Paris

My friend's daugther and her fiance are going to be paying for their wedding with credit cards. Something to the tune of $6000.

Would I do this?

No, absolutely not. Have the wedding you can afford, do NOT go into debt (at an interest rate of nearly 16%) for it. "I really have no way of saving up the cash for this wedding" says that you're not ready to have it yet.

I didn't find the first year of marriage to be particularly challenging, but I can't count the number of times my husband and I have said "Man, we're sure glad we didn't go into debt for a ridiculous wedding."

If it's urgent because of health insurance or related reasons, I'd instead look at getting married at the courthouse and then having a big party when you have managed to save up enough for it. But seriously, the first year of marriage is challenging enough-- you don't want to add unnecessary financial stress to it as well.

Now let's run a scenario where you charge everything on the card that you clearly can't pay off quickly (since you said that you can't save up the cash). Let's say you keep everything around $6,000. Your minimum will be around $140 a month. After you pay it off (5 years later), that 4-hour party party will cost you roughly $9,000.

My guess is that you do have plenty of ways of saving up the money for a wedding, you just haven't optimized your budget to save money or figured out a way to increase your income.

Even if you have a 0% interest credit card this is a pretty poor idea.

For the cost of a wedding you can't save up for, there's too many variables that could come up to prevent you from paying it off before the 0% introductory period runs out.

There is a difference between deferred and waived interest. If you open a Chase Slate (15 months), that interest is waived. If you still have a balance in month 16, you will only be charged interest on a go-forward basis (no retroactive catch-up). So, there are ways to have the interest completely waived during the promotional period if you get the right card.

But completely agree that you should only pay for the wedding you can afford, not the wedding you wish you could afford. Because once you are married, there will be a lot of other things (car, house, vacaction) that you think you deserve - and credit card issuers waiting to finance it.

And then some cards will hit you with all the interest that would have accrued over the months since you first put a balance on it. If it's a necessary expense, like car or home repairs, then this would be worth the risk. But for a wedding? Definitely not.