These are the things millennials spend most of their money on, as reported in our millennial-obsessed media: four-dollar lattes, music festivals in exotic locales, avocado toast, Ubers, electronic gadgets and the most expensive thrill of all: best friends’ weddings. The latter expense is not only the most detrimental to a person’s savings account (as anyone who has been a bridesmaid recently will tell you), it’s also the subject of a new report about the spending habits of Gen Y, entitled “Pre Wedding Bashes can Put a Dent in Saving for a Home Down Payment.” The report, published by real estate database Zillow Porchlight, suggests that millennials spend an exorbitant amount of money on wedding related stuff, from gifts to transportation to the reception itself, to destination bachelor and bachelorette trips.
According to Zillow, “people who attend just nine of these [destination] bashes will have spent up to $13,788, or 35 per cent of a down payment on a median-price home.” Besides the stag parties, says the report, “On average, bridesmaids and groomsmen spend an additional $1,154 for things like wedding day attire, a gift for the bride and groom, as well as travel and accommodations for the wedding day. Guests not in the bridal party still spend $888, on average, to attend each wedding.”
Cue the baby boomer finger wagging: “Spend less on your weekend debauchery and you’d have a house by now! Be sensible! Save your money!” All valid points and some of them true, but I’ve begun to wonder lately if blame for the millennial-wedding-industrial-complex rests not on the shoulders of Gen Y spenders themselves, but rather, on the shoulders of their boomer parents.
After all, who loves a big black-tie bash complete with distant relatives, a Motown cover band and roving platters of cocktail shrimp more than people 50 plus?
Research may indicate that millennials shell out a ton of money for their friends’ nuptials and their own, but it also runs counter to the fact that we are eloping in great numbers (NYC elopement service, Eloping is Fun, told Glamour this month that its millennial-catered business has doubled every year) and we are pioneers in getting married on the cheap. Pop-up style weddings where a handful of couples share their wedding day and the price of the venue are increasingly popular with the Gen Y demographic. Lynzie Kent, Toronto wedding planner and owner of Love By Lynzie Events + Design, says the recent pop up wedding she and her staff organized at the Drake Hotel, where 9 couples were married on the same day for a discount price of $600 per couple, was so successful she has a waiting list for her next shared wedding event in January 2018.
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