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.
Crowdfund. 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.
Get sponsored. 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.
It’s very difficult to get wedding grants. Two companies that advertise them are Wish Upon a Wedding and SwanLuv. The former is for people who have serious health issues. And it’s unclear whether the latter is even accepting applicants anymore. Its terms also have a big catch: You have to pay the money back if you divorce. Two other ways to get grants for a wedding are by entering contests and receiving a sponsorship. There are no government grants for weddings.… read full answer
Wish Upon a Wedding is a nonprofit organization that helps couples experiencing life-threatening or life-altering health problems afford to get married. Their website says they have “granted 141 wishes” since 2010. Each wish package includes a venue, photography and videography, cake, flowers, music, officiation, stationary, DJ/music, catering for up to 50 guests and more. This organization works with couples in all 50 states. You can see if you are eligible for a grant, and learn more about what expenses are included, on Wish Upon a Wedding’s website.
Another company that reportedly gives wedding grants is SwanLuv. This company says it will provide up to $10,000 to couples who are planning to be married in the next two years. This money is a free grant that you don’t have to pay back – if you stay together. If you get divorced, you’ll have to pay back the $10,000 plus interest. The interest rate is set by the company after you apply (they don’t disclose an overall range). However, there doesn’t actually appear to be a place to apply on SwanLuv’s website at the moment. And news reports from 2016, along with statements on the company’s Facebook page, suggest they were planning to rebrand into a crowdfunding website. The current website still shows all the original information, though.
Unfortunately, there don’t appear to be any government grants for a wedding. The government does have something called the Healthy Marriage and Responsible Fatherhood (HMRF) initiative. But that gives grants to organizations that help promote “healthy marriage and relationship education, responsible fatherhood, and reentry services for currently or formerly incarcerated fathers.” It isn’t something people can apply for individually, and it doesn’t help finance weddings.
You may be able to get a grant of sorts from a wedding contest/giveaway. Certain companies and organizations offer sweepstakes with the chance to win free honeymoons, wedding dresses and more. For example, the magazine Bridal Guide has a few sweepstakes going on that feature honeymoons and bridal gowns.
Lastly, you could get a grant through a sponsorship with a wedding company. In this arrangement, a couple gets certain aspects of their wedding (like catering, venue rental, or flowers) for free or at a reduced cost in return for advertising the provider through the invitations, programs, signs and/or other ways. This option is really only available to couples with a strong social media following, as the thought is that you will influence your audience to purchase from the company.
One of the best ways to get money for a wedding fast is to take out a personal loan from LightStream. They offer same-day approval and funding in many cases, and usually won’t take more than 2 business days from when you apply. LightStream offers loans specifically for wedding financing with APRs ranging from 5.95% to 17.29%. You’ll reportedly need to have a credit score of at least 660 to qualify. Other lenders with fast approval times include Best Egg, Rocket Loans and Marcus.… read full answer
Another way to get money for a wedding fast is to use a credit card. You’ll be able to make a purchase instantly and pay it off over time. Given how high credit card interest rates can be, however, the best approach is to plan a couple weeks ahead and apply online for a 0% APR credit card. It will give you an opportunity to pay off your purchases interest-free during the introductory period. Plus, there’s usually a chance for instant approval when you apply online for a credit card. Although it generally takes 7-10 business days to receive a card after you’re approved, many companies allow you to expedite delivery to 1-3 business days for a small fee or even for free. You’ll need a credit score of at least 700 to qualify for a good 0% APR card.
If you have some valuable possessions that you’re not overly attached to, you could also sell them to make some extra money. Sites like Craigslist usually lead to fast responses from interested buyers. Finally, one other major place you can get money for a wedding fast is from family or friends. Whether you’re borrowing the money or receiving it as a gift, you won’t have to go through any kind of approval process. So you can get the money as soon as the person writes you a check.
That said, it’s best not to rush your wedding purchases, if possible. Taking your time to shop around can ensure you get the best deals and save as much money as possible.
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