How I saved up for my dream wedding – reader success story

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Today we wanted to share a story from TPG reader Sarah who put together a plan to pay for her dream destination wedding:

When my husband-to-be Tony and I started planning our dream wedding, we wanted to make sure it really did fit our dreams without having to use any of our savings. We wanted a destination wedding in Hawaii that was affordable enough for our family and friends to attend.

I spent a ton of time researching various websites and Facebook groups to put together a plan.  I also relied on a friend who had previously planned their own destination wedding to help with the details.  We also relied heavily on a wedding coordinator in Hawaii to help with logistics.

Once we had our plan mapped out we needed to figure out a way to save up the money without touching our current savings. Both my husband and I are huge dog lovers.  We had started using a service called Rover when we traveled, that way our pet could spend time at home with someone focused on them instead of in a kennel. We had previous experience fostering dogs and thought that watching other people’s dogs could be fun and help us achieve our dream wedding.

We worked hard to establish a great reputation for taking care of other people’s pets, and soon we had more dogs than we could handle.  With the help of our wedding planner, we established a monthly budget, and figured out how much we needed to save each month to achieve our goal. We signed up for a mileage earning credit card to put all wedding expenses on. With the sign-up bonuses and miles earned for spending, this helped with 3 round-trip airfares. It took over a year of hard work and budgeting to make our dream possible.

I also spent time researching airfare and lodging options for family and friends.  It was important to make sure the people we loved could attend the wedding without breaking their bank. We were able to secure discounted rates from Alaska Airlines and Hawaiian Airlines for flights as well as lodging discounts in Hawaii. The work we put in on research paid off by helping our guests be able to afford to attend. Instead of putting together a traditional wedding registry, we invited attendees to only come with their best Hawaiian shirt and sunscreen. For those who chose to celebrate from afar, we asked to  contribute to a future honeymoon fund.

We’re so happy with the way we planned our dream wedding. We got married in an unbelievable destination. It took careful and strategic planning as well as a detailed wedding budget. It was important to have an incredible wedding without hurting our financial future. In the end, we were able to save enough money to realize our dual dream of a memorable wedding and saving for our future.

Planning a wedding can be a daunting task on any budget.  Destination weddings are much more complex, especially if your family and friends don’t understand how to use points from your credit card to save on travel costs. A destination wedding was a dream Sarah was determined to accomplish.  She and her husband turned their love of dogs into a worthwhile way to earn the extra money they needed to avoid dipping into their savings. With proper planning and the discipline to save money along the way, she almost makes it sound easy. And, those dogs sure are cute!

Kudos to Sarah and Tony! We’re sending them a gift card to celebrate their nuptials and help them continue saving money for the future.  If you have a great reader success story, please send it to info@thepointsguy.com; be sure to include details about how you earned and redeemed your rewards, and put “Reader Success Story” in the subject line.

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