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Guide to Wedding Saving Accounts

Guide to Wedding Saving Accounts
Jennifer Calonia
Jennifer CaloniaUpdated March 22, 2023
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Editor’s note: Lantern by SoFi seeks to provide content that is objective, independent and accurate. Writers are separate from our business operation and do not receive direct compensation from advertisers or partners. Read more about our Editorial Guidelines and How We Make Money.
Planning a wedding is exciting, but figuring how you’re going to pay for it can be stressful. The average cost of a wedding in 2022 was a whopping $30,000, according to The Knot’s Real Wedding Survey.Whether you're planning to spend a lot less, or considerably more, one way to make the cost of a wedding more manageable is to open a dedicated wedding savings account as early as possible and to start making monthly contributions. Even if you and your partner can only make small deposits each month, the account will grow over time, especially if you choose a high-interest wedding savings account. Here’s a look at how a wedding savings account works and how to choose the right account to reach your wedding savings goal.

What Is a Wedding Savings Account?

A wedding savings account is a savings account specifically earmarked for upcoming wedding expenses. It lets you easily track your savings progress and pays interest on your deposits, typically expressed as an annual percentage yield (APY). Some banks and credit unions offer special “wedding savings accounts” that allow you and your partner, as well as family and friends, to contribute money for the wedding. However, any type of savings account can work well as a wedding savings account. The key is to keep your wedding money separate from your regular spending, and also separate from your other savings, so you don’t inadvertently spend it on something else.

How Does a Wedding Savings Account Work? 

Wedding savings accounts work like regular savings accounts. When you need funds to cover a wedding expense you can move money from that account to your checking account (even if the accounts are at two different banks) then use a check or your debit card to pay the vendor. Like other savings accounts, a wedding savings account typically comes with monthly withdrawal limits, often six per month. Also like other savings accounts, it will likely be federally insured up to $250,000 by either the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) or Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). This coverage applies to each account holder and each account you hold at a bank or credit union.

Examples of Wedding Savings Accounts 

There are many different types of savings accounts that can help you reach your wedding savings goal. Here are some options to consider.

Traditional Savings Account

Traditional savings accounts are offered by brick-and-mortar banks and credit unions. These accounts earn interest, though rates are typically low. In addition, some traditional banks may charge a monthly maintenance or service fee for savings accounts.Using a traditional savings account for wedding expenses might be convenient if you already have a checking account with a conventional bank and want to keep your checking and wedding savings under one institution. 

Specialty Savings Account

Some banks offer specialty savings accounts that are designed to help you save for a specific goal, such as wedding expenses. These accounts may come with a low minimum opening deposit amount and might not have maintenance fees. You may also be able to personalize the name of the account and set a deadline for your savings goal.

High-Yield Savings Account

High-yield savings accounts are typically found at online-only banks. These accounts function in a similar way to traditional bank accounts except that they can pay as much as 25 times the national average rate on standard savings accounts. Online institutions are able to offer this higher rate due to reduced overhead costs. They also typically charge no, or low, fees.Saving through an online bank can help you maximize your wedding savings interest, if you don’t mind the lack of a physical branch. 

Money Market Account

A money market account is a savings account that offers some of the conveniences of a checking account, such as a debit card and checks. Your deposits typically earn a competitive APY, and you can easily use the account to pay wedding vendors. However, you may need to make a higher minimum opening deposit and meet higher minimum daily balance requirements to avoid fees.

Certificates of Deposit (CD)

Certificates of deposit (CDs) are offered by banks and credit unions and allow you to save a lump sum toward your wedding for a specified period of time, usually from six months up to five years. During that time period, however, you can’t access your funds. In return for leaving your money untouched for a set period of time, CDs typically pay a higher APY than other types of savings accounts. This could be a good option if you don't expect to need to withdraw funds for wedding expenses soon.

What Savings Plans Suit Wedding Savings? 

When choosing a wedding savings account, you’ll want to consider several factors:
  • APY Though interest is typically added monthly, an APY tells you how much you can expect to earn on your wedding funds over one year. Generally, the higher the APY, the faster your savings will grow. 
  • Balance requirements Some savings accounts require a minimum deposit to open your account, as well as an ongoing minimum balance to avoid fees. You’ll want to be sure you can meet these requirements.
  • Fees Some savings accounts charge monthly account fees, fund transfer fees, ATM fees, and other fees, which can detract from your efforts to save. Even if an account offers a high APY, it may not be the best deal if you’re going to have to pay regular fees.
  • Access Consider how you’ll be able to access and manage your wedding funds, such as via online banking, mobile banking, or in-person banking. If you want the option to withdraw wedding funds as cash, be sure the account comes with an ATM card and access to conveniently located, and fee-free, ATMs.
  • Federal insurance You’ll want to verify that the account is protected by the federal government through either the FDIC or NCUA. 

What to Know About Opening a Wedding Savings Account

It’s generally easy to open a wedding savings account. Depending on the bank, you may be able to open the account either online or in person. To open a joint account, you will both likely need to provide your contact information, Social Security numbers, and at least one form of identification, such as a driver’s license or a passport.You may be required to deposit money into your wedding account right away. You can typically do that by depositing cash or a check or setting up an electronic transfer of funds from an outside account into your new account. 

Tips on the Amount to Save for Your Wedding Expenses

Exactly how much you’ll need to save for your wedding will depend on the type of celebration you’re planning, how much you already have saved, and how much help you will be getting from family.To come up with your wedding budget, you’ll want to make a list of expenses — everything from the invitations to the venue to the music to the favors — you and your partner will need to pay for. Once you have a total , you can figure out how much you need to save monthly. For example, if you need $15,000 and you’re planning to get married 15 months from now, you’d need to save $1,000 each month, which might come out to $500 each. If you already have a lump sum of savings you can put towards the wedding, be sure to deposit that money into your wedding account and adjust your goal number before making your monthly savings calculations. You may also want to include the cost of the honeymoon when coming up with your total (and monthly) savings goal. 

Other Wedding Savings Tips

Once you have your wedding savings account set up, here are some saving strategies that can help you reach your savings goal.
  • Cut out some monthly expenses. Examine your monthly bills to see which expenses you can cut — or at least pause  — while you’re saving for the wedding. You can then direct that money into your wedding savings account.
  • Make it automatic. Consider setting up an automatic transfer of a set amount from your checking to your wedding savings account on the same day each month (perhaps on the day your paycheck clears). Or, ask your employer to split your direct deposit so that a certain amount goes into your wedding savings fund.
  • Take on some extra work Consider picking up a side gig (like working for a food delivery or ride-share service) or doing some freelance work. You can then put all of your extra earnings right into your wedding account.
  • Try a spending freeze. To give your account an occasional boost, you and your partner might agree to not buy any nonessential items for a week (or possibly even a month) and add all the money you saved to your wedding account.
  • Take advantage of windfalls. If you receive a lump sum of money, such as an engagement or wedding gift, bonus at work, or tax refund, consider putting it directly into your wedding savings account. 

The Takeaway

A wedding savings account is a specific, goal-oriented account that allows you to set aside money for your wedding and earn interest on your deposits. Some institutions offer specific “wedding savings accounts,” but any type of savings account can work well. Options include traditional savings accounts, high-yield savings accounts, and money market accounts.When choosing the best account for your wedding fund, you’ll want to compare APYs, minimum balance requirements, how you can access your funds, and fees. To simplify the search process, you might want to use a savings account comparison site. With Lantern by SoFi’s online banking marketplace, for example, it’s easy to compare high-yield savings accounts based on APY, fees, and balance minimums all in one place.Lantern can help you compare online savings accounts and find today’s best rate.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long do I have to save for my wedding?
Is it smart to automate my wedding savings?
Where can you keep the money for your wedding?
How much is it advisable for me to save per month for my wedding?
Photo credit: iStock/solidcolours

About the Author

Jennifer Calonia

Jennifer Calonia

Jennifer Calonia is a Los Angeles-based finance writer who has covered the gamut, including student loans, credit card rewards, consumer loans, and debt. Her work has been featured in outlets like Bankrate, NerdWallet, Business Insider, Yahoo Finance, and U.S. News.
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