So if it feels like you might have to rob a bank to make your nuptials as special as you want them to be, here are six more practical (and legal!) ways to fund your big day.
1. Get someone else to pay
Let’s be honest – getting someone else to pay is always the best option! So if your parents/grandparents/Great Aunt Aggie offers to stump up the cash (and they can afford it), don’t be a martyr – accept gratefully. Even if you have to make some compromises, at least any savings you have will be stay firmly intact.
2. Use your savings/disposable income
The next best bet is to use your own cash that you’ve either saved for the purpose – as well as any disposable income you have.
But if these funds don’t quite stretch to your dream wedding, you might have to turn to credit. Do this as cheaply as possible (ideally interest-free) and make sure you’re able to repay the amount you borrow before interest kicks in or increases – don’t overstretch yourself.
If you’re confident you can do that, here are some of your options:
3. Use your overdraft
Most overdrafts either charge interest or a flat daily fee – and if the size of your overdraft is substantial or you’re using your overdraft regularly, this will soon get expensive.
But choose your current account wisely and you won’t have to pay any interest or fees at all. The Nationwide FlexDirect current account, for example, comes with a fee-free arranged overdraft for 12 months, giving you a whole year to pay for everything from the florist to the photographer.
You’ll need to be certain you can clear your overdraft before those 12 months are up though – otherwise you’ll be forking out a fee of 50p per day (the first £10 of your overdraft is free).
Also keep in mind that you may not get the overdraft limit you were hoping for.
4. Use a 0% purchase credit card
A credit card which offers initial interest-free spending is a convenient way to spread the cost of your wedding. The Post Office Matched credit card offers 27 months interest-free, providing you make a purchase within the first three months. So that's more than two years of spending without worrying about interest.
If you don't clear your balance within the 27 months, you'll start paying interest at a rate of 18.9% pa (variable). The card has a representative rate of 18.9% APR (variable)*.
The Sainsbury's Nectar Purchase credit card also offers 27 months at 0%, and you'll pay 18.95% pa (variable) after that. The card has a representative rate of 18.9% APR (variable)**. The Sainsbury's card also allows you to collect Nectar points.
But there’s another reason to use a credit card to pay for your wedding. Purchases costing between £100 and £30,000 will be protected under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act, so the card issuer and merchant are jointly liable if something goes wrong. This valuable protection means if the seller goes bust or your goods are faulty, you can claim a refund through your card provider.
5. Try a money transfer
Some credit cards also offer money transfers which allow you to shift available credit on your card as cash straight into your current account. You can then use this money for whatever you wish – including that gorgeous wedding dress you’ve had your eye on (credit limit permitting).
However, because you’ll be paying with your debit card, not your credit card, you won’t have the purchase protection mentioned above.
Some credit cards also offer money transfers which allow you to shift available credit on your card straight across to your current account...
Most money transfer cards are effectively balance transfer cards which offer a lengthy 0% introductory rate. For example, the Virgin Money 40 month balance transfer card offers 40 months at 0% on money transfers, giving you more than three years to pay off your debt without worrying about interest. You must carry out your transfer within 60 days.
After the 40 months are up, you'll pay 20.9% pa (variable), so be sure to clear your debt before then. The card has a representative rate of 18.9% APR (variable)*.
Also watch out for the fee – the Virgin card charges 4% of the amount you transfer (minimum fee of £3). If you transferred £3,000, you’d pay a fee of £120. So do your sums first.
This offer ends on May 24.
6. What about a personal loan?
As a last resort, consider using a personal loan. Thanks to tumbling interest rates, a personal loan can be a relatively inexpensive way of borrowing. And, because your payments are fixed, you can budget accordingly.
You can now snap up rates as low as 3.3% APR representative with M&S Bank and HSBC, although this only applies to borrowing of between £7,500 and £15,000 taken out over a maximum of seven years with M&S and five years with HSBC.
Also remember the very best deals are reserved for those with an excellent credit score – you can order a copy of yours here.
And before applying for credit, it pays to use our Smart Search tool which will tell you how likely you are to be accepted, without leaving a mark on your credit file. All you need to do is click on the 'Find a loan' or 'Find a credit card' button on our comparison tables to get started.
*Representative Example: If you spend £1,200 at a purchase interest rate of 18.9% p.a. (variable) your representative rate will be 18.9% APR (variable).
**Representative Example: If you spend £1,200 at a purchase interest rate of 18.95% p.a. (variable) your representative rate will be 18.9% APR (variable).
All credit cards and loans are subject to status and terms and conditions. Over 18s, UK residents only. Terms and conditions apply. See MoneySuperMarket.com for further information.
Please note: any rates or deals mentioned in this article were available at the time of writing. Click on a highlighted product and apply direct.