Look Why These Young Couples Are Putting Off Marriage
And why longer engagements could become the norm for so many of these responsible and surprisingly savvy lovebirds today
On March 4 of this year, millennials Susanna Carver and Joshua Olson of Acworth, Georgia, will officially tie the knot. Like many other couples in their age group, the Olsons say their nuptials have been affected by finances.
“We wanted to make sure we were both financially in a good place before getting married,” said Carver, 22, who is employed full time as a day care teacher. Her 22-year-old fiancé is working as a pizza delivery driver.
“We’re downsizing in order to save money,” Carver added. The young couple is planning a “mini-honeymoon” after the wedding — but hopes to take a longer trip at some point down the road.
“God has provided in so many ways in terms of paying for wedding things, but we felt that it would be irresponsible to both take so much time off work when money is so tight. It was a hard decision for me, but a shorter honeymoon is definitely a good idea for us.”
If you think millennials are notoriously irresponsible money managers, data from a new study by diamond jewelry retailer JamesAllen.com may change your mind. Couples like the Olsons are becoming more common.
A survey of 5,000 U.S. adults founds that three in 10 recently engaged couples have put off the big event for cost-related reasons, Fox News reported.
Millennials, of course, fall squarely into the age group of those first tying the knot.
Thirty percent may not seem like a large number — until you compare that to a similar estimate taken just 10 years ago.
A decade ago, a paltry 8 percent of couples delayed their nuptials for financial reasons, Forbes reported this week.
In addition to delaying the date for the blessed event, data from couples engaged in the past year suggest they are spending less, too. Couples are increasingly downsizing their weddings, receptions, and bachelor/bachelorette parties, Fox News reported.
Other changes in marriage-related events, customs, and spending uncovered in the survey data were also worth noting.
One in three couples is securing a photographer to document their engagement now, whereas only 10 percent did likewise just a decade ago, for example.
Also, more couples are splitting the cost of the rings.
Though some have (wrongly) trumpeted the idea that asking a parent for his or her daughter’s hand in marriage is an outdated or even sexist idea, today’s couples aren’t buying that nonsense. The number of couples who engage in this tradition, in fact, has more than doubled in the past 10 years. A full 64 percent of couples surveyed first popped the question to their spouses’ parent. Just a decade ago, that number stood at 30 percent.
Joshua Olson “tripled” down when it came to asking for Susanna Carver’s hand in marriage. Not only did he ask her mother — he also separately asked her father and her grandfather. Olson wasn’t taking any chances.
Though millennials often get a bad rap for spending too much money on avocados and craft beers, when it comes to some of life’s most important investments they aren’t as extravagant.
Many of today’s couples seem keen on taking a more measured — and in some ways more traditional — approach to getting married.
Michele Blood is a Flemington, New Jersey-based freelance writer and regular contributor to LifeZette.