If you’re getting ready to tie the knot, there’s a good chance it won’t be cheap.
In 2021, the average cost of a wedding was $28,000, according to The Knot Real Weddings Study.
If you’ve been saving up for your dream day or have family that’s willing to foot some or all of your wedding costs, you may not have to worry about borrowing money to pay for your wedding. But if you’re planning on paying for your wedding out of pocket and don’t have the funds on hand, you may find yourself at a crossroads: Do you cut back and have a smaller celebration or get a loan to help cover expenses?
A wedding loan — which is simply a personal loan that you use to pay for wedding expenses — could be a viable option, but only if you can afford to pay the debt off within a reasonable time. After all, you probably don’t want to start your new marriage buried in debt you can’t afford.
If you decide to borrow cash to cover your wedding expenses, here are our picks for the best wedding loans to consider.
- Best for excellent credit: Regions Bank
- Best for limited credit: Upstart
- Best for less-than-perfect credit: Avant
- Best for flexible loan options: Wells Fargo
- Best for payment perks: Marcus by Goldman Sachs
- Is a wedding loan a good idea?
- How we picked these wedding loans
Best for excellent credit: Regions Bank
Why Regions Bank stands out: Regions Bank offers low interest rates on unsecured personal loans for borrowers who have built up a long credit history and have excellent credit.
- Check your rates — If you’re an existing Regions Bank customer, you can check your potential rates online before applying.
- Rate discounts — You may qualify for a rate discount of 0.25% if you set up autopay from a Regions Bank checking account.
- Loan limits vary — The minimum you can borrow is $2,000, but the maximum you can borrow with Regions Bank depends on how you apply. Existing customers may be able to borrow up to $50,000, but new customers are capped at $35,000.
- Short and long loan terms — Loan terms range from 12 months to 60 months, but loan term options will vary depending on how much you borrow.
Best for limited credit: Upstart
Why Upstart stands out: If you’re considering borrowing for the big day but still building your credit, a loan from Upstart could be an option to consider. Online lender Upstart considers borrowers who don’t have enough history to calculate a FICO® score.
- Prequalification — You can check rates without taking a hard hit to your credit. Note that prequalification terms aren’t final — and if you decide to submit a full application, you’ll likely see a dip in your credit scores.
- Fast funding — You could get cash deposited into your bank account as soon as the next business day if you accept loan terms by 5 p.m. Eastern time (though exact funding times can vary depending on your bank).
- Flexible loan amounts — Upstart offers loans in amounts from $1,000 to $50,000, which could be more than enough to cover a wedding reception, ceremony, photographer and other expenses for the occasion. Loan terms are either 36 months or 60 months.
- Origination fees — Upstart charges an upfront origination fee of 0% to 8% of your loan amount. This fee is taken from the lump sum before it’s given to you, which is something to consider when deciding how much to borrow.
Best for less-than-perfect credit: Avant
Why Avant stands out: If your credit isn’t perfect, Avant may be a good option: Avant says most of its borrowers have credit scores ranging between 600 and 700.
- Prequalification — Avant lets you prequalify to check for rates with just a soft inquiry to your credit, though you won’t see final terms until you formally apply (and take a hit to your credit scores).
- Longer loan terms — Avant offers loan terms ranging from 24 to 60 months, which can help out if you think you may need some extra time to pay back your wedding loan.
- Quick cash — After getting approved for a loan, you could have funds deposited in your account as soon as the next business day, though funding time can vary depending on your bank.
- Watch out for administrative costs — The administrative fee for processing your loan is up to 4.75% of your loan amount. This is an upfront fee that’s taken from the loan proceeds before you get the money.
- Avant app — Avant has a mobile app where you can manage your loan and payments.
Best for flexible loan options: Wells Fargo
Why Wells Fargo stands out: Wells Fargo offers customizable personal loans in amounts up to $100,000 with loan terms ranging from 12 to 84 months. So if you decide to borrow a large amount for an extended period, this lender could be worth considering.
- No origination fee — You don’t have to worry about paying a percentage of the loan upfront when you borrow here since there’s no origination fee.
- Rate discounts — If you make automatic payments from a Wells Fargo checking account to pay off your loan, you may qualify for an interest rate discount.
- In-person application required for new customers — Existing Wells Fargo customers may check rates and apply for loans online or over the phone. Other prospective borrowers have to visit a Wells Fargo branch to discuss loan options.
Best for payment perks: Marcus by Goldman Sachs
Why Marcus stands out: Marcus offers a unique on-time payment reward that allow you to defer a loan payment after paying on time for 12 months (interest continues to accrue during this month). You have the option to use the payment reward as soon as you earn it or later.
- No origination fee — Marcus doesn’t charge an upfront origination fee.
- Late fees don’t apply — If you’re late on a payment, you won’t be charged a fee — but you’ll still be on the hook for interest.
- Flexible loan terms — You can borrow up to $40,000 and repay it over 36 months to 72 months.
- Good credit may be necessary — Most Marcus borrowers have a credit score of 660 or above, according to Goldman Sachs’ 2020 annual report.
Is a wedding loan a good idea?
A wedding loan could be a solution to pay for some or all your wedding expenses — but before taking on debt to pay for your special day, consider the disadvantages.
Paying back a wedding loan over the next two to five years could hinder savings goals like buying a house or paying off student loan debt. Instead of borrowing, you could limit the number of guests you invite and scale back your plans.
If you’re considering borrowing, here are some pros and cons to consider.
Advantages to taking out a wedding loan
- Fixed repayment terms — Personal loans are typically installment loans, which allow you to borrow a set amount of money to pay back over a fixed period of time.
- Lots of lender options — Many different financial institutions — including banks, credit unions and online lenders — offer wedding loans in the form of personal loans. So you should have a number of options to compare to get the best rate for you. Make sure to compare interest rates, fees and loan terms from several lenders. Finally, look for a loan with no prepayment penalty, so you have the option to repay the loan early with no additional fee.
- Select the amount you want to borrow — You may have some flexibility in how much money you can borrow when you first apply. While loan amounts vary by lender, offers can range from $1,500 to $100,000. Just keep in mind that the loan amount you qualify for can depend on many factors, including your credit.
- Potentially lower interest rates — Depending on your credit, you might qualify for a lower interest rate on your loan than you’d pay on a credit card. In February 2022, the average interest rate on a 24-month personal loan from a commercial bank was 9.41%, compared to an average APR of about 14.56% for credit cards, according to Federal Reserve data.
Drawbacks of getting a wedding loan
- Extra monthly expense — Before you sign a personal loan agreement, consider using a loan calculator to determine your potential monthly payment to make sure it’s truly something you can afford.
- Potentially high interest — If you have poor credit, you could end up paying a steep interest rate, which can significantly increase the cost of borrowing money. For example, if you take out a $10,000 loan at a 20% interest rate for 24 months, you could end up paying about $1,470 more than you would if you had a 7% interest rate.
How we picked these wedding loans
When comparing the best loans, we looked at personal loans from banks and online lenders that you can use for personal expenses, including weddings. Then we compared the interest rates, loan terms, fees and borrower benefits to bring you the best personal loans that can help cover your wedding costs.