It makes sense for many couples to get married and buy a home within the same year. After all, a new house allows newlyweds to build routines, traditions, and family together. However, planning a wedding and purchasing a house are major financial undertakings. Keeping a few factors in mind could make it easier to navigate both decisions within a relatively short time.

Wedding and home budgets

Celebrating a wedding and buying a home within the same 12-month period is exciting, but also requires organization. “One way to stay organized and monitor both savings goals easily is to use separate savings accounts,” said Myles Norfolk, financial representative with Northwestern Mutual in Dallas. “Couples can plan how much they’ll contribute to each account every month.”

Both weddings and down payments can cost in the tens of thousands of dollars. While it’s possible to buy a less expensive home and plan a budget-friendly wedding, it’s often easier to reduce the wedding budget. When juggling both expenses, many couples plan a more frugal wedding to preserve funds for a new house. However, each situation is different. Each partner’s priorities—for both their special day and their new home—should factor into the budget.

Making the most of the registry

A wedding registry could help a new house feel like home. Couples may make registries at stores that sell the furnishings, appliances, and décor they want. Smaller items may include dish sets, throw pillows, and silverware, but newlyweds shouldn’t be afraid to include larger purchases on their registries, like espresso machines, grills, or furniture (some wedding websites offer the option for multiple people to contribute to a larger gift).

Alternatively, people who plan to purchase their home after the wedding may either include the option to gift money toward a down payment on their registry or even replace a traditional registry with a down payment fund. Couples who have been allocating most of their money toward the wedding and house expenses may instead ask guests to contribute to their honeymoon fund.

Protecting their credit

Weddings are expensive. Couples may feel tempted to pay vendors, venues, and more with their credit cards rather than dip into savings that could go toward a home. However, that decision, if couples are unable to pay their bills, could make buying a home more challenging.

“Credit scores can affect the mortgage rate a couple qualifies for,” Norfolk said. If covering wedding expenses has caused either person’s credit score to go down, the couple may face higher interest rates, or may not even qualify for a mortgage. Therefore, it’s crucial that couples use credit cards carefully when paying for wedding expenses.”

Life insurance coverage

For couples planning to tie the knot and buy a home in the same year, life insurance may not be the first thing on their mind. However, a new family’s future financial security is as important as ever during this significant life transition. Mortgage payments could become a financial burden if either spouse passes away unexpectedly after buying a new home. “A life insurance policy offers financial security by leaving the surviving spouse with a death benefit to cover expenses like a home, funeral, and caring for the family,” Norfolk said. “New couples may opt for term life insurance, which offers coverage for a fixed period. They could choose coverage that lasts through the end of their mortgage to ensure the family’s home is secure until they are financially sound and able to cover any debts.”

The bottom line

Getting married and buying a home in the same year is an ambitious goal for any couple. Fortunately, careful planning can make this goal attainable. Navigating these major milestones can become easier with a cohesive, realistic budget, and responsible financial decisions.

 Northwestern Mutual is the marketing name for The Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company (NM) and its subsidiaries in Milwaukee, WI.

Source: Northwestern Mutual