In an unexpected turn of events, the real estate market may have just become the wedding industry’s biggest nemesis. According to Forbes, a growing number of millennials are forgoing their wedding ceremonies in an effort to buy a home.
Millennials (those between the ages of 22 and 37) have recently become the largest population of homebuyers in the country, making up 36% of the nation’s home sales.
Unfortunately, the influx of millennials in real estate doesn’t mean the millennial generation is in any position to be taking on more financial stress.
Bogged down by student loan debt, rising mortgage rates, and rising housing prices across the U.S., many millennials have taken to working a second job, driving for ride-sharing services, renting out rooms, and taking out second credit cards despite the one-in-33 chance of having their identity stolen in the next year.
Millennials have also taken to postponing or cutting back on their weddings.
Two-thirds of those buying diamond jewelry aren’t willing to spend more than $1,000. And that’s just jewelry.
According to a recent survey conducted by Open Listings, up to 64% of millennial couples said they’d be willing to delay or downsize their wedding ceremony to be able to afford a home.
YouTuber Tiffanie Anne, 28, said she and her husband canceled their destination wedding in Hawaii, which came at an estimated cost of $35,000 to $40,000. The average cost of a wedding in the U.S. is between $19,300 and $32,200.
Tiffanie Anne said it was when the cost of the catering, photography, and venue alone drew them close to the top of the budget that they decided to pull the plug.
“We were really shaken,” said Tiffanie Anne. “That is when we wanted to pump the brakes.”
Tiffanie Anne and her husband, Brett, were planning to buy a home after their wedding. But the average cost of a house in their part of California cost up to $400,000 with a 5% down payment of $20,000.
Rather than pay $20,000 on catering, Tiffanie Anne and Brett decided to downsize to a small, family-only wedding ceremony and used their money to purchase a condo in Malibu.
“It was a better investment than a wedding, something that would only last a day,” said Tiffanie Anne. “But a home would be our first family home to create years of memories. And when we decide to sell? It would be ours to sell.”
Many millennials like Tiffanie Anne are also forgoing long-standing wedding traditions to afford their homes. For instance, millennials are choosing to exchange the traditional gift registry with down payment donations.
Sara Margulis, the CEO of crowdfunding platform Honeyfund, says 5% to 10% of the website’s user base is asking for down payment donations or donations for home improvement projects.
Another reason why many couples are choosing donations over a registry is because the registry isn’t necessary. Compared to other generations, millennials have been waiting for a longer period of time to buy a house.
Many millennials been living with their partners for years and renting for up to a decade, meaning they already have everything they need to live in a new home. Furniture is the third most expensive thing people will buy and there up to 300,000 items in the average American living space.
Millennials, who already own these things, now only need a house to put them in.
“Many couples are living together and already have the traditional home goods, but they have less saved for both the wedding and other costs to start a life together, like buying a home,” said Margulis.