Millennials, as a generation that came to age around both the Internet revolution and the turn of the millennia, have garnered some broad generalizations. They are categorized as entitled narcissists who spend tens of thousands on education, all while simultaneously being stingy and frugal. While these stereotypes may come across as contradictory, they are backed by statistics time and time again, making geared marketing complicated, and therefore the generational trends all that more intriguing. While the stereotypes have negative connotations, they denote financial frugality, fierce resourcefulness and a strong reverence of higher education. Of particular interest is how a group so vastly different from generations before handles weddings. Are they more likely to desire over-the-top venues, aligning with the entitlement stereotype, or more laid back and intimate affairs, more closely affiliated with the frugality sentiment? As recent research illustrates, like most things Millennials, the answer is a complicated “yes.”
The Knot Weds Trends And Traditions In Comprehensive Study
Popular wedding website, TheKnot.com (managed by XO Group Inc (NYSE: XOXO)) publishes an annual survey from the previous year’s brides detailing all things wedding. As the “#1 multiplatform wedding resource,” the Knot provides the most comprehensive research on wedding trends on an annual basis. According to the company, “The study includes national and regional statistics on the average cost of a wedding, how it is budgeted, the average number of wedding guests, spend per guest, wedding style trends and other key statistics related to weddings in America.” From the most recent study, the following statistics emerged:
The study noted these trends, as well:
Source: PR Newswire
What It All Means
Marriages may be taking place later in life, leading some to think that in regards to financing, the bride and groom as adults in their mid- to late-twenties would be able to pay without reliance on others. However, with Millennials predominating the space, simple linear assumptions quickly dissipate. While it would seem logical that a generation marrying older would be more inclined to pay their own way or budget more conservatively, the percentage of Millennials carrying substantial debt is significant. Furthermore, while Millennials seek independence, the broad trend of 20-somethings boomeranging back into their parents’ homes relates nicely with the noted trend that the bride’s parents still contribute substantially to the wedding festivities. Additionally, it may come as a surprise that with such a proclivity toward frugality, spending is on the rise across most budgeting subsectors; however, within the context of a generation that tends to desire immediate gratification and equal treatment regardless of circumstances, these seeming contradictions fade. In other words, while these trends may seem messy, they do illustrate the complications and contradictions many other professionals have noted within the generation.
For The Future Bride (And Her Family) And Groom
Trends, while not indicative of what is to happen in individual situations, do give insight into what is probable for the average person. In looking at the costs of weddings from previous years, it is possible to determine that weddings in the future are going to be expensive. And with that knowledge, proper planning can help curb unexpected financial obstacles. For future brides and grooms, if their financial situation allows, beginning a savings account set aside for a wedding may be prudent. While dowries have gone out of fashion, parents of future brides may want to consider a liquid dowry of some sort. Other financing options include personal loans, which are preferable over credit cards in many situations. Particularly if the loan is unsecured, there’s often no competition when comparing rates. Additionally, where credit cards are frequently misused and can easily damage a credit score, personal loans are treated as a fixed-term loan and can therefore help boost a sagging credit score. Regardless of whether you are getting married or your child is looking to be hitched sooner rather than later, the key to any financial success is to budget, stick to the plan and educate yourself. Through financial literacy (researching what financing options work best for you and your situation, comparing rates, etc.) and proper budgeting techniques, your dreams can be met. Dedication and education go a long way toward making white, lacy dreams a reality.
Disclaimer: The material provided on this site is not intended to provide legal, investment, or financial advice or to indicate the suitability of any Even Financial product or service to your unique circumstances. For specific advice about your unique circumstances, you may wish to consult a qualified professional. Any information or statistical data sourced by Even Financial through hyperlinks, from third-party websites, are provided for informational purposes only. While Even Financial finds these sources to be accurate, it does not endorse or guarantee any third-party content.
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