How to Manage Credit Card Debt While Planning A Wedding

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Last updated on August 23rd, 2023

There’s a lot to think about when planning a wedding, especially your finances. For example, did you know 45% of couples getting married had credit card debt before paying for a wedding? That is according to a new February survey done by U.S. News.

Findings for The Real Wedding Study

According to The Knot 2022 Real Weddings Study, the average cost of a wedding in 2022, was $30,000. With numbers like those, you can see why your finances should be at the top of your list when planning a wedding. A little over a quarter (29.5%) of the study respondents claimed their budgets were much smaller due to their current credit card debt. Meanwhile over a third (34.1%) of respondents completely disregarded their debt.

The good news is that it is possible to stick to your wedding budget even while balancing existing credit card debt or none. Over half of the respondents (64.5%) expressed that the final cost of their wedding was close to their budget.

Nearly 40% of respondents used a form of credit to pay for their wedding. A little over half (54.8%) used their savings or a credit card. Additionally, they claim to have paid the wedding credit card bill off quickly. Some respondents (36.2%) said they received contributions from family and friends and 25.6% carried a balance on a credit card.

Using a credit card to fund a wedding is convenient except for the compound interest it may accumulate if you don’t pay off the entire balance monthly. At least with a personal loan, you get a fixed rate, and you will know your exact monthly payment installment.

Using a Credit Card to Fund a Wedding

About 22% of the respondents say it took one to two years to pay off their wedding. If you plan on using a credit card to fund your wedding, you can get a strategy in place to cover your biggest expense or to stay on track with your budget. Use a new credit card offer to get a low intro APR on purchases and maybe take advantage of any welcome bonuses.

Cards that offer the longest 0% intro APR:

Credit Card Purchase Intro APR Balance Transfer Intro APR

Citi Simplicity® Card
0% for 12 months on Purchases 0% for 21 months on Balance Transfers

0% for 21 months on purchases 0% for 21 months on Balance Transfers

Chase Slate Edge
0% for the first 18 months from account opening date 0% for the first 18 months from account opening date

U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card
0% for 18 months from account opening date 0% for 18 months on balances transferred within 60 days from account opening

Wells Fargo Reflect Card
0% for 18 months, potential extension of up to 3 months for meeting minimum requirements 0% for 18 months, potential extension of up to 3 months for meeting minimum requirements

This strategy can help you avoid interest (with responsible use of the credit card) for anywhere between 12 to 21 months. Combine this strategy with a balance transfer credit card at the end and you may be able to escape interest rates with just a small balance transfer fee.

Related Article: The Best Balance Transfer Credit Cards

In addition to saving your big celebration from big interest rates, you might also earn rewards back when using a credit card. Using a points or cash back card has its benefits. If you are already planning on spending big then you’re in for big rewards too with the use of a rewards credit card.

Related Article: The Best Cash Back Credit Cards

Respondents were asked if they used credit card rewards to help pay for the wedding:

  • Used rewards I had earned: 27.8%.
  • Used earned rewards for the honeymoon: 19.4%.
  • Earning credit card rewards wasn’t a priority: 33.2%.

Other Tips to Avoid Wedding Debt

There are a couple of other things you can do to ease the stress of wedding debt. A common suggestion is to open a wedding savings account as soon as possible. A savings account can help organize your budget plan by setting aside money instead of dipping into your current savings.

Also, make sure to make your budget realistic. Make the time to speak finances, fiancé to fiancé. Start by making a list of both your needs and wants and have a conversation about what you are willing to spend on a wedding. Finally, planning a wedding doesn’t happen overnight, so be sure to track your spending as you go along.

Related Article: Family Finances – 7 Ways to Save at Your Wedding with Credit Cards

Any Wedding Regrets?

When respondents were asked if they had any regrets about their wedding expenses, nearly 28% said yes. The top expense regrets were characterized as the wedding, flowers, and food. But do not fret because the majority (nearly 64%) had wedding expenses worth splurging on. They include the dress, food, cake, and the wedding. Whatever it is you decide to include in your wedding expenses, do your best to make sure they’re worth it, and all with the end goal of celebrating your memorable big day. Happy planning!

Related Article: What is the Longest 0% APR Credit Card?

Featured image by kkshepel/Getty Images

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About: Jeannyn Gomez
Jeannyn Gomez

Jeannyn is the Content Management Assistant for In addition to serving on all aspects of social media and spreading the word on expert credit and personal finance advice, Jeannyn finds herself on quests for humor, supernatural phenomena, and conspiracy theories for fun.

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