Avoid The Wedding Debt Trap

On average, a wedding in the U.S. will cost $20,000. The factors that most affect how much a couple will spend on their wedding are number of guests, geographical location, and availability of funds or credit. If a couple puts the full cost of a wedding on a credit card and pays only the minimum allowable payment per month, that couple will, literally, NEVER get out of debt.

Traditionally, the bride’s family bore the bulk of the financial burden for their daughter’s wedding expenses. This has changed dramatically in the last decade or so as the groom”s family is contributing more to help out the couple. However, many couples – especially those into and past their mid-20’s – are paying for their own weddings with modest or no help from relatives.Because the pressure to throw a huge, pricey wedding still exists, many couples find themselves turning to credit cards to pay for wedding expenses. These couples will begin their married life together deep in debt that will haunt them for years to come.Some numbers for you to consider

We used the Credit Card Payoff Calculator from Genus Credit Management to do some quick debt calculations.

* A credit card debt of $20,000 with the average interest rate of 18% will take you 125 months to pay off with a minimum allowable payment of $500 per month.

* A debt of $10,000 with an “good” interest rate of 14% will take you 4 years to pay off using the minimum allowable payment of $200 per month.


Scared? This is serious, life-long debt for ONE DAY of celebration.

Don’t let the credit card companies fool you

Many couples get giddy when they see credit card offers for zero percent interest. While it may seem like a great deal, it’s important to read the fine print.

* Some zero percent offers are an introductory rate meaning that the zero percent rate is guaranteed for a limited amount of months before they raise it. Expect it to go to at least 7%, but, more likely, 14% – 18% after the introductory offer expires.

* Zero percent may apply to only balance transfers from your other credit cards, leaving you to pay a hefty percentage on any new purchases you make. Or, conversely, you may pay zero percent on new purchases and a high percentage rate on balance transfers.

* Another issue with zero percent cards is you must pay on time each month. One late payment – even by a single day – can cancel the whole 0% deal and you’ll end up paying high interest rates… some over 24%! And don’t forget the late fees. One company we know of charges an extra $35 on top of a higher interest rate for late payments.

You may be better staying with a low interest, guaranteed rate card in the long term… and don’t use it for wedding expenses.

Always read the agreement and look for the annual percentage rate, annual fees, late fees, and any other fees or rate changes that may affect you.

Where to find the money

If you find that you need extra funds for your wedding celebration, you have few options.

* Personal Loans – Your bank or credit union may have decent rates on personal loans.
* Credit Cards – As stated above, this is a bad, bad idea. Resist at all cost.
* Donations From Family – You may be surprised at the generosity your families may bestow upon you. Graciously accept financial help they may offer, but don”t demand or expect them to shell out big bucks for your celebration.
* Extra Jobs – You and your fiance can take on extra jobs for a few months to generate extra income. This is probably the best way to get the money you need. If your own wedding isn’t worth working extra-hard for, think about your plans and re-budget for something within your means .

Your best chances of beginning a debt-free married life is to live – and create a wedding – within your means. There’s no shame in creating an inexpensive, affordable wedding!


Pocket-fold Invitation

Folder-style invitation

Inspired by a popular line of similar, pricey invitations, we created our own version for just a fraction of the cost. This project takes a bit of time but the effort is worth it! The full instructions are available to members in our downloads area, under “Project Sheets”. Or click here.

Cost: $1.00 per invitation


4.75″ Square Program Booklet

4.75″ Square Program Booklet A small booklet-style program. Measures 4.75″ square when finished. Includes 4 pages (2 pages printed front and back) plus a cover. It also doubles as a CD booklet! Ours cost less than $0.60 cents to make, including beads, wire, and papers! Plainer versions with just paper and ribbon can easily be made for $0.25 each. Please visit our downloads area to get the template.


Wine Glass Charms

Wine glass charms or drink markers, as they’re sometimes known, have become rather popular over the last couple of years. They”re fun, simple little trinkets that go around the stem of a wine glass to identify it at a party or gathering.

As a wedding favor, they”re cheap and super-simple to make. They can be as simple or elaborate as you’d like.

Supplies Needed:

  • self-closing earring hoops/wine charm rings, 3/4″ – 1″ in diameter.
  • beads, pearls, charms
  • needle-nose pliers


1. Add your accent beads and crystals halfway around the wire.

2. Turn the straight end of the hoop (not the side with the hole in it) up at a right angle using a needle nose pliers which will make a hook. This hook will lock into the loop at the other end of the hoop to stay closed.


Buying Guide:

Hoops sterling silver 10 for $4.40 at Auntie”s beads.

4mm crystal beads 100 clear for $5.25 at the BeadRoom.

Ours cost around $0.65 each to make.


Crystal Stem Instructions

We kick off the new year with a cheap-yet-beautiful project: Crystal Stems.A few tucked in amongst your flowers can be quite lovely; making an entire bouquet of crystal stems is a bold, beautiful statement. Instructions for making these affordable beauties can be found in our Downloads area, under Project Sheets —> Bouquets & Flowers.

Supplies Needed
• 26 gauge or 28 gauge craft wire
• Wire cutters
• Crystals, 6mm – 8 mm
• Variable speed drill
• Needle-nose pliers (optional)
• A vise or stand for your drill (optional)


1. Cut wire to double the desired finished length. (Ex: Cut to 24” if you want a 12”
2. Thread the wire through the crystal, bring ends together, centering the crystal on
the length of the wire.
3. Holding the crystal in one hand, pinch the wires together under the crystal and give
it a twist. [Image 1] This secures the crystal and readies it for the next step.
4. Open the chuck of your drill and remove the drill bit (if there’s one in it).
5. Insert your crystal into the drill’s chuck and secure it in place as you would a drill bit.
[Image 2] Be very careful! Glass crystals will break, crack, or shatter if you close the
chuck too tightly.
6. Hold the loose end of your wires tightly in one hand (or hold them with a pair of
needle nose pliers). Pull the wires taught.
7. Turn on your drill to the lowest speed and, voila!, you have a tightly twisted stem in
less than 5 seconds.



Crystal stems are commonly used as a simple way to add sparkle to your bouquet OR stunning as a bouquet themselves. Retail for these guys run
around $1.00 – $2.50 PER STEM on the internet. We made ours for under $0.45 each.
Approximate Costs
8 mm Czech crystals 0.32 each
24” of 28 g. gold wire 0.09 each (wire comes in 40 yd. spools – you’ll get several stems per spool.)
TOTAL 0.41 each
• Use needle nose pliers to hold the loose wire ends while twisting with the drill.
• Use the slowest possible speed for the best control. Twisting too fast will weaken and break the wire very quickly.
• Try to position the crystal so that the holes are side-to-side instead of up and down. It’s just prettier because you’ll see only the crystals and
not the wires.
• It’s best to either have a friend help hold the drill or set up a stand/vise to hold the drill while you twist. It’s not impossible to do it alone,
• Wrap the ends of the wire stems with florist tape to keep it from snagging your clothes or poking you. Those ends can be a little sharp.
• Pearls can easily be substituted for crystals.
• Any color of wire can be used. Gold and silver look best.
• Shop around the for the best price on crystals. Many places will offer you bulk discounts.
• 6 mm crystals are generally much less expensive then 8mm. 4 mm tend to be way to small.
• For a whole bridal bouquet, we recommend using 300+ stems.


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