Can I get a loan for a wedding?
Taking out a wedding loan is just one way you can fund your big day if you don’t have the money to pay for it all yourself.
The average cost of a wedding in 2019 - before the coronavirus pandemic restricted guest numbers and forced many couples to postpone their day - was £31,974, according to the wedding directory website Hitched.co.uk.
This includes everything from the flowers, food and outfits, to the honeymoon, engagement ring and photographer.
It’s a lot of money for one event, but whatever your budget, there are many ways to help fund the big day. One of these is by taking out a personal loan, to either pay for part of the cost or the full amount. Here we look at everything you need to know when it comes to wedding loans.
What type of loan is a wedding loan?
If you need some extra money to pay for your wedding day, one option could be a wedding loan. It is a personal loan which can pay for all, or part, of the wedding.
The loan will be an unsecured personal loan, so it’s not secured against something else such as your home, and you can typically spend the money how you like, though some lenders do have restrictions.
You’ll usually be able to apply for a loan of up to £25,000 and once you’ve received the money you will then have to pay it back over an agreed period of time. There will be interest applied to the loan, which you’ll be told about before you agree to take it out.
You can take out any personal loan and don’t need one that is specifically branded as a wedding loan.
Where can you get a wedding loan
Most of the high street banks offer loans that you can use for a wedding, along with a range of online banks and credit unions. As there is quite a lot of choice it’s worth spending the time to find a loan that works for you and one you can comfortably afford to pay back.
» COMPARE: Unsecured loans
How a wedding loan works
When you apply for a loan to fund your wedding, there are a few steps you’ll have to complete before the cash arrives in your bank account.
You’ll need to tell the lender about yourself and give details about your current income (and that of your partner if you’re taking out a joint loan). You’ll also usually need to give details about any regular outgoings, so the lender can calculate if you’ll be able to pay the loan back and how long this might take.
As you are applying for a personal loan, a lender will also look at your credit score to decide whether to lend you the money. This check leaves a mark on your credit score, even if the loan isn’t accepted, so it’s well worth using a free eligibility checker first. These will give you an idea of what loans you could be accepted for, without affecting your record.
How much can you borrow?
Each lender will have its own limit for the amount of money you can borrow but most of the mainstream lenders will lend up to £25,000.
It’s always worth using a free loan calculator to find out how much the loan will cost you over the term you’re repaying it for.
What you can spend your wedding loan on?
From flowers and canapes to the dress and suits, once you have your loan you’re typically free to spend it on anything you’d like for your wedding day.
The pros and cons of a wedding loan
Before you take out a loan to pay for your wedding make sure you’re aware of the pros and cons, and the best alternative ways to pay for the day.
Pros of a wedding loan
- A low-interest loan can be a cheaper way to borrow money
- The money is usually available the next day after the loan is approved
- You pre agreed the time frame you want to pay it back in
- You can pay the loan back early if you can afford it (although there may be a charge for doing so check the details)
Cons of a wedding loan
- Only those with excellent credit scores will be accepted for the cheapest rates
- The longer you take to pay the loan back, the more you’ll pay in interest
- There may be cheaper ways to borrow money
- By taking out a loan for your wedding, you’re starting married life with debt
» COMPARE: Low APR personal loans
The best alternatives to a wedding loan
Wedding loans aren't the only way to pay for a wedding and there are lots of other options including:
- Reduce your wedding budget
There are many ways to cut back on the amount spent on your wedding day, from making your own cake and canapes to cutting out extras, like a wedding car and honeymoon. Before you start planning, have an open and honest conversation with your partner about how much you want to spend, and stick to this budget.
- Borrow from family members
This won’t be an option for everyone, and can come with its own problems, but it may be possible to borrow the money from family members. Just make sure everyone involved is clear about the terms of the loan. Even better, get it down in writing before any money is handed over.
- A 0% credit card
If you’re able to apply and be accepted for a 0% purchase credit card, you’ll be able to use it to pay for all your wedding expenses without paying any interest for a set period of time. However, this only works if you’re then able to clear the credit card before interest payments start and you will not initially be offered large credit limits on new cards.
What happens to my loan if my wedding is cancelled?
If your wedding is cancelled you’ll still have to pay back the personal loan, even if you’ve paid out for parts (or all) of the wedding and you’re not able to get this money back.
If you have wedding insurance you may be able to use it to claim the money back. If you’ve paid on a credit card, you’ll also have some protection under the consumer credit act.
Do you need good credit to get a wedding loan?
As wedding loans are unsecured loans, you’ll need to have a good credit score to be accepted for the best rates. If your credit record isn’t so good you may still be able to get a wedding loan but you’ll pay a higher rate of interest.
Image source: Getty Images
Rebecca Goodman is a freelance journalist who has spent the past 10 years working across personal finance publications. Regularly writing for The Guardian, The Sun, The Telegraph, and The Independent. Read more