Let's face it....you're in love, it's Valentine's Day, there's chocolate, champagne, candlelight, romance...what better time to ask your true love for their hand in marriage? Then, shortly after you realize that you have not only a huge task before you, but you actually have to pay for it all!
That in and of itself can be terribly stressful and frightening, especially in today's economy when we are all just doing well to get by week to week.
The very first thing you want to do is set up a separate savings account just for your wedding. Many couples start two accounts at this point, one for the wedding and another for the honeymoon. I posted recently about registering online for your honeymoon while you are filling out you other gift registry options. This is a great idea to offset those honeymoon related costs. Distinctive Honeymoons, Honeymoon Wishes and The Big Day are three main sites to choose from.
Your savings account should be with an online bank that pays high interest rates, like ING Direct. The great thing about these type of banks is that they don't have as much overhead as a brick and motor bank, so they have higher interest rates and they let you automatically transfer money out of your checking account and into a linked savings account with no fees. The goal you should have in mind to effectively save at a fairly rapid rate is to have 10 to 20 percent of each paycheck deposited into this account. This amount is based on having just about 12 months worth of saving. If you have less time, obviously you need to save at a much high rate per paycheck.