Couples turn to loans as cost of weddings skyrocket

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – The costs of weddings are at an all-time high as many millennials try to one-up their friends with a bigger and better experience.

And some couples are borrowing money to pull off that dream day.

But some caution, loans may not be a smart move for everyone getting married.

In the last decade or so, weddings have become bigger, more elaborate and more expensive and no one knows that better than Forever Bridal, a Raleigh-based company that puts together wedding shows and keeps an eye the changes.

“There are new things becoming trends and every year as new items come into weddings such as photo booths and mobile bars,” says Camellia Spivey of Forever Bridal. “You have to allocate your money towards more and more things which are driving up the cost of weddings.”

And just how expensive are weddings getting?

The says national average is around $35,000.

Spivey says in the Triangle, she’s seen some of the more expensive weddings costing $50,000, with some as high as $70,000.

With expenses like that, more and more couples are turning to wedding loans to finance their big day.

“I think one of the reasons they’re becoming popular is because the lending opportunity is so easy for people they’re able to apply online,” says David Kimball the CEO of Prosper, a peer-to-peer lender.

Prosper offers wedding loans for between 3 to 5 years with interest ranges ranging from 5 to more than 35 percent depending on the individual.

But, should young couples start off their lives together in that kind of financial hole?

“Going into debt to start your married life can be a really painful trade off in the long run,” says Stefanie O’Connell, a financial expert who spoke with CBS News.

Experts say if you must take out a wedding loan, don’t take on interest rate higher than 7 percent and have a payment plan.

Before her recent wedding, Camellia Spivey and her fiancé decided to try obtain a wedding loan. Ultimately, they denied that wedding loan which she says turned out to be a good thing.

“It was a blessing in disguise, because we cut out things that were not necessary so we didn’t start our marriage $15,000 in debt,” she said.

Another way to cut expenses is to go to bridal shows.

They can help you plan out those costs so you can control your finances.

“A lot of vendors don’t list their prices on their websites so when you go to a bridal show you get those prices there,” said Spivey. “Also the bridal shows help with expense because many vendors give discounts on their services, so if you take advantage of the discounts it will help you save for the big day as well.”

For ways to save money on weddings, check out this link.

Click here for 53 wedding cost cutting tips.

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