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Footing that wedding bill... with a loan?

Couples take out wedding loans
Couples take out wedding loans 01:42

With holiday engagement season winding down, many newly betrothed couples are turning to the next phase of their relationship: planning a wedding.

But many may be shocked by just how much that wedding can cost. The average bill for a wedding has climbed to an all-time high of $35,329, according to It's one reason some couples are turning to loans to foot the bill for their big day.


Like many brides, Alexis Montejo was facing a daunting price tag for her nuptials. So she took out a loan to finance the $20,000 celebration.

"We did save a little bit, but it wasn't as much as we should have," Montejo said in an interview with CBS News.  "Was it worth the expense...I don't know!"

Lenders like Prosper offer wedding loans with terms of three to five years, while interest rates can range from as low as 5 percent to 35 percent depending on an individual's creditworthiness.

"I think one of the reasons they're becoming popular is because the lending opportunity is so easy for people [since] they're able to apply online," Prosper CEO David Kimball said.

Holiday engagement season 01:23

But Stefanie O'Connell, a financial adviser who helps millennials budget and manage their money, urged couples to think twice about taking out a wedding loan. "The best way to pay for a wedding is to use what you have in your savings account already."  

Setting a realistic wedding budget with your spouse is good practice for your future together given that money matters can intrude on even the happiest relationships.

Mainly, O'Connell encourages couples to extend their engagement before overextending their budgets. If you do decide to take out a wedding loan, look for one with an interest rate of no more than 7 percent, she advised, and make sure you have a payment plan worked out before signing on the dotted line.

"Going into debt to start your married life can be a really painful trade off in the long run," O'Connell said. 

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