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The wedding industry has been a long-standing fixture in economies across the globe, with billions of dollars being spent across the industry every year. But as Millennials look for more affordable ways to get married, traditional expensive weddings are looking like they might become a thing of the past.
Big Day, Big Money
Weddings are often a shockingly expensive affair, and that’s no accident; countless businesses are built off of the expectation that weddings will cost a significant amount. In fact, many businesses charge higher prices for goods and services associated with weddings, from venues to clothing. However, with Millennials’ increased access to e-commerce and their tendency to stray away from tradition, these expensive industries are suffering.
Even the generally less expensive elements of a wedding still rake in large amounts of money due to the wedding business, helping some industries to thrive. The U.S. florist industry generates an estimated $7 billion in revenue annually, with much of that being generated from wedding revenue. While not all of this industry’s income is reliant on weddings, reduced spending by newlyweds could have a significant impact on how businesses fare. Millennials are changing how they get married, and these businesses could suffer as a direct result.
Shifting Interests For Younger Newlyweds
Millennials looking to get married are straying away from larger traditional weddings; while much of this is due to less traditional weddings being more affordable, it also seems to be the result of a cultural shift. While 63% of brides say that they feel a lot of pressure to have the perfect wedding, more newlyweds are stepping away from standard traditions in favor of more personalized weddings.
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While this makes for more sentimental and heartfelt ceremonies and celebrations, it could cause a problem for industries relying on profit from newlyweds. Traditional venues like banquet halls have seen a decrease in the number of weddings they have, while unconventional spaces like barns and parks have seen an increase.
Financial Futures Shape Young Couples’ Decisions
These decisions aren’t always entirely personal preference. The financial crisis that surrounded the coming-of-age of Millennials had a significant impact on how much they were willing to spend on events like weddings. Nowadays, these newlyweds are more conscious of the financial impact their wedding will have on their credit score. These newlyweds focus on keeping their credit utilization below 30% of the original credit limit, meaning they’re less likely to use credit to help fund their wedding. This necessitates a more affordable ceremony and celebration, if the ceremony takes place at all.
Time To Divorce Traditional Ceremonies?
Many Millennials are ignoring the hassle and expense of a wedding altogether, causing even bigger problems for the wedding industry. 5.5 million U.S. couples live together unmarried, a trend that many couples globally are beginning to follow. As the number of Millennial couples living together unmarried continues to grow, the wedding industry could be seeing long-term consequences that affect the economy for years to come.
So what will become of the wedding industry in the future? Will newlyweds keep spending big on their big day, or will traditional large weddings become a thing of the past? Several well-known businesses have already seen significant losses, if they’ve managed to withstand the Millennial trend towards online shopping and less expensive weddings. Those companies still standing are facing an uncertain future as Millennials continue to look to more affordable alternatives, and will either be forced to adapt or watch from the sidelines as the industry changes.