Adam McCann, Financial Writer
There are several ways to pay for a wedding with no money, from taking out a personal loan (if you have income, but no money on hand) to opting for a simple ceremony without the pomp and circumstance. Marriage licenses cost between $5 and $100, depending on the state – so it’s possible to get married without spending much at all. Other options include asking family for assistance or crowdfunding. Let’s go through all of the different possibilities.
How to Pay for a Wedding with No Money
Get a personal loan
Depending on the lender, you’ll be able to borrow from $1,000 to $100,000 for wedding expenses (or pretty much anything else). You’ll typically have 1 to 7 years to pay it back, and there are loan options for people with all credit scores. You can get a personal loan if you have no money saved, but you’ll need a steady income and little existing debt.
Take out a home equity loan
If you own a house before marriage, you could borrow against the value of that property through a home equity loan or line of credit. But this isn’t the greatest option, as your house serves as collateral.
Use credit cards
Depending on how high of a credit limit you have, you may be able to charge some or all of your wedding expenses to a credit card. But credit cards tend to have much higher rates than personal loans, so if you go this route, use a credit card with a 0% introductory APR.
Have a simple wedding
Marriage licenses are inexpensive. So consider simply having a small ceremony with your closest friends and family at someone from the group’s home or a park where you don’t have to pay rental fees. You could also ask friends to use their talents to bake a cake or perform music, for example.
Ask family for help
Parents often front a lot of the costs of a wedding – about two-thirds, actually, on average. If you’re comfortable doing so, you can ask them to chip in.
Ask guests for money
In lieu of traditional wedding gifts, you could ask guests to give you money toward the cost of the wedding. You’ll need to ask for these gifts in advance if you want to use them to pay for the wedding itself; otherwise, you’ll have to borrow money and use the gifts to recoup the costs.
Crowdfunding all sorts of expenses has become more popular in the past few years. If you have an especially dedicated group of friends, or a big social network, they might contribute money toward your wedding.
Enter a contest
If you’re lucky, you may win a sweepstakes that pays for a wedding dress, honeymoon, wedding ring or more.
If you have a large following on social media, you may be able to convince companies to sponsor your wedding in return for giving them advertising.
Get a grant
There are few opportunities for wedding grants. The only currently viable option, Wish Upon a Wedding, is for people with terminal or life-altering illnesses.
If those ideas won’t work for you, you should take one of two approaches. The first is to wait and save some money until you have enough to pay for the wedding you want. The second is to just go to a courthouse and get married legally. Then, you could throw a big party on your first anniversary, for example, after taking some time to save.
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