Many people dream of a fairy-tale wedding, but with rising costs and pressure to impress, many couples have turned to borrowing to fund their special day.
New research for Debt Advisory Centre reveals that over quarter of Scots relied on borrowed money to fund part or all of their big day.
UK wide, the research reveals that younger people are the most likely to say ‘I do’ to debt, with 58 per cent of couples aged 18-24 and 52 per cent of those aged 25-34 borrowing to pay for their wedding or civil partnership.
In contrast, only 11 per cent of those aged 45 and over borrowed money to finance their nuptials.
Whilst two thirds of couples borrowed less than £5000, one in 10 borrowed £10,000 or more to pay for their wedding.
Almost a third (31 per cent) of those who borrowed money to finance their wedding say that they are still paying it off.
Looking back, 17 per cent wish that they hadn’t borrowed anything at all and a quarter (26 per cent) wish they’d borrowed less.
The Debt Advisory Centre has some tips for those planning a wedding:
1. You should always think carefully before borrowing, and this is just as true when thinking about borrowing for a wedding. Starting married life can be a stressful time and the additional finance pressure of debt can add to that.
2. Set a firm wedding budget that you know that you can afford, and stick to it. Don’t be lured into spending more to create the “perfect day”.
3. Think about the other costs that can often arise in the early years of a new marriage. These often include saving the deposit for a house, or the costs (and, often, income drop) associated with starting a family.
4. If you do decide to borrow think carefully about whether you can afford the repayments – not just now, but for the life of the loan.
5. Be sure to shop around to ensure that you borrow as cheaply as possible.
Debt expert Melanie Taylor, of Debt Advisory Centre, said: “Although it’s no surprise that many Scottish couples are borrowing to fund their big day, the statistics on lingering debt are worrying and it is striking how many of those that borrowed wish that hadn’t, or had borrowed less.
“While there is increasing pressure to ‘keep up with the Joneses’, its vital to ensure any repayments will fit well into your married life. A house purchase or a new baby on the horizon could leave you struggling with your debt.
“There are thousands of ways to keep costs down without compromising on your special day. From DIY favours to thrifty seating solutions, the internet is awash with money saving ideas and advice for brides and grooms to be.
”It’s a sad fact that many of the people that come to us for debt advice do so because their relationship has broken down – and financial pressures often play a part in this.”