Or how too many wedding invitations can sideline homeownership

When you see a Zillow report that says bachelor and bachelorette parties could be pricing millennials out of owning the American Dream, your first thought may be, “Geez, is that how much a trip to the bar costs these days? Where have I been?”

The answer would be, it’s not about where you’ve been, but about where the bar is.

Not ones to be denied adventure or the opportunity to make a memory rather than own a thing, millennials are embracing not only destination weddings, but also destination pre-wedding parties for the bride and groom — and these excursions aren’t cheap.

Go to enough of them, say nine while you’re in your 20s, and Zillow reports the typical millennial would be out about a third of the down payment on a house — in the very prime of their saving-for-a-house years.

That’s a big conflict when 69 percent of those same millennials say owning a home is necessary to live the American Dream.

“Attending your friends’ bachelor or bachelorette parties can be a trip of a lifetime. While everyone’s budget and priorities are different, big ticket expenses like vacations can add up surprisingly quickly – a lot faster than a $19 avocado toast,” said Jeremy Wacksman, Zillow chief marketing officer.

Breaking it down

Here’s how Zillow did the math, with some help from The Knot 2016 Wedding Guest Study.

The Knot surveyed 1,000 people who had been a guest or an attendant at a wedding in the last three years. Its study reveals that when bachelors or bachelorettes have to travel for the party, it costs them $1,532 and $1,106 respectively. (Yes, contrary to popular notion, it’s the men who pay more.)

Zillow estimates a millennial might go to three weddings a year for three years, that’s nearly $14,000 for the fellows and closer to $10,000 for the ladies. The Knot, on the other hand, calculates the average is closer to two weddings a year — but doesn’t cap the invites at three years.

And what’s a typical down payment? Zillow is going with a 20 percent down calculation. How much that means a home buyer will need for a down payment varies by region. It could be $27,000 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania or $170,000 in Los Angeles, but the national average would be about $40,000.

These days, however, it’s not uncommon to secure a home with a lot less. The median down payment for first time buyers is closer to six percent, according to a report from the National Association of Realtors. That still means coming up with about $12,000 for a $200,000 home.

The good, the bad, and the pricey

The good news is millennials are putting off marriage — the average bride is 29 and the groom is 31 — so there’s time to save up before the celebrations begin.

The bad news, it’s not just the travel to pre-nuptial parties that’s going up in price. Take out the hotel and flight, and the guests at a bachelor party spend an average of $738. Their counterparts at the bachelorette bash spend about $472 each.

Skipping the party but going to the big day? A wedding gift, your clothes, travel and hotel costs an average of $1,000, The Knot reported.

Even if you opt to merely send a gift, that will empty your wallet of  $100-$200.

And if you’re the happy couple, that costs more too. The average wedding cost is $35,329, a jump of more than $2,600 in one year.

So how do you save?

Reconsider the destination of the destination party. The Huffington Post found what it reports are the top 10 fun and safe places for a bachelor party when celebrating on a budget. Topping that list: Cabo San Lucas, where a hotel will set you back a mere $75, the flight comes in at $360, and the average cost of beer is $1.39. Other tops included Denver, Dallas, and Los Vegas.

Huffington Post’s list makers recommend steering clear of Miami, San Francisco, and New York City.

Of course, millennials aren’t the only ones worrying about affording the American Dream of homeownership.

More than half of Americans worry they can’t afford it.

But don’t fret. Debt.com found 60 creative and easy ways to save money.

Meet the Author

Michelle Bryan

Michelle Bryan

Public Relations and Communications Manager

Ms. Bryan is the Public Relations and Communications Manager for Debt.com.


homebuyers, homeowners, marriage, millennials

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Article last modified on September 4, 2018 Published by Debt.com, LLC . Mobile users may also access the AMP Version: The Hangover You Didn't Expect From The Bachelor Party - AMP.