• Understand the conversations about finances you may need to have before and after the big day.
  • Find out about how you might need to save and budget for the wedding.
  • Understand what getting married means for both of your longer term finances.

Read time

14 mins

Chapter 1


Read time

2 mins

Congratulations – getting married or entering a civil partnership is a really big moment!

With so much to think about, plan and book, it’s important to be organised. We’re here to help guide you through the financial side of marriage and civil partnerships so you can go forward confidently.

As you start planning your life together, it's important to be open and transparent when it comes to money.

Before your big day, take the time to talk about your attitudes towards money. Ask yourselves questions like:

  • How do you each manage your finances?
  • What are your spending habits?
  • How will you work together as team to manage your household finances?

There is no right or wrong way to make these decisions. Find whatever works for the two of you to stay in control of your money.

Chapter 2


Read time

3 mins

Before the COVID-19 pandemic and sizes of weddings were reduced, the average cost of a wedding in the UK was £30k. As you begin planning your big day, it’s important to set out a realistic budget – and to stick to it, because costs can spiral easily. Look at your short- and long-term finances and ask yourselves, "How much are we prepared to spend?"

You also need to decide on your priorities. Not sure? There are lots of wedding planning checklists online, and you can use them to make sure you haven’t missed anything. There are also lots of online forums where past and present brides share tips and insights. If you can afford it, you might even want to hire a wedding planner to help you along the way.

Wherever you can, try to make sure you’re getting a good deal. Doing research will help you see what the typical cost is for things like photographers and florists. Seek out lots of quotes to make sure you’re getting a fair price.



To save more and increase the amount you can spend, you could also look at cutting back on specific things now. For example, could you eat out less? Do you have any subscriptions you could pause?

See our budgeting section for some suggestions on how to set up a wedding budget, or use the Budget Planner provided by MoneyHelper to work out what your budget is.



While saving is usually the cheapest way to pay for your wedding, you might also want to explore borrowing – if your circumstances allow for it.

A loan can help you spread the cost, but you’re likely to pay interest on it – so it’ll cost you more overall. You’ll need to decide whether the interest charged is worth the convenience of paying in fixed monthly instalments. You can use the loan calculator by MoneyHelper to find out what a loan will approximately cost in terms of repayments.



If 2020 taught us anything, it's that life is unpredictable. Even with all the planning and preparation in the world, we never quite know what's around the corner. It's worth considering wedding insurance as you start to put down deposits – you might be grateful you did it.

Chapter 3


Read time

3 mins

Your wedding or civil partnership ceremony is just the start of your lives together. You need to ask some important questions for what happens after:

  • What are your goals for the future as a couple?
  • With the day itself over, what's your next savings goal?
  • Are you looking to save for a property together?
  • Do you have plans to start a family one day?

Once you’ve answered these questions, you need to think about how you can work together to reach your goals. You can use savings techniques while saving for your wedding day to save for any future goals.

You might also want to think about opening joint bank accounts to help manage your shared finances. They’re not for everyone, and you shouldn’t be under any pressure to combine your finances if you’re not both comfortable with it.

If you’ve changed your name as part of your civil partnership or marriage, spend some time going through your accounts and policies to check if you need to update your personal details. You’ll also need to make HMRC aware of any changes. Usually, you’ll need to present a copy of your marriage or civil partnership certificate as evidence, or other deed poll type confirmation of name change, so it’s a good idea to order multiple copies of these documents just in case.

You may also want to make or adjust a will to reflect the change in your circumstances. It’s not always a comfortable activity, but it can be reassuring to spend time thinking about the loved ones and causes you would want to help should anything happen to you. You should also consider exploring life insurance and protection options to make sure that your spouse would be supported.

Chapter 4


Read time

3 mins

The Citizens Advice Bureau also has details about the key legal differences between living together and being married.

MoneyHelper have a range of resources to support you as you budget and save for your wedding.

You may be able to apply for the Marriage Allowance, which allows you to transfer some of your personal allowance to each other and save on tax.

Chapter 5


Read time

3 mins

Retirement can feel a long way off, but it’s important to start planning early.

As a couple, take the time to talk about when you might want to retire – and any aspirations you have for your retirement. Your plans will evolve throughout your life, but setting out what your current outlooks are now is a huge help. The Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA) Retirement Living Standards resources can help you understand how much you might want to have saved up by the time you retire.

Once you have an idea of the size of pension pots you’ll need for retirement, you could work together to reach this goal. Review your finances as a household and see if you can increase contributions into your workplace pension, or any other private pension scheme you have.

By paying in more to a workplace scheme, you might get an increased employer contribution on top. Speak to your employer to find out how much they’ll match and what benefits you might see. We recommend speaking to a financial adviser before making any changes to your pension. Find an adviser at Unbiased. You will normally be charged for any advice.

As mentioned above, you might want to think about what will happen to your finances now you have a spouse. Wills are important, but you should also review your pension beneficiaries as workplace pensions are not included in estates. It may also be time to revisit or take out some form of financial protection, like life or critical illness cover.

Scottish Widows Be Money Well is committed to providing information in a way that is accessible and useful for our users. This information, however, is not in any way intended to amount to authority or advice on which reliance should be placed. You should seek professional advice as appropriate and required. Any sites, products or services named in this module are just examples of what's available. Scottish Widows does not endorse the services they provide. The information in this module was last updated on 27th June 2024.


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