How to get married without breaking the bank: Financial tips for the big day and beyond

How to wedding plan without breaking the bank

Couples spent an average of nearly $34,000 on their weddings last year, according to planning website The Knot. And while 80% of couples say they set a budget, 45% report going over it.

Connie Kim and her fiance decided to get married in Brooklyn, New York, and budgeted $50,000 for their big day. "The catering was like $8,000 or $10,000, the florist like $4,000," Kim said. "Right now we don't have joint anything, we just Venmo back and forth." 

CBS News business analyst Jill Schlesinger joined "CBS This Morning" Tuesday to share tips on how to make budget-savvy wedding planning easy — and how to set a sound financial foundation for the big day and beyond.

Planning for the wedding

  • Figure out who is willing and able to chip in 
  • Use that information to set a budget, which takes into consideration future plans: would you rather spend the money now, or save it for later?
  • Don't go into debt to pay for the wedding. "That is a terrible idea," Schlesinger said. "That is beyond a terrible idea. That is such a bad idea."
  • Make sure you're spending money on what matters and what you'll remember – not on things you ultimately won't appreciate. Guests care that the bride is happy, Schlesinger said – not how good the food was.  

Planning for the future

  • Discuss personal debts and assets before you get married. Only 54% of couples talk about their finances before tying the knot, according to one survey, which Schlesinger calls a "mind-blowing statistic"
  • Decide if you want to merge your money, or keep it separate. Schlesinger said it doesn't matter which you choose, as long as you come to an agreement
  • Come up with a "game plan" for managing money and investments, and revisit it every quarter