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Zopa meets borrower Emily

Emily Heath turned to Zopa when she and her fiancé Rhys decided to bring their wedding forward by a whole 12 months. The couple were originally due to get married in the summer of 2015, but in February of the previous year they found out that their vicar – who was a longstanding and very close friend of her late grandfather – was soon to retire due to ill-health.

Planning a wedding… in just two months

“We wouldn’t have wanted anyone else to conduct our service, so we decided to get married in July 2014 instead,” says Emily, 25, an assistant retail manager. “Of course this made all the preparations really stressful: we had to plan the whole wedding in just a couple of months rather than over the course of a year.”

One of the major implications of this lack of time was that Emily, from Merthyr Tydfil in south Wales, was not in a position to shop around for the best deals on the likes of cakes or venues. “It really limited all our choices,” she adds. Nor did they have as much time to save up as they had hoped.

Choosing a wedding loan

As a result, Emily decided to take out a wedding loan to help cover some of the expenses. “My friends told me just to go in to my bank, but I just don’t have the time during the week to get out of work and go for a meeting,” she says. “So I decided to look online: I used a comparison service to get the top 10 personal loan deals, and Zopa was ranked second. But when I looked into it in more detail, Zopa was offering loads more options – for example, I could control the loan online, and there was more flexibility over paying it off early.”

Decision time

Emily decided to borrow £4,000 initially over four years, but has ended up clearing the debt in just two. “The application process was very straightforward. I didn’t want to borrow on a credit card because I think it is way too easy to run up loads of extra charges. With a loan, you can see how much you have paid off, how much is left to go, and how long it is going to take to clear.”

Bargain hunting

Despite the rush, Emily did still manage to find some ways to save money. “I’m a bit of a bargain hunter, so we went to look at some of the wedding shops in Cardiff for ideas and then bought the stuff online – for things like table decorations, you can get exactly the same items considerably cheaper if you import them yourself on eBay. And I made my own favours and gift bags. Despite all the stress, though, we had a wonderful day.”

Find out more about Zopa wedding loans.