Weddings are expensive business. According to the latest research by The Knot, the average cost of a wedding in 2017 is going to be about $35,329. Just to put that into perspective, the average yearly income in the United States, per household with two people working, is $73,298, according to the most recent findings by the U.S. Census Bureau. Yes, weddings are expensive, but not just for the couple getting married. Weddings are expensive for guests, too.
Surveying 591 women and 425 men in the United States, between February 20 to 27, 2017, travel site Priceline.com recently put together a Bridal Season Travel Survey. What they wanted to see was exactly what Millennials spend when it comes to weddings, where they're spending this money, what they think is worth spending money on, and, sadly, how many of them are forced to skip a wedding or a wedding event, because it's just too damn expensive. If Millennials have to spend upwards of $600, according to the survey, on each wedding-related event, do you blame them for having to skip something? It's not like our generation is known for rolling deep in the dough.
If you have some weddings in the near future, here are nine findings from Priceline's Bridal Season Travel Survey you might want to know.
1. Millennials Have A Better Understanding Of Just Expensive Weddings Are
Of all the age groups surveyed, 81 percent of Millennials were not surprised by just how pricey weddings can be — for both the couple getting married, and the guests. They're also more likely, than any other age group, to actually save money in preparation for any upcoming weddings — as early as three months in advance.
2. Hotels Are The Biggest Expense For Millennials
For 38 percent of Millennials, the biggest expense (aside from gifts) when it comes to attending a wedding are the accommodations. This is most especially the case, if your friend decides to get married in a city like New York or San Francisco. But for those who are willing to cough up the money to attend these weddings, 32 percent were totally comfortable splurging on drinks and food.
3. Over A Third Will Bow Out Of Events
Well, you have to figure if each wedding-related event is going to be at least $600, although most likely more, it makes sense that 39 percent will opt out of attending a wedding event because of the cost. I mean, if your friend is getting married on the other side of the country, and is having engagement parties, bridal showers, bachelorette parties, and then finally a wedding, if you're strapped for cash, you need to decide what's most important.
4. Almost A Quarter Of People Will Spend At Least $1,000 For A Bachelor Or Bachelorette Party
As someone who has a wedding every weekend in August, I'm spending a good chunk of the day reading emails from bridesmaids trying to figure out where to throw bachelorette parties. As someone who didn't have a bachelorette party, I stay mum and just watch the back and forth drama unfold on email, while laughing. At present, these fun "little" weekends away, are going to set me back roughly $1,500 — for each one of them. Which, based on Priceline's findings, isn't a too far off.
In their survey, 24 percent of people will spend at least $800 to $,1000 (or more!) on a bachelor or bachelorette party. That's expensive, especially since only 27 percent of those surveyed didn't even bother to save for these expenses. Yes, I'm currently in that 27 percent.
5. Where To Stay For These Parties Cause The Most Tension
Trying to get a group to decide, whole-heartedly, on a place to stay for these celebrations is far from easy. According to the survey, one in five respondents pointed to hotels and trying to decide on accommodations, as the source for the most tension within the group.
6. The Majority Of People Travel For Bachelorette And Bachelor Parties
With Las Vegas still being the number one spot for pre-wedding celebrations, it makes sense that most people find themselves traveling for bachelor and bachelorette parties. In fact, 53 percent respondents had traveled for these events, with men, at 60 percent, traveling more than women, at 43 percent.
7. Airfare Is Less Expensive Than Hotels
As one of those annoying people who opted for a destination wedding, I'm surprised by this finding. However, according to Priceline, 41 percent of people spent the most on hotels, with only 21 percent spending the most on airfare. Maybe these destinations wedding aren't so faraway or during off-season.
8. Cities Are Top Wedding Destinations
When it came to weddings in the U.S., the top three destinations were New York, Los Angeles, and Miami. Rounding out the top 10 destinations, just to prove why weddings and wedding-related events are so expensive, are also cities: Las Vegas, D.C., Chicago, San Diego, Boston-Providence, Atlanta, and Orlando. Honestly, trying to get a "budget" hotel in any of those cities is not easy... and NYC still remains the most expensive place to get married.
9. For Most, It's The Celebration That Will Have Them Traveling
When I got married in Paris, the general consensus from my friends and family was, "This is a great excuse to go to Paris!" Because people need an excuse to go to Paris? While the survey found that 47 percent of those who traveled for weddings did so because it gave them an excuse to travel, 67 percent said they traveled for the celebration and 47 percent said it was because they wanted to spend time with couple getting married. Which is great in theory, but depending on how big that wedding is, you might only see them for about two minutes.
Although weddings are pretty much all year-round these days, there's still a good chance that within the next few months you'll find wedding invitations starting to trickle in, as June to October are still the most common. What this means is that you need to financially plan ahead and, if you must, cut an event or two from your list. And if the couple getting married is a Millennial one, based on this survey, chances are they'll understand.