It’s no secret that millennials tend to march by the beat of their own drum. We’ve seen plenty of changes in the wedding industry over the last decade, with most of them spearheaded by millennials.
Many a wedding tradition that was a given before is now being re-considered, re-purposed or, sometimes, just removed by millennial couples. With that in mind, here are 10 ways that millennials are shaking up the wedding industry as we know it.
- The Rings
The idea that you should spend three months’ salary on a ring doesn’t necessarily ring true to the millennial generation. They aren’t going cheap on their rings, but the question of how much should you spend on an engagement ring is really being re-thought by millennials.
With more budget-friendly options available that still look incredible, millennials are re-purposing money saved into other parts of their wedding, honeymoon or just life in general.
That’s not to say that classic ring styles are going by the wayside for millennials. While there are definitely some unique settings and stones loved by millennials, cuts like the classic oval-shaped engagement ring are still here to stay.
Personalized experiences are a huge trend in general for millennials, and weddings are no different. Sure, millennials can appreciate the significance of long-standing traditions, but that doesn’t mean they’re going to put them in their wedding.
Millennials are really leaning into creating a one-of-one, ultra-personalized wedding. And when they do it, they do it big. They also often lean into DIY weddings. This alone contributes to the dip in wedding spending seen among the millennial generation (more on that later). Weddings tend to be an all-hands-on-deck affair for millennials looking to save money by going DIY.
Interestingly enough, while millennials tend more to customized weddings, they spend less on dresses and rings than previous generations. In fact, according to a survey by TD Ameritrade, 90% of millennial women surveyed don’t think a ring should cost more than $2500. The average cost of a ring in the U.S. currently? $5,680.
The bridal industry has also taken a millennial-induced dip in revenue. While not to the same degree as rings, millennial brides-to-be aren’t as enthralled by the high price tag of dresses as Gen X and previous generations seemed to be.
Here’s the most interesting part, though: A millennial wedding costs about $10,000 more on average than a Generation X wedding. However, millennial weddings also tend to be larger affairs with a greater number of guests in attendance. Destination weddings are also on the rise for millennials, though they can often be a cheaper alternative.
Your average millennial isn’t getting married in shorts but also isn’t going for a tuxedo with tails, either. Millennial weddings tend to lean more toward business casual than black-tie formal; a definite shake-up from the status quo.
- Marrying Age
Millennials are getting married later (if at all) with an average age of 32. Interestingly enough, Gen Z’s who were surveyed said they believed the average marrying age among their generation would be 27.
- Longer Engagements and More Planning
Millennials not only have longer engagements, but they also are likely to start planning their wedding earlier than generations before ever did. With an average engagement time of 15 months, millennials take their time with their engagement and their wedding planning. Since millennials also report being more concerned about how their guests are enjoying the wedding, they tend to be more conscientious when it comes to wedding planning.
- Not All Traditions are Thrown Away
One tradition millennials are keeping (and potentially even increasing) is the first dance. A large percentage of millennials have first dances at their wedding that spotlight the couple.
- They Still Don’t Want China
Impractical fancy gifts like a set of “good china” just don’t register with millennials. Ha.
Millennials report their wedding registry to be more practical and tailored to their lifestyle. Fancy forks are being replaced by smart speakers or contributions to the wedding fund.
Millennial couples are more likely to include a charitable donation option on their wedding registry. In turn, millennial guests are more likely to donate to that charitable organization than guests in the past.
Beyond just donations, millennials are more concerned about the ethics of their wedding than before. There’s a real interest among millennial couples that their wedding products and services are sourced ethically and fit their personal values.
- It’s an Event
It feels like everything on this list has been leading up to this last point. Millennial weddings are events on their own. Millennials are more likely to include more pre-wedding activities like rehearsal dinners and bachelorette parties. They’re also more likely to celebrate the wedding for at least an entire day, if not opting for a wedding weekend style of celebration.