23 in the 1970's and now sits at 30.
What has caused this shift? Is it the likes of Tinder? The concept of seeking instant gratification accompanied with technology has arguably made the art of being social and building relationships more cumbersome, however, I believe the lack of funds is key a driver. The weak economic backdrop and little in the form of savings breeds a mentality of, ‘I need to buy a flat first and get ahead in my career before I can even think of marriage.' Now, watch me water the seed I planted 10 seconds ago and give you 4 things to keep in mind when cutting the spend on the big day this year:
1. Needs vs Wants - Okay, so you watched Kim Kardashian’s wedding on channel E! back in 2014. Before the appearance of a full-moon turns you into a Bridezilla, let’s note that Kimye supposedly spent around $136,000 on flowers and food for the event, whilst reportedly sent a fleet of 45-50 cars to shuttle guests to and from Florence airport - price tag….nearly $70,000. Don’t get it twisted, keeping up with the Joneses/Kardashians is a dangerous game. Figure out the list of needs and wants for YOUR wedding and prioritise accordingly. The budget needs to be water tight, with your pool of savings being allocated to the 'needs' first!
Food for thought: According to Brides magazine last year, the average UK wedding costs around £30,111
2. Theresa May matters to your wedding plans - A slightly odd and weird thought, but stay with me. The volatility in UK politics has been key driver in sending GBP on its downwards trajectory since June 23rd last year. When Theresa speaks, markets listen and compute what it means for the health of the UK economy, both for now and tomorrow. When headlines drive currency markets and they move faster than Usain Bolt, planning a location wedding becomes difficult! Let me give you a quick example. Portugal; lovely location and you have decided on a venue costing EUR 5,000. Let's assume GBP/EUR stands at 1.1750 now, but in one month’s time drops to 1.1350. Your prolonged decision making has just hit you where it hurts. The wedding initially cost you £4,255, however, now sets you back around £4,405. Whether the catalyst is Theresa May or better than expected European economic data, this currency fluctuation has just cost you £150 - cue the violin.
3. Dump the old school – Let tech do the hard work for you in the arena of weddings. Google have some easy ready-made templates which are completely FREE. Everything from all-in-one wedding planners, budget estimators, seating charts, music playlists, to-do lists and much more. If you love a good app, Appy Couple, Wedding Happy and Zola are up there as Tech Times's go to favourites. You don’t have to listen to your mum who likes to keep it old-school, implement the new school and run with it.
4. Debt is not your best friend! Treat it as that annoying colleague in the Finance department who you have to speak with now and again, but don’t get too close to as they are super clingy. Starting married life with huge debt is not fun, however, we don’t live in a perfect world and affording a wedding is often tough without a loan. The key is to ask yourself - can you afford repayments? If you can clear the debt within 12 months and if your budget is truly waterproof, then explore, however, hidden financial surprises are the worst.