They’re the generation who brought us wedding llamas and doughnut walls, and yet millennials could also teach a clinic in pragmatic nuptials. From getting married before you’re, well, married to budget- (and sanity-) saving microweddings and the ever-sensible friendship wedding, we should absolutely not sleep on millennials’ practical habits when it comes to tying the knot.
Take, for example, the latest trend in millennial weddings: waiting to take a honeymoon. You know, as opposed to hopping into a “just married” getaway car with rattling tin cans all the way to Niagara Falls directly after the reception ends at 11 p.m. It may not seem like the most exciting trend, but it does give us some interesting insight into how young couples are prioritizing.
Take New York couple Hannah and Zack, both 27. They got married in September but waited to go on their honeymoon for two months. Per Hannah: “It started out more as a logistical decision than anything.” See, Hannah and Zack had friends getting married two weeks after them. They didn’t want to be rushed before jetting off to Asia, so they decided to wait. And since they were delaying the honeymoon, they figured they might as well book travel dates that overlapped with the holidays so they could take advantage of the days when the whole office was closed, instead of using up all of their vacation days. See? Practical.
Beyond the PTO game, there’s also the emotional element. “Our wedding was incredible, but it was also emotionally exhausting. Once it was all over and the adrenaline wore off, I just wanted to sit and look at wedding photos, open gifts and relax,” relays Hannah. For couples planning the trip of a lifetime, jetting off immediately after the after-party is totally impractical. Unless you’re an absolute wiz at multitasking, easily able to toggle between mapping out seating charts to figuring out the most scenic way to get from Tokyo to Kyoto, all that planning can feel pretty overwhelming.
Ohio couple Katherine and Shane (also 27) felt similarly. “It’s one less thing to plan while you’re in the middle of wedding decisions,” Katherine points out. Plus, she enjoyed having a few extra days with family and friends who had come to town to celebrate. So instead of a robust two-week honeymoon, the couple took a “mini-moon” just a few hours outside of town. Two years later, that same hotel has become their favorite place to celebrate anniversaries. As for that ultimate honeymoon, they…still haven’t taken it. But for many couples, including Katherine and Shane, this is where the financial logic comes into play: Why spend boatloads on a honeymoon after you’ve already spent a ton paying your caterer, florist, DJ and so on? “Waiting has given us time to save money and pay off our credit cards,” Katherine says.
Though Katherine doesn’t regret her decision, she does admit, “I will feel strange requesting a huge amount of time off when we do take our honeymoon more than two years after the fact.” In that case, she can just send her boss this story.