As lockdown restrictions ease and the countdown to bigger weddings begins, couples will be eager to get their wedding plans back on track, so they can walk down the aisle to say those all-important words - 'I do'. The pandemic meant scores of couples had to postpone their big day and, for some, it meant cancelling altogether. Many will now be hoping they can get back to planning their celebrations.
Although some couples may have been able to squirrel away more savings during lockdown, the cost of weddings, particularly as many may want bigger, more extravagant weddings after being apart from family and friends for so long, can run into the thousands. To help, parents, grandparents and other relatives may choose to gift money.
Research from the Family Wealth Unlocked report by Prudential UK, found that one in six (16%) adults have received a financial gift to pay for their wedding. And this number could rise. For those considering or receiving a financial gift, Kirsty Anderson, Financial Planning Expert at Prudential UK shares four things couples should consider:
1. Communication is key
If you need help paying for your big day, or you think you might receive some money from your parents or grandparents but aren't sure, it's best to speak to them. While you might be reluctant to broach this subject, it could be the key to the vital financial help you need to plan your big day. Almost one in three (30%) families don't talk about money. Not doing so means your family is unaware of any financial help you need. What's good to know is that your parents can gift up to £5,000 specifically for your wedding / civil partnership and your grandparents can gift up to £2,500 – without worrying about any inheritance tax issues.
2. Make clear your intentions
If you receive a financial gift make sure you're aware of any intentions the loved one has, for example if they want it to be used for a specific event such as a wedding, or to go towards a property or they may want you to save it for the future. Ensuring both parties are aware of what will happen to the money will avoid any disappointment or upset down the line. If any other family member does want to provide a financial gift specifically for your wedding, they can gift up to £1,000 too.
3. Spend it wisely
If you're given a financial gift, then consider how best to spend it before excitedly splurging. While you might want to put it all towards your wedding, a property deposit, or a holiday, it's best to consider your options, particularly for the longer-term. Talking to a financial adviser can help ensure your money goes a long way to meeting your financial goals – and also help your family member providing the gift understand their tax position.
4. Don't leave yourself short
If you're a making a financial gift, make sure you can afford to do so. Or if you had hoped to receive one, then don't be too disheartened if your family can't afford to gift money early. Any one of us can gift up to £3,000 per year for any reason without worrying about the tax man. But the last 12 months has thrown many people's savings and retirement plans off course, so now might be a difficult time to make an early financial gift. Your wedding day will be as special as you make it – with your loved ones watching on.