Bride and groom stand near a lake at sunset.

How to Pay for a Wedding Using a Credit Card

Last Updated: February 1, 2024
4 min read

Key points about: paying wedding expenses with a credit card

  1. You can earn rewards such as cash back or miles by paying for your wedding with a rewards credit card.

  2. With a 0% introductory APR offer credit card, you may be able to avoid paying interest.

  3. Paying for a wedding with a credit card is convenient but requires discipline and thorough budgeting.

Your wedding day may be one of the happiest days of your life, but there’s no denying that planning a wedding may be stressful at times. From hunting for venues and picking vendors, to funding the whole event with all the bells and whistles you want, there’s certainly a lot to do. And financing a wedding can be a matter of uncertainty for some people, but there are a few options available.
 
Some couples may opt for a personal loan for their wedding to fund their big day, while others may rely on credit cards, savings, or monetary gifts to pay expenses. Credit cards in particular have some advantages that other options can’t match.

See if you’re pre-approved

With no harm to your credit score3

Benefits of using a credit card to pay for wedding expenses

Purchase protection

While you can certainly pay most wedding vendors in cash or using funds from a personal loan, one of the key benefits of using a credit card is a dispute process for purchases. According to the Federal Trade Commission, the Fair Credit Billing Act allows consumers to dispute charges, and you may be able to have a transaction reversed. For instance, if the vendor supplying your cake doesn’t deliver the cake as promised, you may be able to dispute the credit card charge. Couples who pay cash may find it harder to navigate such a situation.

Credit card rewards

Many credit cards have a rewards program that could allow you to earn credit card rewards on the wedding expenses you charge to your card. These rewards could be cash back that can be redeemed for other wedding-related expenses, or you could have a travel credit card like the Discover it® Miles Card that lets you turn Miles into cash. Or redeem as a statement credit for your travel purchases like airfare, hotels, rideshares, gas stations, restaurants, and more.1

Bonus

A new credit card may offer incentives for new cardmembers that could significantly increase your rewards. The incentive may earn you additional cash back or miles every time you use your credit card for wedding purchases within the bonus time frame. Weddings typically require a high amount of spending and may be the perfect opportunity to take advantage of a credit card bonus.

The credit card offer may differ from one credit card company to another. For example, Discover gives unlimited Cashback Match to all new cardmembers: we'll automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year. There is no limit to how much we’ll match.2

0% intro APR credit cards

Along with a bonus, a new credit card may also offer the benefit of having an introductory 0% interest rate. This may allow you to slowly pay off your wedding expenses without paying any interest if you pay off the balance by the end of the promotional period. Once the promotional period is over, any pending balance will incur the full interest. To get the full benefits of a promotional offer, you should read the card’s terms and conditions carefully before charging anything to the card.

Disadvantages of paying for wedding expenses with a credit card

Going over budget

Without discipline and planning, you may spend more than you intended and take longer to pay off the balance. To avoid this, it can help to create a wedding budget beforehand and be diligent about sticking to it. You can also set mobile alerts to let you know when you’re close to going over budget.

Increasing your credit utilization rate

Weddings are expensive, and using a credit card to pay for expenses may take up a lot of your available credit. This may increase your credit utilization rate and consequently lower your credit score. This change is not necessarily permanent, and your score will gradually increase as you repay your credit card debt. But even a temporary decrease in your score may impact credit applications in the immediate future.

One way to avoid a high credit utilization ratio is to increase your credit limit. Alternatively, consider staggering your payments and paying them off quickly. For instance, if you’ve booked your wedding venue and made an advance payment, try to avoid making payments to your caterer and florist in the same month. Making gradual payments to different vendors and attempting to keep your card balance low may help prevent a big increase in your credit utilization ratio.

Did you know?

Planning a wedding can be expensive and if you plan to use a credit card to pay for some expenses, you may be able to take advantage of Discover Cashback Match. We’ll automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year.2

Paying high interest rates

Compared to a personal loan for a wedding, credit cards may have a higher interest rate. Even for those taking advantage of a promotional low interest rate, not repaying the balance during the promotional period will mean incurring interest at the card’s regular interest rate. The high costs associated with a wedding paired with high-interest rates may mean you start your marriage with high credit card debt.

The only workaround is to pay off the balance within the promo period. Consider using any cash wedding gifts from guests to pay down the debt. Some credit cards let you apply your cash back rewards directly as a statement credit–this can be especially convenient when you’re running up large bills.

Wedding planning can be exciting and fun, but finances may sometimes be a hurdle. Credit cards may be a great way to pay for wedding purchases, since you can earn rewards and, with the right promotional offer and paying your balance in full by the due date, avoid interest charges altogether. But to avoid sinking into credit card debt, it’s important to maintain a strict wedding budget and keep spending within your limits.

Next steps

You may also be interested in

Share article

Was this article helpful?

Glad you found this useful. Could you let us know what you found helpful?
Sorry this article didn't help you. Can you give us feedback why?

Was this article helpful?

Thank you for your feedback

  1. Redeem Miles: Starting at 1 Mile, you can redeem your Miles as a credit to your account to pay for all or part of your bill, for cash as an electronic deposit to your bank account, or for a credit for Travel Purchases made on your statement within the last 180 days. Travel Purchases include airline tickets, hotel rooms, car rentals, travel agents, online travel sites, commuter transportation, restaurants and gas stations. Restaurant purchases include those made at merchants classified as full-service restaurants, cafes, cafeterias, fast-food locations, and restaurant delivery services. Gas Station purchases include those made at merchants classified as places that sell automotive gasoline that can be bought at the pump or inside the station. Gas Stations affiliated with supermarkets, supercenters, and wholesale clubs may not be eligible.

    Even if a travel purchase on your statement appears to fit in a Travel Purchase category, the merchant may not have a merchant category code (MCC) in a Travel Purchase category. Merchants and payment processors are assigned an MCC based on their typical products and services. Discover Card does not assign MCCs to merchants. Certain third-party payment accounts and digital wallet transactions may not be eligible for credit redemption if the technology does not provide sufficient transaction details or a qualifying MCC. See Terms and Conditions for more information.

  2. Cashback Match: We’ll match all the cash back rewards you’ve earned on your credit card from the day your new account is approved through your first 12 consecutive billing periods or 365 days, whichever is longer, and add it to your rewards account within two billing periods. You’ve earned cash back rewards only when they’re processed, which may be after the transaction date. We will not match: rewards that are processed after your match period ends; statement credits; rewards transfers from Discover checking or other deposit accounts; or rewards for accounts that are closed. This promotional offer may not be available in the future and is exclusively for new cardmembers. No purchase minimums.

  3. There is no hard inquiry to your credit report to check if you’re pre-approved. If you’re pre-approved, and you move forward with submitting an application for the credit card, it will result in a hard inquiry which may impact your credit score. Receiving a pre-approval offer does not guarantee approval. Applicants applying without a social security number are not eligible to receive pre-approval offers. Card applicants cannot be pre-approved for the NHL Discover Card.

  • Legal Disclaimer: This site is for educational purposes and is not a substitute for professional advice. The material on this site is not intended to provide legal, investment, or financial advice and does not indicate the availability of any Discover product or service. It does not guarantee that Discover offers or endorses a product or service. For specific advice about your unique circumstances, you may wish to consult a qualified professional.