Here's why these millennial brides say a wedding isn't worth the money
Erin Conway-Rahn heard "a million times" that her wedding day would be the best day of her life, prior to the 170-person event in 2016 that cost $35,000.
That didn't turn out to be true, despite it being an "amazing" and "perfect" event overall.
"I was honestly hopeful that it wasn't going to be the best day of my life," says Conway-Rahn, a 35-year-old paralegal based in Chicago. "I would like to have hundreds more best days of my life that aren't so stressful, that aren't so absorbed around obligation and what can go wrong."
Like Conway-Rahn, other millennial brides I spoke to said the focus of their wedding day wasn't their own happiness, but rather creating a special experience for their guests, which can be very stressful.
"I definitely feel like a wedding day is more for the guests than for the bride and groom," says Quynh-Tram Vo, a 32-year-old pharmacist in San Diego, California. Her wedding with 200 guests cost about $45,000 in 2019.
"You had to make sure that everyone felt appreciated, everybody was getting what they needed," Conway-Rahn says. "The spotlight is on you. But also you need to have your very best manners."
The wedding industry often sells couples a fantasy: This is the best, happiest or most important day of your life. It's how some couples justify spending tens of thousands of dollars on one day.
According to The Knot, the average cost of a wedding in the U.S. in 2021 was $28,000, excluding the cost of an engagement ring. And wedding costs are on the rise, due to inflation and pent-up demand. A record number of weddings is expected in 2022, after so many were postponed due to the pandemic.
But millennials and Gen Z are increasingly questioning whether a traditional wedding is worth the money. Many are bucking tradition and eloping instead.
Watch the video to find out why some millennial brides say a traditional wedding isn't worth the money.