Saving for your destination wedding: Tips from a financial expert

When it comes to saving for your destination wedding, it can be challenging to know where to start. Your wedding is one of the most important events in your life – so it’s no wonder many couples have questions about how best to budget for their big day.

“Should you open a joint savings account?” “How do you establish a savings timeline?”

To help couples answer these questions and more, we sat down with financial expert, Silvi Pukitis from KOHO to chat about everything from figuring out how to create a realistic wedding budget to developing proactive saving habits. Read on for some expert tips and tricks to help you navigate destination wedding finances.

KOHO is a smart spending account with no-fees. This full-service account comes with a reloadable Visa card and an app that aims to help Canadians restore financial balance.

Credit card

How can I make a realistic wedding budget that I can actually stick to?

Before you start planning your wedding details, it’s important to determine your overall budget. You and your spouse should have a conversation about your life goals as a couple over the next one to five years. ​How does a wedding fall within these priorities? How much are you comfortable spending on a wedding, considering the other things you want to do? You’ll also want to get a sense of what friends and family might contribute and how much money you have saved up already.

Once you settle on a number that you know you can’t exceed, you can begin outlining your priorities and determine what aspects you’re willing to splurge or save on. This way, you can research realistic destination, resort and décor options that fall within your budget and spend on what means the most to you. Generally, it’s best to overestimate in each category to provide a little wiggle room for additional expenses or upgrades.

For instance, if you and your spouse-to-be have your hearts set on getting married at a luxury resort or incorporating elaborate floral arrangements in your décor, you may need to determine what other elements you’re willing to save on based on your budget. Destination wedding consultants can be a valuable resource in this area as they offer expertise in planning weddings across a variety of budgets, destinations and styles and can provide estimates and suggestions for your specific wedding day vision.

Man and woman sitting on a couch and looking at a laptop

How do I establish a savings timeline for my destination wedding?

Once you’ve determined your overall budget you can start developing a savings timeline to give you a clear understanding of how much you need to save for your big day, how much time you need to save that amount and when you need the funds for each expense.

We recommend creating a simple excel spreadsheet to map out all your expenses and when each of your payments are due such as your travel costs, wedding attire, entertainment, etc. You should also calculate the amount you’ll be able to save towards your wedding each month. This proactive approach will help you avoid being blindsided by large deposits and mounting credit card debt so you can enjoy the wedding planning process.

Do you recommend my partner and I open a joint savings account to save for our wedding?

Yes! With a joint savings account, both you and your partner can contribute to the same account and track your savings progress without worrying about splitting expenses down the road. It’s most effective to choose an account that doesn’t charge for each transaction and offers at least 1.5% interest. For effortless saving, automate your transfers and have specific amount of money moved from your bank account to your savings account each month or each pay cheque.

Hands typing on a laptop with a spreadsheet on the screen

What are some ways that I can save on my destination wedding?

One of the best ways to save on your destination wedding is to plan in advance. There are plenty of benefits to planning your big day early; you can score incredible travel deals with early booking bonuses, talk to your planner about available vendors to secure the best possible prices and take advantage of having extra time to save up.

Planning ahead also means that you can choose from a wider selection of resorts before they fill up, including resorts with generous destination wedding packages! Many resorts offer comprehensive packages that include a range of lavish offerings, from upgraded accommodations and unique entertainment options to private poolside receptions, fabulous florals and much more. Booking early is the best way to ensure that you’re able to get your first choice.

Can you recommend some general savings techniques?

Many wedding couples find it helpful to use a cash or debit account instead of a credit card when they’re trying to stick to a budget before their big day. With KOHO, you can load your “safe to spend” funds into your KOHO spending account giving you more control over your budget and everyday spending and helping you avoid paying a fortune in interest fees.

Creating a budget is another great way to determine how much money you can afford to spend on your tropical celebrations. KOHO’s budget template is designed to help you divide your paycheck into bills, saving and spending. Once you set your budget, you’ll have a clear understanding of how much money you can load onto your card each month to spend while staying on track with your saving goals.

Man and woman looking at a laptop

What features does KOHO offer and how can they help me reach my savings goal?

With KOHO you have the ability to set and automate custom savings goals. For example, you could set a goal of $1,000 for paying for your wedding photographer and include a payment due date. To ensure you reach your goal on time, KOHO will automatically transfer the daily amount you need to save from your “spendable” account into a separate savings account.

You can do this within your personal spending account or the free joint account that you and your partner have set up in advance of the big day. Automating your savings has huge benefits; studies show that people tend to save twice as much when the money is automatically moved into savings, removing the option not to save.

Can I use my KOHO card to pay for my destination wedding?

Absolutely! You and your guests can use your KOHO card to pay for your vacation. Plus, you can shop for all of your destination wedding essentials, from your dress to your wedding favours, as well as pay vendors and credit card bills. Although you can’t write checks or accept third party e-transfers from friends or family, KOHO does offer free transfers making it easy to transfer/receive funds from your other bank account.

Plus, when you use your KOHO card you’re actually making money – with 0.5% cash back on all of your purchases!

You may also like: